SAN AUGUSTINE, TX (KTRE) - It has been nearly 15 years since the former San Augustine County Jail has had any human occupants or human activity after the sheriff's office moved to its new location just off the town's square in 2001.
However, that all changed on Monday, July 20, 2015, when the next project by the San Augustine Garden Club officially began. The club is restoring the old jail to its structural glory.
"We have now managed to gather up about $130,000 for the jail project," Garden Club President Betty Oglesbee shared in her monthly update to San Augustine County's Commissioner's Court at its first meeting in July.
The endeavor is officially called "Restore the 1919 Jail Project."
On Monday, Vidor-based Marsh Waterproofing began repairing the leaky roof and chipping away inches of a concrete-like covering to get to the original red brick facade.
"We have enough money to proceed. It has not cost the commissioner's court any money," Oglesbee told the commissioners.
Just like the courthouse restoration, which was completed by the Garden Club, the jail project will also be an asset to attracting people to Main Street. The restoration of the jail is not just for the exterior. There are also plans to restore the interior portion of the jail. That includes every cell.
The Garden Club plans to convert the 1919-era county jail into a museum and tourism site, and the group is like a grant-application machine.
"We did receive $10,000 from the Summerlee Foundation, which is excellent," Oglesbee said.
The ladies have also turned their fund-raising efforts online, by recently launching a GoFundMe.com account. To donate, click http://www.gofundme.com/RestoreThe1919Jail.