The town of Rathdrum is one of the oldest towns in the Idaho Panhandle, now one of the fastest growing in the state. The Northern Pacific laid its tracks through Rathdrum in 1881. It followed the trails used by the bands of Coeur d’Alenes and Spokanes who hunted and gathered in this area and further north. Fur traders and gold seekers also used the trail before the train came. In fact, it is said that historian and explorer, David Thompson, camped at the outlet of Lower Twin Lake.
This jail was built in 1892 while Rathdrum was the county seat in Kootenai County. It was the first sturdy brick jail and built around 8 cells, stacked 4 on 4 and made of riveted steel since welding was not yet in use. It also had room on the second floor for a county hospital and a place for the insane on their way to Blackfoot. In 1908 when the county seat was moved to Coeur d'Alene, the jail became the city hall and then the town library for many years. It was then used as a maintenance building, fell into disrepair and was given to the Historical Society. Don and Dorothy Jacklin saw the potential of the building and donated money to restore it in 2010. The Historical Society is working to fill the jail with displays as well as bring back the look and feel of the jail in several rooms.
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