1879 Galien Jail

108 Grant Street - 1 Room, 2 Cell Jail

From South Bend TribuneGalien Jail

"The cells are so small it would seem you'd have to go outside to change your mind." But, no, that's not the reason the Galien Woods Historical Society took steps to preserve the 1879 jailhouse across from Precision Plastics. In fact, said Donna Potter, the jail's unique construction prompted society members to invest in a restoration project. It was in very bad shape. It was badly infested with termites," she said. Regarding its construction, Potter pointed out it obviously was the intent of builders to erect the two-cell facility as solidly as possible. To that end, a series of boards were stacked one on top of the other, with the result a virtually escape-proof building. "The walls are 6 to 8 inches thick, all the way up to the rafters," Potter said. The jail's builders accomplished what they intended, as there was never a report of a successful jail escape. As far as inmates, Potter said there was none of renown, although two of the people questioned in the 1906 shooting death of Lloyd Dynes, a 27-year-old night dispatcher for the Michigan Central Railroad, were briefly confined there before they were transferred to the Berrien County Jail. (Lloyd A. Dynes from Ontario, Canada, was shot and killed on August 27, 1906, in the Village of Galien.) As it turned out, neither was charged, and the case remains unsolved. The recently restored jail is used most often to house hobos whose carvings remain visible.