Council Bluffs, Iowa: Squirrel Cage Jail

The Largest Revolving Jail in the U.S., although it no longer revolves. Three stories high, built in 1885. Built for people, not squirrels.

Squirrel Cage Jail Museum

226 Pearl St., Council Bluffs, IA
Squirrel Cage Jail Museum. I-80 exit 3, one block west of Main St., at Willow Ave. and Pearl St.
Tu-Sa 10-4, Su 1-4. Closed M, major holidays, all of January. (Call to verify)
Adults $7
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Visitor Tips and News About Squirrel Cage Jail

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Squirrel Cage Jail.

Squirrel Cage Jail

The city of Council Bluffs has an attraction called the Squirrel Cage Jail. It is an old jail which was built with its cells or cages atop a giant "Lazy Susan." The idea was that the jailer could keep an eye on his prisoners at all times, by having them in constant rotation. Also, it seems titillating to know that Council Bluffs also bills itself as "The Black Squirrel Capital", and one can frequently see the cute little critters roaming around in the green spaces of the city.

[Don Fraysier, 09/11/1998]

It's the Largest Revolving Jail in the US -- even though it no longer revolves. Three stories high, built in 1885. There are only two others, in Crawfordsville, IN, and Gallatin, MO. The Crawfordsville jail still revolves. This unique penal facility design was abandoned due to various mishaps -- sometimes the jails rusted or jammed, allowing prisoners to escape down the central core.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Union Pacific Railroad MuseumUnion Pacific Railroad Museum, Council Bluffs, IA - < 1 mi.
Spiky ViaductSpiky Viaduct, Council Bluffs, IA - < 1 mi.
Black Angel of Iowa #2Black Angel of Iowa #2, Council Bluffs, IA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Tiny Jail, Union, NE - 31 mi.

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