Restoring The Jail House Rock

Fran Riley Feature


DELMAR, Iowa (KWQC) – Call it the calaboose. The slammer. The Clinton County landmark where John Pischke is restoring the jail house rock.

Pischke is a limestone restoration mason. A brilliant craftsman!

These days, his pet project is to restore the original look to the calaboose. The jail was built in 1878.

Using a number of tools, John cuts, chips, scrapes and mixes. There are only three known buildings like the calaboose in the United States.

Inside, you’ll see the original windows, stove, and chairs. The jail walls are at least eighteen inches thick.

John’s mission is to make sure that he restores the building to historic specifications. Pischke has been involved in many historic restoration projects! He says each is different and has its own set of challenges.

Ruth Wilson from the Clinton County Historic Preservation Commission says a century ago, the railroad ran through Delmar. When railroad workers got rowdy, or had too much to drink, they were put in the pokey.

Wilson is thrilled that a piece of Clinton County history is not being put out to pasture. Instead, it is getting a through restoration. Thanks to John Pischke.
The artist who specializes in Old World Craftsmanship!

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