When the County of Pulaski was created in March of 1839, Newbern was the county seat. A courthouse was built in Newbern in 1840-42 and a sturdy brick jail was erected behind the courthouse.
The courthouse burned in 1893 but the old brick jail remains. The New River Historical Society hopes to work with grants and with Pulaski County to restore and condition the building for future use as a center for archives, the collection of historical papers and books, and for document preservation and storage. Currently there is a large collection of books and documents in the Museum, including old bibles and store records. Using the Old Jail as a new center for these items could allow the collection to grow. It could also mean greater access by the public for reading and research as well as by genealogical buffs tracking down family history.
At the October meeting of the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors, Community Development Director Shawn Utt proposed that the board consider an architectural study of the building. He stated that restoration of the building would save it from further deterioration and make it available for usage as a working building for the organization and preservation of the documents accumulated by the Historical Society. These documents are currently located in the Wilderness Road Regional Museum. More space, and conditioned space, would allow greater use by the public for historical research. There are many valuable and one-of-kind documents currently in the archives.
*link to jail article*