Mark in Texas History: Old Smith County Jail

Updated: Nov. 7, 2020 at 12:42 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Old Smith County Jail was built in 1880 and served as Smith County’s fourth jail, doubling in size 14 years later when a second story was added.

For a period of time, it wasn’t a matter of choice to stay, and later, guests paid for the privilege. When the Smith County Jail was replaced by a new jail in 1916, the old building was transformed into the Lewis Hotel, which was open for business for the next 70 years.

MARK IN TEXAS HISTORY: Old Smith County Jail
MARK IN TEXAS HISTORY: Old Smith County Jail(Philip Stauts KLTV)

The building boasts a classical detail with a stucco finish scored to look like stone. The state awarded the building a historical designation in 1993 and added it to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.

The Old Smith County Jail is located in the 300 block of Erwin Street in Tyler.

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