Old Jail is
Forgotten Walker Landmark
Built in 1884, this old structure which stands aloof like the criminals
it once imprisioned,is now guardian to buckets of paint. Its rusty
iron bars and smokeless chimney are silent reminders that more than
50 years have passed since it held unwilling guests.
1897 the little Walkerville jail, which, in its heyday had held
at least one murderer,two train wreckers and a host of petty criminals,was
new lockup was established in the new police building which was
located nearby on the east side of Walker - where Via Rail is now
in 1887 when the Walkerville jail was mainly a stopover for men
who imbibed too freely and walked too unsteadily, jail comforts
interior consisted of one room with allownaces for a wrought-iron
bed and a clay-and-brick stove. Prisoners had to chop wood and feed
the stove themselves when the weather was cold.The floor was cemented
and the bricks of the walls were laid in sections with uprights
of sturdy oak.
in the walls of the north [or river] side are twin windows, stoutly
barred with iron, but the grills covering the bars crumble at a
Walkerville's First Police Chief
old jail was first put to use by Walkerville's first police chief,
Mr.Amos B.Griffith. Chief Griffith was appointed by Hiram Walker
himself in 1887 and served until retirement in 1920.
Chief Griffith first assumed his duties,Walkerville had a population
of about 500 persons and all of the municipality was located north
of Wyandotte street in a cluster of houses that crept together near
the bank fo the Detroit River in the vicinty of the old ferry dock
at the foot of Devonshire.
duties in 1887
Chief Griffith was serving the populace of Walkerville, he received
$40 per month. Besides taking care of the jail and any prisoners,
he made the rounds of Walkerville and had the added responsibility
of lighting and extingusihing seven oil street lamps which illuminated
the village thoroughfares.
Griffith was assisted by James McGillivray. Between them the two
men worked 12 hour shifts. One commenced at midnight and ended at
noon the nexdt day. The other started from there and ended at midnight.
night these Walkerville protectors madetheir rounds with the aid
of the old-fashioned "bulls-eye" lantern stuck in the
belts of their tunics.
between the Hiram Walker Garage and the Shipping department near
the CNR railroad tracks, the old Walkerville jail was demolished
on March 12, 1954. The space occupied by the jail was used for an
enlarged shipping yard for motor transports.
Argyle Road Cottages