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Pottawattamie County Squirrel Cage Jail and Museum

226 Pearl St, Council Bluffs, IA 51503-0825
+1 712-323-2509
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Review Highlights
Interesting Oddity

A step back to a time and place where prisoners took their weekly cold-water shower with their... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
JackInBrooklyn
,
Brooklyn, New York
via mobile
History museum

The tour guide is very helpful and knowledgeable. They have a lot of interesting stories to tell... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
deniceharris2
,
Council Bluffs, Iowa
Read all 109 reviews
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Overview
  • Excellent48%
  • Very good33%
  • Average15%
  • Poor3%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
Closed
Hours
Hours Today: Closed
LOCATION
226 Pearl St, Council Bluffs, IA 51503-0825
CONTACT
Website
+1 712-323-2509
Write a ReviewReviews (109)
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All reviews
"solitary confinement cell"
in 5 reviews
"three story"
in 4 reviews
"interesting piece of history"
in 3 reviews
"horror movie"
in 2 reviews
"ghost stories"
in 2 reviews
"newspaper articles"
in 2 reviews
"great history"
in 2 reviews
"the union pacific railroad"
in 2 reviews
"on display"
in 2 reviews
"prisoners"
in 17 reviews
"squirrels"
in 30 reviews
"dolls"
in 21 reviews
"engineering"
in 5 reviews
"omaha"
in 4 reviews
"cb"
in 3 reviews
"volunteers"
in 2 reviews
"admission"
in 2 reviews
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1 - 10 of 109 reviews

Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

A step back to a time and place where prisoners took their weekly cold-water shower with their clothes on so it would double as laundry day. This place is a bit gruesome and bleak, but surely interesting and unusual. Check it out, if you're in...More

Thank JackInBrooklyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The tour guide is very helpful and knowledgeable. They have a lot of interesting stories to tell you about the inmates and how they would try to injure themselves in order to get out of the jail just to go to the hospital.

Thank deniceharris2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2018

we were looking for a short day trip around Omaha and we ran across this historic jail it was very usual and creepy,looks like something out of a horror movie,it didnt take long to view and the tour guide was very informative,the jail was round...More

1  Thank kimk3456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 April 2018 via mobile

I have seen another jail like this in Indiana. Fascinating! So I wanted to see this one on my loop through Iowa. It was supposed to be open.(Right day-Right time)but it was closed. It was on my “must see” list too.

Thank lveach19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2018

Pottawattamie County Squirrel Cage Jail and Museum, and the UP Museum made our visit to Council Bluffs much more fun than if we just stayed in the Mid-America convention center all day. What an amazing gem of American history. Now I have to visit the...More

Thank David D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2018 via mobile

I was amazed to see such innovative engineering for a jail built in the 1800s. The inmates were jailed here under deplorable conditions, and surprise, they didn’t close it until the 1970s. What an interesting artifact of history. Unbelievable!

Thank Bilsano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2018

I had never heard of a squirrel cage jail until today. What is housed inside of this building is interesting, to say the least. We were on a guided tour, but our guide didn't seem to know many of the answers to our questions. Since...More

Thank homewardbound14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2017

This one of a kind rotating jail, built in 1885, is an engineering feat. The volunteers are so knowledgeable and the tour was interesting, entertaining, and informative. I thought we would "run through" but we spent 90 minutes there reading the newspaper articles about inmates...More

Thank EnjoyedVisit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2017 via mobile

Excellent tour guide, Doug, a volunteer. Unique, three story, rotating jail built in 1885 and closed in 1969. Impressive how they figured out to build that in the 1800s. Take the tour, read the articles on display, and learn something!

Thank LaNette H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2017

This 1885 3-story rotating jail remains today as a one-of-a-kind design, much like a lazy susan. The idea was to be able to see whose in the cells without having to walk the beat, reducing manpower costs. The Solitary Confinement cell is a mere 6...More

Thank Pierre S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Questions & Answers
troundtree
7 November 2016|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from MilesL44 | Reviewed this property |
No, not any more
2
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Pat O
18 August 2016|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from tab1956 | Reviewed this property |
From their website Squirrel Cage" Rotary Cell Jail Museum 226 Pearl Street Council Bluffs, Iowa Hours: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 11-4 No appointment necessary. For groups larger than 15 phone/e-mail in... More
0
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18 May 2016|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Linda B | Reviewed this property |
See next person down.
0
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