Big Country Roots: Hermleigh Calaboose


SNYDER, Texas (KTAB) – The Hermleigh Calaboose is not a place that you would have wanted to be in 1913. The small structure was used as a small city jail for the West Texas town. Today, it is retired from housing intoxicated inmates at the Heritage Village in Snyder.

“The structure is made of slats that go one way and then the other,” Historic Scurry County, Inc. President, Elyndabeth Toland said. “it’s very strong, even though it doesn’t look like it now; and it had a window in each end with a couple of cots.”

The Calaboose was used as a jail beginning in 1913.

“It was used mainly in the city of Hermleigh to lock up those that were inebriated,” Toland said. “And it was not a place you wanted to stay for very long.”

In 1920, the small jail was no longer needed. Toland said that a local family bought it and used it as a chicken coop.

At one point, a family even traded a cow for the Calaboose and used it as a storage building. In 1993, the Calaboose found a new home at Heritage Village in Snyder.

“Then, the people in Hermleigh said we need to preserve this because of its unique structure,” Toland said.

There is still a historical marker in Hermleigh where the Calaboose once stood.

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