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Work could continue on Burlington Jail restoration



BURLINGTON — A project to restore a piece of Burlington history has gotten a boost from an eastern end commissioner.

Commissioner Bill Pratt, who is also a dairy farmer from Chesapeake, would like to see the plans to renovate the onetime Burlington Jail back on the front burner and has been in informal talks with the Concerned Citizens of Burlington.

“It has a lot of historical significance to that part of the county,” Pratt said. “It is important that we keep a good handle on what our past was and display it for the people.”

The jail was the second built in Burlington, the Lawrence County seat from 1816 to 1851 when the county seat was moved to Ironton. The limestone jail is the only structure remaining on the onetime courthouse site at Burlington-Macedonia Road. It was built in 1846 after the first jail, a log building, was destroyed in a fire set by an inmate.

The renovation was begun as a county commission project in 2003 as the county’s contribution to the Ohio Bicentennial celebration.

“The commission has spent a great deal of money to restore that jail,” Pratt said.

The commissioners were working with an ad hoc committee that was part of the Concerned Citizens organization.

“They have a plan in place,” Pratt said about the committee. “They got the building under roof and new windows. What we are looking into is doing the second floor inside. We need to get an estimate from a contractor and then we can go from there.”

The goal is to turn the jail into a museum for the history of that area comparable to the restored log cabin at the Burlington Commons.

“The building is on the National Register,” Harriette Ramsey, president of the Concerned Citizens, said. “It would be another piece of history.”