The front of the building in Montague, California, that once was City Hall and the jail (and formerly a bank). Old Prisons photo by Claudia Elliott


131 S. 10th Street, Montague, California (identified as Montague History Center, next to the fire department)

Built around 1906, this building originally housed the Hudson Bank, then the Montague Banking Company. When the bank went bankrupt during the Great Depression (1933), the building became City Hall and was also used as a Fire Hall and library, with a jail added on to the back of the building. Later a new City Hall and library was built a few blocks away. Located in Siskiyou County, Montague is about six miles east of Interstate-5. Pioneers made their way through the area by wagon in the 1850s, and the community became a major Northern California thoroughfare with completion of the Oregon and California Railroad in 1887. The building has been empty since about 2005. Volunteers who operate the nearby Montague Railroad Depot Museum (230 S.11th St. Montague) have keys and sometimes allow tours through the building.

More information: Montague Railroad Depot Museum or (530) 355-8252

Related: On California’s Highway 3, tiny Montague was once a bustling frontier town; an old jail is just one of its attractions