I was taken on a tour of what was the first New Tazewell Jail, believed to be around 100 years old or older.  It is located behind the New Tazewell Meeing Hall across the street from Duncan Lumber Company.  Charles “Buddy” Duncan took me on the tour and described it as follows.  The first room was probably where the jailor sat because of an opening for a chimney flew and in the back what looks to be where a water pipe ran in and a hand pump was installed.  It had only one large cell with a comode and sink.  He said that he had electricity run to the building but that vandals had destroyed all the bulbs and fixtures.  Also picutred is what I remember as being a Gulf Service Station run by Charlie Shell in what was called “Little Mexico”, anything across the railroad tracks was refered as that back in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  You can also see the reminenents of Dwight Englands Standard Oil Company, the Esso Distributorship and a built in safe.  I think that Buddy said it was built by the Chittum Stone masons.  Would love to hear anyone who knows anything more about any of these buildings or stories of “Little Mexico”.  I was given a clipping (below) from the Knoxville News Sentinel dated March 20, 1938 regarding the building of a jail in New Tazewell by Squire C.C. (Clarence Payne a first cousin to my father Al Payne) which may be the same jail featured here. 

Dana Love has sent four more pictures of the old New Tazewell Jail which I have added to the bottom of this page. Thanks Dana.


Joe Payne













A close up of a newspaper

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