Construction uncovers structure from 1800's

The "work house" was built around 1875.

Crews excavating a site behind the Union Hotel at the Jefferson Landing State Historic Site uncovered groundwork from a structure dating back to the 1800's.

"[It] is essentially what used to be called the 'work house,' or ultimately became known as the jail. And so it was built in 1875 and was in operation from about 1875 until it was torn down in 1918," David Bange, city engineer for Jefferson City, said.

"During the day they'd be out basically with a hammer busting rocks for future road projects."

Bange said they knew the structure once stood there because of an archaeological review of the site, but once excavation began they found more than they expected.

He added that the site is a glimpse into the early history of Jefferson City.

"Certainly this building is one aspect of that time," Bange said.

"There are some other elements that are around that we've found...some old street curbing that we've found farther down on the project. Somewhere in the area there was also a burial site for some victims of cholera that came down on a steamship on the river, but we're imagining that that was a little farther up [the river]."

The site will eventually be paved over to make room for more parking at the Amtrak Station.

"Right now there's very limited parking for the people using the train and so that's what this area is going to be and then behind us some more pedestrian accomodations and bicycle accomodations for folks that are trying to travel using the train," Bange said.

Some of the foundation stones will have to be removed, but most of the back wall will remain intact.

The foundation stones that will have to be removed have already been documented and recorded.