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Jailhouse

Posted September 19, 2012 in Community Featured, Winterset

For years it has been common practice for people to live where they work.

Susan and Jerry Hurst and their sons make their home in Madison County’s original jailhouse.

No exception was given in 1903 when Madison County built its jailhouse at 220 N. First Ave. It was built with great care, seeing to the needs of not only its prisoners but to the sheriff and his family as well. That thought process has allowed this amazing Winterset structure to become the home and business to Jerry and Susan Hurst and their sons, Kyle and Bryan.

Jerry, a retired web programmer and Susan, a former garden editor with Better Homes and Gardens publications, purchased the old jail in 2010.

Enter through the front door and you walk into what was once the public’s entrance to the jail. This space is now used as living and dining area. As you continue, you walk into what was once the jailhouse kitchen, which now serves as Susan’s office. As you pass through the kitchen, you become very much aware of the fact that you are about to enter the high security cell area.

Referred to as St. Louis cells, this space looks as though time has stood still, with its concrete and steel ceilings, steel cell doors and cement floors. This high security area leads into the “new” addition. Built in the ’30s, this space was used as an overflow for prisoners. Walking back toward the living space, you see where the women and juveniles were held, along with the evidence cabinets.This space is now a bathroom and laundry area. Turning around, there is a set of steel steps that lead to what once was an office space and now is a sleeping area for the boys. This space, again all steel and concrete, has the original toilet and ornate sink.

Hardwood floors and original woodwork are throughout most of the first floor and up into the second story, including French doors leading to the hallway and open staircase. In the hallway there is what would appear to be a Harry Potter closet under the steps. (It’s actually a tiny door that leads to the cellar.) The upstairs has three bedrooms, a den, a kitchen and a bath.

 Susan opened her business, Applehurst, in the original jail portion of their home on May 1, 2011.She says “Applehurst is a catalyst of the things I love,” which is evident by all of the beautiful things she sells.

Future projects for the home include a bathroom redo, tuck pointing and a new roof. The Hursts are currently working on placing their home on the National Register of Historic Places.





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