Davenport Jail

Step back in time and visit the 1914 two-room county jailhouse in Davenport, California. The Davenport Jail will be open Sep 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 12–3pm and various Saturdays through spring 2023 with the installation, The Writing on the Wall by Hank Willis Thomas & Dr. Baz Dreisinger.

A collaborative installation made from letters, poems, notes, and stories written by incarcerated people and displayed in and around a historic jail-turned-museum as a form of verbal and visual intrusion. Co-presented with the Institute of the Arts and Sciences at UCSC.

A Reminder of Rowdier Times

Step back in time and visit the 1914 two-room county jailhouse in Davenport, California.

One of the MAH's two offsite locations the Davenport Jail is now a small museum that is free and open some Saturdays in the fall-spring. Located in the old whaling village of Davenport, it is a small reminder of rowdier times. It was decommissioned in 1936. We recommend swinging by the Jail on your next day trip to Davenport or on your way up Highway 1 to read its full history.

70 Center Street
Davenport, CA 95017

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Thanks to an exciting partnership with The Humanities Institute (THI) at UC Santa Cruz the Davenport Jail Museum will now be opened and activated every Saturday.

The Humanities Institute

What is THI?

The Humanities Institute is a hub for new directions in research and teaching, cross-discipline collaboration, and public engagement at UC Santa Cruz. Their work focuses on engaging the public, incubating research, cultivating critical thinkers, and rethinking graduate education.

THI and the MAH have selected two Undergraduate Public Fellows from UCSC to serve as Assistant Curators at the Davenport Jail and will be working closely with Archives & Collections Catalyst, Marla Novo, and History and Ph.D. graduate student, Wyatt Young, from the UC Santa Cruz History Department.

THI’s Public Fellowships connect academic scholarship in the Humanities to work in the community.

More Local History

See what's on now at the MAH in Downtown Santa Cruz.