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Jail on Back Street

image of Old JailIn 1852 the jail in Coloma was built on Back Street. It had thick stone walls, double iron bars on the windows and one jailer. Quite escape proof for that day. There are two recorded hangings that happened sometime between 1852 and 1862.

The first scoundrel hung was a teacher named Crane (John or Jerry . first name is not clear). Crane was executed because he killed one of his students he was in love with! The second hanging involved a man named Mickey Free. Mickey was part of a cutthroat gang that robbed Chinese camps and murdered miners.

image of Old Jail TodayThe remains of the jail house today are quite incomplete. The walls, doors and windows hardly recognizable. Since the jail house is part of the California State Park in Coloma, the structure remains as a reminder of the gold mining days and steadfast justice as it was back then.