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Living in the Lockup

Rosemary and Ron Rhoden spend a lot of time in jail, but they don't have criminal records. They converted the old Morton County Jail in Mandan, N.D., into a home for them and their family.

Preserving History
The jail was built in 1915 and was originally split into quarters for the sheriff and a jail. The Rhodens have kept two of the cells along with artifacts such as handcuffs. But even though they've worked to preserve the history of the former hoosegow, they've also managed to convert the 8,000-square-foot home into a comfortable living space. Their bedroom is very secure as it used to be a designated bomb shelter. The Rhodens are proud to have preserved a piece of the town’s history and their neighbors appreciate their work.

Pastel Dining Room
Pretty swanky for a jailhouse mess hall, eh? The Rhodens decorated the dining room and other areas using a lot of pastels to lighten the feel of the building.

Elegant Entryway
Ron added a touch of elegance to the entryway by piping plaster out of a pastry bag to create designs on the wall. When it dried he covered it with gold leaf and added a mural.

Original Character
Upstairs the old jail retains more of its original character with concrete floors, iron stairs and mementos from the past. Besides the guest rooms the upper floor retains two jail cells and a collection of signs, handcuffs, keys and other law enforcement artifacts.

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