Historic old San Augustine Jail will soon get new life as museum - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Historic old San Augustine Jail will soon get new life as museum, library

The 1919 San Augustine County Jail will open in early 2017. A Texana Collection will be the feature attraction. (Source: KTRE Staff) The 1919 San Augustine County Jail will open in early 2017. A Texana Collection will be the feature attraction. (Source: KTRE Staff)
San Augustine County resident and historian Betty Oglesbee  maneuvers steep stairs at the old San Augustine County Jail, a future library and museum. (Source: KTRE Staff) San Augustine County resident and historian Betty Oglesbee maneuvers steep stairs at the old San Augustine County Jail, a future library and museum. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Historians are calling first floor cells ‘research cubbies’. They’ll be filled with the extensive book collection from the estate of Willie Earl Tindall.  (Source: KTRE Staff) Historians are calling first floor cells ‘research cubbies’. They’ll be filled with the extensive book collection from the estate of Willie Earl Tindall. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

Instead of housing inmates, the historic San Augustine County Jail, which was built in 1919, will soon become the permanent home of the Texana Collection. Sometime later this year, the building will be dedicated as the NL Tindall Building.

In anticipation of the big day, historians provided East Texas News with a sneak peek of the old jail’s interior.

"We purchased a clock because the town needed a town clock,” said Betty Oglesbee, a San Augustine resident and a historian.

Oglesbee finds time for such things. Lately, she and other historians are spending many hours in the old San Augustine County Jail.

"I'm so excited about the project,” Oglesbee said. “It's going to be such a success."

They're unlocking the history of circumstances which people tried to escape or certainly avoid. 

"Colorful law enforcement history of San Augustine County and, of course, we certainly agree with that,” Oglesbee said.

The memories will be shared in a soon-to-open museum and library. 

"This will be the Willie Earl Tindall Texana Research Library,” Oglesbee said.

The first-floor jail cells will now be called “research cubbies.” Suzanne Sowell cataloged the extensive library of Ms. Willie, the wife of former San Augustine County Sheriff Nathan Tindall.

A dedication date has yet to be announced, but planners want it to happen the first part of this year.

Meanwhile, there's a call for historical San Augustine photos for the annual Chamber Gala on Thursday, January 19th.

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