Specification of the Jail and Jailor’s House
Brookville, Jefferson Co., Pa.

Size of Building

Building to be erected on Market Street, and to be thirty-two feet on said street, and extending back ninety-six feet. The front to be back from the street, to range with the front of the Court House.


All the ground covered by the building, to be dug out or graded level with the street. Between the Jail and Yard-wall the ground to be excavated so as to be level. Trenches for the foundation walls to be sunk sufficient depth to secure a permanent foundation for the walls; but in no place, to be less then two and one half feet below the surface of the ground as graded.

Foundation Walls. 

Foundation of Jailors House, Jail, and Jail-yard wall to be made of good large stone, 2 ½ feet at the base, and battered to 2 feet at the surface of the ground, and laid in good lime-mortar. Above the surface, in front, to be two courses of cut stone, of one foot each, and 16 inch. Bed, with a course of water-table 6 inches thick, to project 2 inches. Also cut stone on the foundation at the sides, to correspond with the front and above that to be broken courses, so that the brick shall commence above the surface of the ground on the outside. Front wall to have two openings with suitable grates for ventilation. The earth to be filled in and rammed firmly around the foundation wall. Cut stone steps at the front door as per draft, of 7 inches rise and 12 inches step, and the top one 3 foot wide. All rubbish to be cleared out and hauled away from the building at completion.

 Jailor’s House.

 House to be 32 by 58 feet and three stories high – each story to be 10 feet high in the clear. The walls to be made with good brick and 13 inches thick, except the gable which is to be 9 inches thick and all to be laid in good lime-mortar. Gable wall to be carried 6 ½ feet above the square of the building. All the windows and doors to have cut stone lintels 8 inches deep, and the windows cut stone sills 5 inches deep and all 8 inches bed. – Three flues for stoves in the first story, to be properly constructed with 7 inch. Cast iron collars in the flue holes for stovepipe. One large fire-place in the kitchen and one in each of the other rooms on the second floor, with 24 inch grates properly set in the same. Two fire-places in the third story with 18 inch grates properly set in them. The flues from each fire to be carried to the top of the chimney separate. The chimneys to be carried one foot above the top of the roof, and false chimneys on the opposite side of the building to correspond with the first mentioned chimneys – suitable hearths to be laid at each fire-place. Doors and windows as marked in the plan. Front door to be made with side and transom lights. Semicircular window in the front gable to be 2 ½ feet radius.

 First Story.

 Joist 3 by 12 inches, set 16 inches from center to center and summers 12 by 12 inches as marked in the plan, to be supported with a sufficient number of stone piers. Floor of 1 ¼ inch pine boards none exceeding 6 inches in width, planed and well tongued and grooved, and well laid and nailed. Studding 3 by 5 inches set 16 inches from center to center for partitions, as marked in the plan. Outside doors to be 5 panel and 2 ¼ inches thick, moulded on both sides. Inside doors for the whole house 5 panel as per draft 1 ¾ inches thick, moulded on both sides and all the inside doors to be hung with 4 by 4 inch good butt hinges, and secured with 4 inch mortice locks of the best construction. Outside doors to be hung with 4 ½ by 4 ½ inch, butt hinges and secured with 6 inch mortice locks of the best construction. Windows to be 12 lights of 12 by 18 inch glass; sash 1 ¾ inches thick with meeting rails rabbited and parting bead – window frames to be box frames and the sash hung with axle pulleys and good hemp cords and suitable iron weights. – Windows and doors to be finished with architraves as per draft and finished on the floor with plinths and in a good workman like manner. Joist to be bridged – windows in the first story to be secured with good shutters 1 ½ inches thick, 2 pannels in each shutter moulded on the outside and flush and bead on the inside and hung with strap hinges and fastened with good wrought iron bolts and ketches to fasten them back. Two shutters to each window.

 Second Story.

 Floor timbers same as in the first story except the Joist, which are to be 2 ½ inches thick. Floor, windows, doors and partitions same as in the first story. Three chimney pieces in this story as per draft. Glass 12 by 17 inches.

Third Story.

 Floor timbers, floor, windows, doors and partitions, same as in the second story – two chimney pieces same as in second story, and partitions as per draft.

Plastering, Stairs, &c.

There is to be stairs from the first floor leading to the third story, with continued hand rail, with turned newel posts and banisters, with nosings and fillets mitred to the risers. The strings to be of 2 inch plank and well supported. The skirting to be 1 ½ inches thick and the steps and risers let into it with moulding planted on it the same as the base in the hall. Trimmers around the stair wayand fire-places, to be of 2 joists pinned together. All the partitions and ceilings to be lathed with good pine sawed lath 4 feet long, and put on with 4 nails to each lath. All the partitions, ceilings and walls, to be plastered with three coats of good plaster, - two of brown mortar and one of white, with plaster of Paris as a finish. All the house to be finished with base moulded and finished as per draft. All the wood work inside and out, to have three coats of pur-o white lead, oil, and turpentine, and the doors, window shutters and mantles, to be grained. All the brick work outside to have three coats of paint, of a cherry red color and penciled.


 Roof to be framed with nine pair of principal rafters, king posts and braces. A wall-plate to be 4 inches thick and full width of wall to be laid on the top of the wall and well bedded in good lime mortar. Beams 10 by 12 inches; king posts 8 by 12 inches, braces 4 by 6 inches, principal rafters 7 by 9 inches, joists to be framed into the principal rafters, running lengthwise of the building, to be two feet from center to center for sheeting, and to be 2 by 9 inches. Lookout joists to be 2 ½ by 10 inches, and to be two feet apart. The principal rafters to be fastened down to the beams at the foot with 1 inch screw bolts, nuts and washers, and the beams to be fastened to the king posts with iron stirrups well secured. Roof to be sheeted with good narrow boards laid up and down the roof, and well nailed to receive the tinning. The roof of the whole building to be covered with hundred plate leaded tin, to be well grooved and soddered together, and the joints running up and down the roof, to be raised three-fourths of an inch, and the whole to be well nailed with copper nails, and to receive three coats of good fire-proof paint. Gutters to be made of ten pound sheet copper well leaded and groved together, and to be put on the roof and the lower edge raised 6 inches in height and secured with copper fastenings, and have sufficient fall to carry the water to the north end of the building, thence by 6 inch copper spouts down to the ground, and 6 inch cast iron pipes from the copper pipes down into the sewers under the jail. A cornice as marked in the plan to run the whole length of the house and jail on each side with pediment end and raking cornice next street. The whole cornice to be painted and sanded in imitation of stone.


All the outside walls of the jail and the inside walls of the basement to be 18 inches thick. Courses one foot thick and the stone the full width of the thickness of the wall. Joints and beds of all the jail walls to be cut and the outer surfaces drafted and picked in a neat manner. Floor of the basement to be filled in with bats and lime core up to within one foot of the floor in the jailors house broken fine and well hammered down. Stories to be 11 feet from one floor to the top of the next to correspond with the stories of the house. The inside walls of the first and second stories to be one foot thick and the courses one foot. All the inside walls to be bound in with headers running through the outside walls. The joist on each course to be clamped on the top and well leaded together as laid. At the windows and doors the stones to be doweled with iron dowels running 2 inches into each stone of 1 inch round iron. All the cells to be arched with stone as marked in the plan. One window in each cell 5 inches by 4 feet, vertical with iron frames and sash, and hung so as to open on the inside. - All the inside doors of the cells to be made of good inch wrought iron, the styles and top rail to be 3 inches wide, bottom and lock rail to be 6 inches wide and made in four panels, the two upper panels to be iron grating and fastened with the best prison locks that can be procured. All the outside doors, cells and all to be made of 1 ¼ inch white oak plank and battened so as to be 2 ½ inches thick, lined with boiler iron well riveted in and have the best prison locks that can be procured, doors to swing out of the cells and hung on opposite sides of the frame – door-frames of iron, the jambs the width of the thickness of the wall with casings 3 inches wide on the wall of iron – all the doors to be hung with strap hinges, and the hooks riveted on the jambs. Each cell to have a water closet with a 6 inch cast iron pipe leading into the sewer under the jail. Two sewers under the jail, one on each side next the foundation walls, two feet under ground laid up with good hard burnt brick, and covered with flagstones and earth – sewers to be 18 inches in the clear inside, and have sufficient fall to carry off all the filth running into them – the sewers to be connected at the lower end of the building, and carried a sufficient distance to convey the deposits from the jail. One window each side of the door in the first story leading into the jail yard and two in the second story at the north end of the hall, the same size and construction as those in the cells. There are to be three hog chains running lengthwise of the building over the top of each row of arches with anchors and walled in the arch of the outside cells at each end of the jail, at the foot of the arch on the outside walls of the cells there is to be a bar of iron running through the walls lengthwise of the cell and the foot, of the anchors well fastened to it to support the foot of the arch. The wall at the windows to be flared or beveled on the outside, at the top and sides of the windows so that the windows at the outside shall be 2 feet wide by 4 feet 9 inches high. Jail to be heated with one of Chilson’s hot air furnaces, No. 5, with one main pipe to each story, and a branch pipe running into each cell with registers to regulate the heat. The main pipe to run along under the floor of the hall of each story, and the branches running into the cells through the floor – and one 8 inch cast iron pipe from the furnace up through the roof to carry off the smoke. The furnace to be set in a double wall of good brick and in the most approved manner. The hot-air pipes to be made of tin well sodered - main pipes 7 inches and the branch pipes 5 inches – space between the arches and the floors of the cells to be filled with bats, lime core and lime mortar. Floors of the cells to be 3 inch oak plank and double- the first floor to be laid lengthwise of the cell and the upper floor laid crosswise of the cell and the ends of the plank to run 1 inch into the stone wall at each end – floor in the hall to be 3 inches oak plank to run crosswise of the hall, and the ends of the plank to run 2 inches into the wall and to be ploughed and tongued. Ceiling over the hall in the upper story same as the floor. A hall 8 feet wide taken off the jailor’s house next the jail as marked in the plan, with stairs leading from the basement to the attic, with a trap door in the roof well made and secured – doors and windows in the hall as per draft. Gable wall to be made of brick 9 inches thick. At the corners of the jail where it connects with the brick walls of the house each alternate course of stone is to run into the brick wall one foot. All the inside walls of the cells and halls to have one good coat of plastering and whitewashed. Doors of the cells to be 2 by 6 ½ feet. Doors of the hall to be 8 by 7 feet. Windows in the cells and hall to be 4 feet from the floor and the stones rabbited to receive the window frames.

Jail Yard.

A Jail-yard wall to be built commencing at the south-west corner of the Jail, to which it is to be well secured, thence west 10 feet to the alley, thence north 80 feet to Chesnut alley, thence along said alley 52 feet, thence south 80 feet, thence west 10 feet to the south east corner of the Jail, to which it is to be well secured. Jail-yard wall to commence 2 ½ feet below the graded surface of the inside, and be 2 ½ feet at the bottom and battered to 2 feet at the surface. Above the surface the wall to be 18 inches thick and 16 inch courses of hammered range work, with cap-stones on the wall to project 2 inches on each side of the wall. All the stone to be of the width of the thickness of the wall. Wall to be 18 feet high above the graded surface, on the inside and all to be laid in good lime-mortar.

The whole work to be done in a good workman-like manner and in accordance with the draft adopted by the Commissioners of Jefferson County.

Source: The Jeffersonian Democrat: Brookville, Pennsylvania; 22nd April 1854

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