Wooster's Historic Jailhouse Restaurant
121 N Walnut St, Wooster OH, 44691
Casual Tavern, Elegant Steakhouse & Private Bourbon Room
Civil War Era Sheriff's Office
The Wayne County Sheriff's Office and Jaol was claimed to be the finest law enforcement facility of its kind, unique to Ohio. The construction of the building was proposed in 1864 following an approved plan for expansion of the Wayne County Prison System.
The Third Jaol of Wayne County was modeled after the finest prison of 1800s Cincinatti, and constructed with advanced ventilation and security for the time. It was built under the watchful eye of John B. France, acting sheriff.
During its active century as a jail, twenty-two men served as sheriff in our grand, old building, concluding with James Frost, who was the last sheriff to serve in the third jail and the first to serve in the new Wayne County Justice Center. Construction was finished in 1865, with work most likely concluding around September of that year according to Wooster History Scholar Harry McClarren. For over 100 years our site housed the police department and criminal population of Wayne County. It was the most robust jailhouse to be built in Wooster at the time, and served as the center of operations for the sheriff until 1977. This marked well over 100 years the building had stood, making it a great candidate for a historical site!
Post Sheriff Occupation
In 1977, the Wayne County Sheriff's Department was relocated across the street to a new facility, leaving more than 100 years of stories behind - but not forgotten- as in 1979 The Olde Jaol was saved from the cranes and bulldozers by a group of historical preservationists led by Wooster's own Mayor Robert Anderson!
By 1980 the building was registered as a historical landmark and would live to continue its stories in Wooster long into the future. During its time as a historic building it has housed a few businesses.
In the 1980s it was home to Mr. Bill Restaurant, as well as Victorian style eatery, and most recently changed hands in 1995 when the Jaol was purchased by a private business owner and resider of Wooster, Today it lives on as our fine eatery and tavern!