South Lake Tahoe, CA
Old Town Bricks
Old Town Bricks.Vacaville's rich heritage has always been fueled by strong-willed pioneers who were determined to call this place home. This is clearly evident in one historical fact about our city which, to this day, remains an unsolved mystery. So when you're enjoying a day at Andrews Park go ahead and wander over to the waterfall. It's a little hard to determine the exact position because the banks of Ulatis Creek have changed considerably since 1906, but you are in the area once occupied by Vacaville's original jail.
First Jail - Little shack down by creekIt wasn't much of a calaboose, or prison, as we think of them today. There wasn't all that much need for it when the county built it in 1883 on a small piece of land purchased from the city.
The jail was constructed of wood, possibly railroad ties, and contained two small cells. Over the years it was considered to be an eyesore to Vacaville residents and was only used to hold hobos and drunks. People arrested for more serious crimes were usually transported to the county jail in neighboring Fairfield.
Vacaville suffered with its notorious lockup for several years until 1906 when an unusual event happened. On March 3rd, the jail was discovered lying in the creek! Some blamed a strong east wind for sending the heavy structure to its doom, but further speculation as to the culprit provided plenty of light entertainment to the Vacaville citizenry.
New Town HallPolice Chief Bentley and the entire police force worked diligently to solve the mystery of the calaboose caper. The finger of suspicion even went so far as to blame the sedate matrons of the Women's Improvement Club of performing the dastardly deed. One can only imagine a group of demure but determined dames in their long dresses and flowered hats of the time huffing and puffing as they levered the odious cooler into Ulatis Creek!
March 3rd, 2013
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