Essex County Jail (Old)

Established 1832

New Street, Newark Street, Wilsey Street & the Morris Canal


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Newspaper Articles

June 2, 1907 - Important Improvement at the Jail
June 2, 1907 - Newark Jail has Fine Flower Garden

From “Newark and Its Leading Businessmen” 1891

The present county jail was built in 1832.  It occupies the entire block bounded by the Morris Canal on the north, New Street on the south, Wilsey Street on the east and Newark Street on the west.  There are about 200 prisoners confined there on the average all the year round.  A very large and substantial addition is being constructed to the jail, which will give about ninety more cells.  The jail is in the charge of Roger Marshall, Warden.  In addition to the jail the county maintains a large penitentiary at Caldwell, some eight miles from Newark.  This building was erected about 15 years ago.  It stands in the midst of a large farm, on which there is a valuable stone quarry.  The convicts in the penitentiary are employed in getting stone out of the quarry, and breaking it up for the making of the county roads.  Others of them work upon the farm.

From: Social Services Directory of Newark 1912

For the detention of persons awaiting trial, of those detained as witnesses, and of those sentenced by the court. This last includes those sentenced for short terms and in whose sentence is not specifically included the condition "at hard labor." The latter are sent to the Essex County Penitentiary. In the County Jail are held United States prisoners awaiting trial, the county receiving compensation from the United States Government. No labor is required of prisoners. Under the supervision of the Sheriff and the Essex County Board of Chose Freeholders. Jail also used in lieu of a psychopathic ward for cases of dipsomania.

From: "A History of the City of Newark" Lewis Historical Publishing Company 1913

The first jail on Broad Street was on the eastern edge of the Old Burying Ground.  A new jail was built as a three-story stone structure with cells in the cellar in 1810 at the corner of Broad & Walnut Streets, the site of the Grace Episcopal Church (jail burned in 1835).