The Jail Ruins and the Iron Cell
The Jail Ruins and the Iron Cell standing in a wide open field create an interesting image
for artists and photographers alike, although its early inmates may have held a different, less
artistic view. The structure was built in 1852 at a cost of $16,000. The thick stone walls,
double iron bars on the windows, and presence of a jailor made the place quite escape proof. The
jail served El Dorado County until 1862 when it was sold to its former jailer, John Tensher, for
building material. He was most likely responsible for creating the partially wrecked ruins upon
which kids now scamper where once criminals skulked.