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CSU Archives

Columbus Stockade Collection (MC 328)

Organizational Note

It is not certain when the Columbus Stockade was built or what it was originally used for.   It was listed in the 1858 City Directory and an 1872 map indicates that it served as a "detention institution."  The jail facility was mentioned in Haddock's Columbus, Georgia Directory 1873-1874 as "The jail, a large handsome brick structure, situated on the East Common.  It was completed with all modern improvements about the time of the breaking out of the late war.  The cells are of iron and are well ventilated.  It is considered entirely safe."  There is an interior iron door that has a plaque stating:  "Wrought Iron.  Plate Jail.  Patented Dec 20 1859.  Valleau & Jacobs Cin. O."  It is not known whether the doors were installed in the Stockade in 1859 or if the doors were made in 1859 and later sold, shipped, and installed in the Stockade.  The two brick buildings served as jail and police headquarters from the 1850's to 1906, when a new police headquarters was built on 1st Avenue.

The Columbus Stockade was placed on the National Historic Register in 1980.  It is one of the oldest and finest examples of Renaissance Revival architecture in Columbus.  The architectural detail of ornamental bricklaying, indicative of the mid-1800's period, is considered to be one of the finest examples remaining in the city.  The structure was originally two separate buildings.  In the 1870's, the two structures were joined by a brick corridor and in 1930, additions were made to the City Stockade by F. Roy Duncan, Architect and J. P. Bradfield, Contractor.

In 1927, the singing and guitar- picking duo of Thomas P. (Tom) Darby of Columbus and Johnny J. (Jimmie) Tarlton of Phenix City wrote, recorded and released the now classic song, "The Stockade Blues" also known as "Way Down In Columbus, Georgia."  The record soared in popularity throughout the nation and reportedly sold millions at a time when the recording industry was in its infancy.

This summary is taken from the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office website.

The collection was formally MC 024 at the Public Library.

Scope and Content

This collection includes a research report on the Stockade that was compiled in 1971. It was to contain "a factual narrative research".  There are also photographs of the stockade, interior and exterior, and the police department circa 1895-1905.  A copy of the application to place the Stockade on the Georgia Heritage Trust Survey for Historical and Archaeological Sites is included.  There are also newspaper articles from the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer dating 1971-1972.

1895-1972                                                    1 box (.25 l.f.)

Permission to Publish

Permission to publish material from the Columbus Stockade Collection must be obtained from the Columbus State University Archives at Columbus State University.   Use of the following credit line for publication or exhibit is required:

Columbus Stockade Collection(MC 328)
Columbus State University Archives
Columbus, Georgia


This collection came to the CSU Archives when the Columbus Public Library closed its archival collections in the fall of 2013 and donated the contents to the Columbus State University Archives.

Note to Researchers

See also:

MC 197 John S. Lupold Collection; series 6 box 1 folder 73

MC 9 Columbus Museum of Arts and Sciences Collection; box 1 folder 7 ( song)

MC 180 Quillian-Ansley-Gates Collection; series 5, box 1 folder 16, 17 (stockade);folders 18, 19 (song)

Box and Folder List

Box 1

Folder 1:  Georgia Heritage Trust Survey for Historical and Archaeological Sites, 1973

Folder 2:  Newspaper articles

Folder 3: Photographs- interior and grounds of Stockade

Folder 4: Photographs – Police Department, 1895-1905

Folder 5: Research Report on Columbus Stockade 1971, ordered by Chief McClung

Folder 6: Research report (incomplete), 1971