1815 Jail Street. Ontario County Historical Society photo.
[Scanned from Cindy L. Allen-Tucceri's history.]

1961 Board of Supervisors' historical summary
for the then
New Onartio County Jail & Sheriff's Office

Page 2 of 9
Part of the old jail building which is soon to be demolished was built in 1815 (on your inspection tour you will notice that the placque from this old building has been carefully preserved and given a place of honor in the new jail).

The 1815 building served the County well for many years with few structural changes. Shortly before the turn of the century some extensive changes and additions were made including the construction of the present Sheriff's residence at the front of the building.

The above image of the then new jail and sheriff's office graced the front page of the printed program published by the Board of Supervisors on the occasion of the facility's opening for public inspection October, 1961.

That printed program included a page summarizing county jail history up to that point. The text from that printed page is reproduced on this web page.

The remodeled jail was adequate and satisfactory for another half century but as time went on and population (and crime) continued to increase it became evident that a new modern jail was going to be a necessity.

As early as 1947 a far-sighted Board of Supervisors put $50,000 in the County Budget to start a "Jail Building Fund." The practice was continued from then on, not always as much as $50,000 but each year a substantial amount was added to the fund. As a result, when plans for the new jail were started, money was on hand and no bond issue or other indebtedness was required and no large increase in the tax rate necessary.

Ontario County Courthouse.
Photo by J.G. Murray "Scotty" Ross
Ontario County, situated 8 miles from Rochester in the heart of upstate NY, includes 2 cities, 16 towns, 9 villages, 2 colleges, and 17 school districts.

The county seat was founded in 1789 within the historic City of Canandaigua. There a 21-member Board of Supervisors oversees services to some 100,000 residents.

For more on Ontario County government, visit its web site at www.co.ontario.ny.us

During the spring of 1960 the members of the Planning and Building Committee and the Sheriff Committee made many trips to inspect new jails and prisons in other parts of the State. These committees did a great deal of study and research to plan a new jail for our County.

In April of 1960 Robert Arthur Jones of Canandaigua and John Y. Critchley of Auburn were engaged as Associate Architects to draw plans. By August the plans had been completed and approved by the Board of Supervisors and the New York State Correction Commission.

Bids for construction were solicited. The successful bidders were:

Iverson Construction Corp.GorhamGeneral Construction
Haughton Elevator Co.BuffaloElevator
Stewart Iron WorksCovington, Kyjail equipment
Cable-Wiedemer, Inc.Rochesterkitchen equipment
Richard Miles Co.Rochesterlaundry equipment
A. Burgart, Inc.Rochesterplumbing
Finger Lakes Plumbing & Heating Co. Inc.Genevaheating & ventilating
Blake Eleutric Co. Inc.Genevaelectrical work

The contracts were let and Mr. Carleton B. Ganss of East Bloonifield, a former Supervisor was hired as "Clerk of the Works" to act as liaison between the Supervisors and the several contractors and to see that all contracts were executed according to specifications and time schedules.

The Ontario County Historical Society was founded in Canandaigua by Ontario County Times editor Charles Miliken in the late 1800s.

It promotes the county's history through historical collections, exhibits, programs, research opportunities, and a web site at www.ochs.org

Given that Ontario once took in virtually all western NY and that 14 counties can trace their lineages to it, its history is vast, rich and diverse. In its early days the county's northern boundary touched Lake Ontario -- thus its name.

Basic construction contracts totaled $475,889. In addition to this were the necessary architect's fees and the cost of furniture, office equipment and other incidentals. While it is yet too early to give an accurate figure on the final overall cost, it is believed that the final figure will be about $530,000.

This will include tearing down the old jail and remodeling the Sheriff's residence, as well as grading, black-topping, landscaping, etc. The demolition of the old jail will begin shortly -- as soon as the prisoners are transferred to the new building.

Our new jail is of the most modern type of construction, with the finest available equipment, giving the greatest possible security.

Your Supervisors believe that the prisoner capacity (66 cells, 2 detention cells, 2 juvenile rooms) is large enough to care for the needs of the County for many years to come.

Planning & Building Committee Sheriff Committee
Arthur A. Arms, chairman (1960);
Jack C. Frederickson, chairman (1961);
James F. Ninestein, Sidney W. Thomas
Earl Mastin, chairman;
Walter E. Neenan,
Carl H. Clement (1960)
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