Scott County’s historic jail and jailer’s house is getting marked for historical prosperity in November.

The Kentucky Historical Society has approved the buildings for a historical marker, and there will be an unveiling and dedication on Nov. 1, said Amelia Cloud, a member of the Scott County Arts Consortium board. The dedication will be at 5:15 p.m., with a reception to follow until 7:30 p.m.

“I’ve had this idea on my mind for several years. What are we raising money for and what project?” she said. “I proposed it to the board and they approved. We had most of the money we needed last December.”

The Scott County Historical Society helped underwrite some of the costs, especially when they went with the two-sided marker. The proposal was made to the Kentucky Historical Society in March, and approval was sent in May. The pole will be set the middle of this month, and the marker will be set on top of it and kept covered until the dedication in November. One side will be about the jail, and the other will be about the jailer’s house.

The jail was built in 1892 and served as Scott County’s detention center until 1991. The jailer’s house was built in the early 1870s, and is currently home to the Scott County Arts and Cultural Center and has been since 2003. The jail has been dormant and needs some work done inside.

“Over the years, we’ve put on art events and shows, and this year we started offering art classes,” Cloud said. “We have also had a an art pop-up market and plan to do two more by the end of the year.”

Cloud believed such a historic building needed something to identify it as a historic site.

“The longer I was on the board and spent time talking to people on its history, it seemed something was needed to identify the importance of the building and let people know about the history of the jail and its house.

There will be an art show during the reception, and supporters are working to get historical documents and blueprints from architects to frame and display, Cloud said. There will also be notebooks of newspaper clippings and other artifacts displayed.

“We are also working with Julia Matthews at the (Scott County) library to record oral histories about the jail,” Cloud said. “We thought it would be fun to record people’s stories and there is a partnership with UK to put them online and archive them.”

Among the history is the one woman jailer, Gertrude Vance Beatty. She served in the capacity for about a year when her dad got sick in his last term. 

The reception and dedication is open to everyone.


Steve McClain can be reached at

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