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An unlikely Oklahoma building added to the National Register of Historic Places

MANITOU, OKLAHOMA -- All the original buildings in town, the old grocery stores, the banks, and depots, even the people who might remember them outside these pictures, they're all gone.

This little wide spot in Tillman County does have one original building left though.

Longtime resident Gail Patterson found time to give us a tour one January afternoon.

"Yes. This is the one building left standing," she says entering a low doorway. "There's not much to show."

Built in 1922, the old Town Jail stands as a bomb proof bunker against the sweeping prairie winds of history.

"It's been our landmark for many years," says Patterson.

Gail insists this really is her town's most famous, most historic structure.

"I see a lot of people stop from off the highway and take pictures," she says.

But one day Gail's grand-daughter happened to mention this old 'hoosegow' at a Historical Society meeting.

The next thing you know it was a candidate for a place on the National Register of Historic Places.

"It was back in the Spring," recalls Gail.

The official announcement came just after Christmas.

The first jail in the state to make the Register was this place, unused for decades, without ornate columns or fashionable interior, but important in its own right.

"What was your reaction," asks a jail visitor?

"Yay," laughs Patterson, "Because this is something everybody has talked about but it was just never completed."

The mud daubers and house spiders come and go freely.

A story circulates that a town marshal put too many men in here one night and one of them never made it out.

No one is left to corroborate or to deny.

No one can find anyone who ever spent a night here either.

All that's left is this 'stoney lonesome' to represent all the others, a famous jail now likely to stand for generations to come.

Four Oklahoma buildings made it on the latest list of historic structures.

The other three are the Civic Center and Medical Arts buildings in Oklahoma City, and the Henry C. Hatashita Home in Ponca City.