Old Jail, San Juan Bautista Pepper Trees and Famous Chickens
THE JAIL at old San Juan de Castro was an adobe structure. After a mill was established near the redwoods that grew in the Chittenden area, a wood jail was built "to detain the criminal element from as far away as twenty miles." As the population of the San Juan dwindled in the early 1870's from over 2,638 to less than 400, the jail became "just an overnight spot to let the men dry out until morning." California Pepper trees of magnificent stature are pictured in many photos as are the many dedicated community leaders who have served as lawmen. Chickens kept at the State Park are a different variety from the fighting chicken variety roaming throughout the town since the 1970's. The jail is a replica, but the trees and chickens are our own originals.