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One of the most active areas of the Outlaws and Jail Museum is the second floor in the front of the building.
This area was for women, children, toddlers, the sick, the insane, and the Matron. It is composed of three cell blocks, two rooms and lavatory facilities consisting of a room with a toilette and a room with a bathtub and sink.
The Matron’s Room in on the west side of the second floor and had the two windows on the right hand side. There is another room behind the Matron’s Room that is now the Colorado Ranger’s room but at that time as the “kids room.” There is a staircase in the front hall that leads to this area of the jail, keeping it totally separate from the main cell block. Also, there is a catwalk between the cell block and the windows that the guards could use to check on the women prisoners. The opposite side of the cell block, the lavatory hallway side was solid metal with a solid metal door for each cell. In that door was another door that could be used to look into the cell.
Women were arrested for prostitution, theft, drunk and disorderly conduct and other disturbing the peace charges. While awaiting trial or serving their sentence, they would sometimes bring their children, having nowhere else for them to go. They were kept in the room behind the Matron’s Room or in the Matron’s room itself, not in the cells. The youngest of these children on record (so far) is 18 months. Other children were kept at the jail as young as four years old who were found as vagrants in the town. One such child was a ward of the State.
The insane were also housed in the jail. There were many cases of insanity at the turn of the last century. These people were taken to the area’s two local hospitals, the St. Nicholas and Teller County Hospital. They were put in the Strong Room and when they became too violent or irrational to keep there, were transferred to the jail.
Sick men were put in cell #3. One such man had hepatitis, tuberculosis, or perhaps diphtheria. He was very sick and very angry, maybe crazy. During the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1918, patients who were sick with anything else were put in the jail.
There is a lot of paranormal activity in this area of the jail. Cell #3 and the Matron’s Room have a history of the most occurrences. Voices, EVPs, touching, and even the rattling of the heavy metal wall between Cell #2 and Cell#3. Apparitions have been seen by MPPIR guests and visitors of the jail alike. Adults and even children have seen a woman in a white blouse and brown skirt reminiscent of the late 1900s. Outside, people have seen children walking back and forth inside the windows. Lights have been seen in the building when there was no electrical hookup. As in other areas of the jail, people with paranormal sensitivity have described people and events in this part of the building.
Editors Bonus EVP, you will need head phones. Leave comment and tell me what you hear after Brandon’s voice.
©2011, Story and Photo’s Nancy, MPPIR, additional Photo’s Frank, MPPIR