Archer Co. Jail, historic artifacts up for sale

Local News

ARCHER COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — A historic building in Archer County is now on the market.

The old Archer County Jail turned museum has been sitting for nearly three years full of artifacts and at the county’s expense.

While there is no set listing price, Archer County Commissioners’ Court will listen to all offers, but they won’t consider anything less than $5,000.

It’s not just the building listed. The sale includes every piece of history inside.

This 110-year-old building that used to house Archer County inmates now home to thousands of historical artifacts is up for sale.

“I’ve grown up with this building in place many years before I was born, so it’s neat to be a part of history-changing hands,” listing agent Bethann Oswald said.

It served as Archer County jail from 1910 until 1974.

The building eventually became a museum full of items from historian Jack Loftin.

The county decided three years ago to sell the building along with everything inside and out.

“We closed this building a couple of years ago after Jack Loftin’s death,” Archer County judge Randy Jackson said. “We’ve tried to disperse the donated items in her, the loaned items, we tried to get those to the rightful owners.

Judge Randy Jackson said this decision in part is because of the county’s lack of time and money for upkeep and restoration.

“Judge Jackson called me and at first I was like ‘oh, cool’ and then I thought ‘oh, I’m sad,’ and I think that’s been everybody’s reaction,” Oswald said. “They really care about the building and want to see it preserved and continue as a museum. It’s just a part of everybody.”

Though there’s a $5,000 minimum offer, it’s not a decision that will be taken lightly.

“Commissioners Court has the right to refuse any and all bids, so we don’t want someone that’s gonna come in here and try to scrape the goods out of here and leave a shell,” Jackson said. “We hope that we have a buyer that comes in that has the intent to restore it and for everything to remain right here.”

A building on N Sycamore Street that holds over a century of treasures.

Historic one-of-a-kind items these long-time Archer County residents hope the new owners treasure as well.

Oswald said she’s already had close to 20 potential buyers contact her. She’s making sure, however, she knows their intent before an open house on Jan. 19.

Those interested are encouraged to fill out an intent form that you can find here.

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