Town in Washington Co. boasts state's oldest jail

A tiny central Georgia town boasts a piece of history that dates back 234 years ago.

In between Sparta and Sandersville sits Warthen.

It's a small town with a big yet humble claim to fame.

Ted Warthen is a friendly guy that pulled out a black and white photo.

"This was taken in the 1950s when they put that historical marker there," he said.

Warthen, whose relatives date back to the start of the town, says he heard the stories about the one room jail as a kid.

Now, he passes along the tales to anyone that drives up the dirt road. Believe it or not, that's a good many folks.

"I see two or three cars stop by here every day,” he said. “They can peek through the cracks in the old logs."

Former Vice President Aaron Burr had to cool his heels on the rough boards.

"They were taking him back to Richmond, Virginia, to be tried and [around dusk] they happened to be coming right through Warthen, so they stopped and asked my great-great grandfather what they needed to do,” said Warthen. “He killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel only a few months before they arrested him, but he wasn't arrested for killing Alexander Hamilton, he was arrested for treason."

So if you're ever along Highway 15, stop by.

They only ask for donations and an appreciation for days gone by.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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