Ever wanted to own a jail? One’s for sale in Wabash, but it’s a fixer-upper

National News

WABASH, Ind. (WANE) — A historic landmark in Wabash is looking for a new owner.

The Wabash County Sheriff’s House and Jail sits on Main Street next to the current jail and the courthouse. Now the landmark is for sale and looking for a new jail master.

“It’s very unique,” Director of Northeast Indiana Landmarks, Paul Hayden, said. “It was a common housing form 100 years ago that has all but gone away, so that’s why we are working to preserve this example.”

The red brick home was built in 1880. In the front of the building is a four-bedroom home for the sheriff and his family, and in the back are two floors of six cells each for inmates. All told, the building is more than 4,000 square feet.

The property served as a jail until 1979 and then served as the probation department until 2004. For more than a decade, the county used the building for storage before it was saved from demolition and purchased by the Indiana Landmark organization.

Indiana Landmarks declared the building one of the 10 Most Endangered buildings in 2014. Over the past three years, the organization has restored the exterior of the building.

Indiana Landmarks is selling the Wabash Sheriff’s House and Jail for $79,000.

The inside of the home needs a complete renovation. Plumbing, heating, and electricity all need to be updated. But for a person looking for a fixer-upper, Hayden said the possibilities for the property are endless.

“We’ve had a lot of interest,” Hayden said. “A lot of different uses have been considered – everything from an Airbnb, offices, cafe, retail spaces.”

Before inmates were moved to the new jail next door, the sheriff and his family used to live in the front half of the house and take care of the inmates who were housed in the back. While walking through the house, original features have been untouched over the years. The original bar jail doors that separate the home from the jail are still standing, along with small openings where food and other items could be passed between the jail and house. The Victorian-style home has high ceilings and original hardwood floors.

Take a Tour

To schedule a tour or to learn more about the property, click here.

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