Group Aims To Restore One Of Sacramento’s First Jail Cells

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — With its squeaky door, rusted-out flooring, and tattered walls, you could tell the box-like structure in the hands of the Center for Sacramento History is old…1876 old!

The 6-foot wide, 15-foot high structure was one of the first jail cells ever used in Sacramento. Efforts are underway to raise money to restore it.

We discovered the jail cell tells quite the story of who was inside at one time.

Two Sacramento men made their presence felt while behind bars by painting their names on the wall.

Veronica Kandl, the Curator of History for the Center for Sacramento History says, “Daniel Blue and Charles Yates had been arrested basically for robbery.”

The two were held in the same cell and didn’t stop with just their names on the wall. They drew images of baseball players in a variety of poses.

So, why baseball?

Kandl tells CBS13 one theory behind the baseball images has to do with an American Centennial game that was held in Sacramento in 1876.

“The supposition is that the two were watching the game from this jail cell,” Kandl goes on to say.

But there’s a problem with that theory. The cell has no windows, and the game was being played a mile from the Sacramento Jail.
Oh, by the way, the cell was kept in the basement of the building.

A more believable theory, officials concluded, is that these two men had seen the game two months prior to their arrest and had drawn the images from memory.

The Center for Sacramento History believes there’s an even more detailed story to be told in this jail cell. By renovating it, they hope to uncover more drawings, images and perhaps names.

If you’d like to help raise the $175,000 needed for the Old Jail Cell renovation, go to http://sachistorymuseum.org/get-involved/donate/

More from Tony Lopez
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