Historic Markers Across Alabama

The Calaboose

Marker ID:  
Location: On 2nd Street Southeast and 4th Avenue South (Alabama Route 24), Red Bay, AL.
County: Franklin
Coordinates: N 34° 26.446    W 088° 8.591
  34.44076666    -88.14318333
Style: Mounted **
Waymark: None


You are standing near the site of"The Calaboose”, Red Bay's only jail until 1949 when the city hall was built.

The Calaboose was a small brick building, approximately 10 feet by 20 feet, built over a small ditch. At that time, plumbing was almost non-existent. The ditch was a "built in" convenience for the occupants.

A partition divided the Calaboose into two spaces, one for the ladies and the other for the gentlemen. There was two small windows with bars. Family and friends would poke contraband (cigarettes, candy and etc.) through the bars.

Occasionally, neighborhood boys would hook up a water hose at a nearby residence and spray the prisoners through the bars just to hear the "cuss" Prior to that buckets were used for the dastardly deed.

According to most accounts, about the only occupants ever housed there were folks who had too much moonshine before they came to town or got too much after they got here; using abusive language or getting into a fist fight.

During the Calaboose years and even some after that, prisoners would be locked up with no means of escape in case of fire or natural disaster; or even a medical emergency. It was many years later that a law was passed regarding fulltime jailers.

Erected 2013 by Homer and Shirley Cody Family

End of The Calaboose