On its dark and dusty streets, Arcadia’s saloons and gambling halls were open 24 hours a day for the gaming crowds, and drunkenness, gambling and revelry were out of proportion to the size of the city. In no time, the marshal’s salary was increased from $1 a year to $65 a month because of his work-load. He was given the directive to appoint as many deputies as necessary for the preservation of order in the city. It must have been “pay your fine and get out of town,” for there was no jail in Arcadia at this time.
This changed when Baldwin sold the city a parcel of land on Santa Clara Street for $1,000 for a city jail site. In 1907 the city built a jail at 125 E. Santa Clara Street for $1,636.00 plus $80 for fittings. Built of stone blocks, it contained two cells and offices for the marshal and city recorder. It is said that the prisoners were put to work helping to grade the city streets. In time, the city jail was located in the 1918 City Hall. The Santa Clara jail was destroyed in 1963.
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Carol Libby & Karen Hou
Arcadia Historical Society