Historical look at jails, crimes in county


SUNBURY — Brent Carson, who is often referred to as Mr. History of Delaware County, has returned to the Myers Inn Museum to film the March program for the Big Walnut Area Historical Society (BWAHS).

Since the Delaware County Historical Society bought the former Delaware County Jail and Sheriff’s Residence at 20 W. Central Ave. in Delaware back in October 2021, Carson has been researching the history of crimes and jails in the county.

According to a press release from the BWAHS, “There were robberies and murders even in the Big Walnut area, but hard criminals were taken to Delaware Jail. Sunbury Jail, on the east side of the first floor of the Town Hall in the center of the Village Green, was used for drunks to sleep off their celebrations.”

Sunbury historian and Myers Inn Museum Curator Polly Horn said, “While I do not remember the jail in the Sunbury Town Hall, I do remember seeing it in the lower level of the old house which sat where the Sunbury Municipal Building was built in 1982. However, as a child of 6 or 7, my father took me and my younger sister to Delaware when he went to pick up news items for the Sunbury News.

“He had arranged for the sheriff to show the two of us the newly painted jail. All was fine until the door was closed, and we were each locked in a cell with a bed without a mattress, and a toilet stool without a seat. I was old enough to know my father would be back, but Peg cried the entire time. We were let out with, ‘This is where you live when you do not obey the laws,’ from our father. Needless to say, neither of us were ever tempted to break the law.”

Carson’s program, “Jails and Crimes in Delaware County,” can be viewed via the YouTube link on the BWAHS website at www.BigWalnutHistory.org. It will be showing through March.

The Myers Inn Museum, which faces the southwest corner of Sunbury Square, is open for tours on Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. Private tours may be arranged by calling 740-965-3582 and leaving a message.


Gazette Staff

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Information for this story was provided by the Big Walnut Area Historical Society.

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