Did you know that Northeast Iowa is home to a historic jail house that has been transformed into a unique inn?

Trenton McDonough Photography
Trenton McDonough Photography

The Elkader Jail House Inn was built back in 1870 as the Clayton County Jail. According to a 2020 article from WHO 13, the 5,000+ square foot limestone mansion housed prisoners until a new jail was built in the 1980s. The county no longer had any use for the building, so it was set to be torn down in 2006. That's when Julie Carlisle-Kane and Tim Kane stepped in. They bought the former jail for a whopping $200, and then went to work fixing it up! The Elkader Jail House Inn's official website reads:

"The Jail was in serious disrepair, not to mention the the nasty smell! Julie and Tim spared no expense to renovate the Jail House to well surpass its former glory, adding beautiful suites, luxurious bathrooms, a gourmet kitchen and unique cell block living room."

In 2020, Julie and Tim decided to sell the inn to new owners. It is now run by Nicholas Spohn and Penn Nobis, who refer to themselves as "the wardens."

The Elkader Jail House Inn has four suites that are available to book. The Master Suite and the Botanical Suite can accommodate two guests, the Harstad Suite can hold four, and the Emma Big Bear Suite hosts up to six. You also have the option to book the entire inn, which can house up to 20 people. If you choose to do that, some of the guests have the option to sleep in bunk beds in the jail cells! Here are a few photos of the interior:

The Elkader Jail House Inn

Did you know that Eastern Iowa is home to an inn that used to be a jail? Take a peek inside the Elkader Jail House Inn!

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

If you're interested in booking a stay at the historic Elkader Jail House Inn, you can visit the official website HERE.

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Gallery Credit: Courtlin

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