Every morning I pass the Old Salem Jail on my way into work. For the past five months a considerable amount of work has been going on at the jail, as it is being redeveloped into apartments, a restaurant (what restaurant, we do not yet know), and a small museum of jail history.
The 1813 jail operated until 1991 when a new facility was constructed up the road in Middleton, MA.
The building and its property is a frequent stop for many of the local walking tours. My son's favorite bit of jail trivia is that it did not have running water (ever, and did you note that it operated until 1991?) so prisoners were given a bucket upon admission.
The jail has an interesting history, which includes a few famous residents including Harry Houdini and the Boston Strangler.
I'm looking forward to its future as a new gateway to Salem, a beautiful restored facade, and yet another great (I'll hope) dining option for residents and visitors.
If you want more Salem Jail history or folklore, check out Salem's great walking tours on Salem.org.