The 1897 Clark County Jail Museum was actually the Clark County (WI)
Jail and Sheriff Residence from 1897 to 1978. By 1978 the County had built a
new County Jail / Sheriff Department within the Courthouse complex in
Also in 1978, the County Historical Society Inc. (CCHS) began working with
community and County officials to save the building from being torn down.
The CCCH entered into a lease for the structure and members and volunteers
spent over a year making repairs and improvements to the building and
ready for public tours. Beginning in 1980, the Society members and
volunteers operated this Museum as one of two historic sites, along with
their other programs. In 2008, the Jail Museum was separately incorporated
as the 1897 Clark County Jail Museum, Inc. and is maintained and operated by
this organization members and volunteers.
Really two museums in one - visitors tour the beautiful Victorian home
where each Clark County Sheriff and his family lived during their term of
office (1897 to 1974). These families brought their own furniture and
personal items with them to use while living in the residence and then took
everything with them when it was time for the next Sheriff to move in.
Today, the residence is filled with period furniture, art, books, musical
instruments, as well as personal and household items that have all been
donated to the Museum for display.
The Jail portion of the Museum, in use from 1897 to 1978, was home
for all Clark County WI prisoners and the Patrol and Sheriff Department.
Still intact, this old County Jail is filled with vintage law enforcement items,
archives, records and local historic items. The third floor of the Jail now
serves as a military display.
Visit During Our Summer Tour Season