Yavapai College - Newsletter 1

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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : features : people, places & past August 19, 2014


11/30/2011 8:26:00 AM
Historic Old Town Jail set for renovation
Built in 1929 as hoosegow for prohibition bootleggers
VVN/Philip WrightBuilt in 1929 by Yavapai County as a county jail, the Old Town Jail is now the visitor center for the Old Town Association.
VVN/Philip Wright

Built in 1929 by Yavapai County as a county jail, the Old Town Jail is now the visitor center for the Old Town Association.
VVN/Philip WrightThe Historic Old Town Jail building at 1101 N. Main St. in Cottonwood now serves as the Visitor Center for the Old Town Association.
VVN/Philip Wright

The Historic Old Town Jail building at 1101 N. Main St. in Cottonwood now serves as the Visitor Center for the Old Town Association.

Philip Wright
Staff Reporter


Nowadays, Old Town Cottonwood is rapidly becoming a well-known destination for visitors to the Verde Valley. Most days, evenings and weekends will find locals and tourists sipping wine in Old Town's several wine-tasting rooms, eating in the district's fine restaurants and shopping in the many unique stores.

Back during prohibition, Old Town - which, in those days was Cottonwood's primary business district - was a bustling area. Problem was, part of the bustle was the distilling and sale of bootleg whiskey. The Old Town Jail was built in 1929 because of the rising crime rate and the thriving bootleg trade.

In fact, according to a story by the Sedona Verde Valley Tourism Council at www.sedonaverdevalley.org, the Old Town district has "so much Prohibition Era flavor that the whole district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places."

Another story on the 11th Thunder Valley Rally at cottonwoodaz.gov says that Cottonwood's bootleg whiskey was considered the best for hundreds of miles and attracted people from as far away as Los Angeles and Phoenix.


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