Old Orangeburg County Jail – Orangeburg, South Carolina

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The old Orangeburg County Jail, also called the “pink palace,” was built in 1860. Union General William Sherman made the jail his headquarters during the occupation of Orangeburg in 1865 during the Civil War. When the Union soldiers finally left the city, Sherman set the building on fire.

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Luckily, the jail was only partially destroyed by the fire, and was rebuilt in 1867. In 1921 it was remodeled, and was still used as the official county jail until 1980.

SCIWAY thanks Jerry Bridgers, who submitted this painting in 2010. Jerry writes: “The building is impressive and this painting depicts the stormy period of history where a jail would be a focal point of the emotions.”

Old Orangeburg County Jail – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Old Orangeburg County Jail, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!

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10 Comments about Old Orangeburg County Jail

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
March 17th, 2014 at 8:28 am

Thank you, Pat, for sharing. What a fascinating story!

Pat CorbettNo Gravatar says:
March 16th, 2014 at 12:43 am

My grandparents were the county jailers from the early 1940s until my grandmother’s second retirement in the late 1950s. The picture shows the entrance for the prisoners. A deputy accompanied and made sure the protocol was followed. If you look around to corner of the jail, the on Meeting Street side you see a larger porch. That led to the family quarters. As a child I spent many weekends and vacations “in jail.” Trustees cooked meals for the inmates and the family. Grandmama would check the inmates’ trays as they went up in the dumbwaiter. To get a better view look at the Colleton County jail restored as a historic place. Oh, and over the portico for the prisoners, there is a stained glass window!

jon palmerNo Gravatar says:
January 27th, 2013 at 1:42 am

I found him and his photo Born in Weisbaden germany in 1846 , christian august schulenberg fischer was the chief of police in Orangeburg sc and his son c a fischer was firechief fron 1956-1959. He was my great grandfather. jpalmer

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
April 5th, 2011 at 8:14 am

Hi Jon! We don’t have any information to provide you with regarding the chief of police unfortunately. A great place to start however would be to take a look at our Orangeburg County genealogy resources. Here you will find links to genealogy resources, libraries, and archives for Orangeburg County. Hope this helps and good luck! – SCIWAY

Jon PalmerNo Gravatar says:
April 5th, 2011 at 2:19 am

Trying to get information and possibly photos of the chief of police in Orangeburg in 1900. His name was Carl August Fischer.

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
February 4th, 2011 at 8:45 am

Hi John! We checked its listing on the National Register, and if you look at the nomination form it lists Orangeburg County as the owner. But, this form is from 1973 so it certainly could have changed hands since then. Try giving the Orangeburg Chamber of Commerce a call at 803.534.6821 – Hopefully they can be more helpful. Let us know if you find out anything! – SCIWAY

JohnNo Gravatar says:
February 3rd, 2011 at 5:20 pm

I was there yesterday – the “castle” is pink, and I saw a treadmill indoors and a number “229” on the door. Who owns this building now?

Harris M.No Gravatar says:
January 20th, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Claire, it’s called the Pink Palace because the building is PINK! Yes, PINK!

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
September 27th, 2010 at 8:33 am

Hi Claire! We’re not sure about the prisoners, all of the prison records were destroyed in the fire. There is some great information on the National Historic Register about the jail – you can find it here: http://www.nationalregister.sc.gov/orangeburg/S10817738003/index.htm

Claire K.No Gravatar says:
September 26th, 2010 at 11:39 am

Did they actually keep prisoners in there until it was set on fire? Did anyone die? Its actually really pretty – and why was it called the “pink palace”?


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