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The old Cole County Jail occupied the corner of East McCarty and Monroe streets for 140 years and was recognized as one of the oldest remaining jailhouses west of the Mississippi River. When it was built in 1842, Jefferson City was only 17 years old. Its demise in 1982 caused a shock wave of stunned disbelief and disappointment among residents who, to this day, are saddened by its loss.

A lesson learned from this ordeal was that the preservationists needed some organizational structure. So, in 1983, out of the rubble of the old historic County Jail, the Historic City of Jefferson was born. With public awareness and education, it is no longer presumed "new is better," and in fact, historic preservation and economic development can co-exist and complement one another.

Today, HCJ is the largest preservation group in mid-Missouri, with over 400 individuals and a number of local businesses as members. 

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Dedicated to Preservation

HCJ employes two staff: one full-time Executive Director and one part-time administrator. 

The HCJ Board of Directors is comprised of 15 HCJ members who serve a two-year term. Elections are held each January. Please contact HCJ if you are interested in serving on the Board of Directors.

The Executive Committee is comprised of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, & Secretary.

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Donna Deetz has been a member of HCJ for over 20 years. Before serving as President she served on a number of committees. She led the rehab of the Caretaker's Cottage at the National Cemetary and has been the force behind establishing HCJ's Architectural Salvage Program.

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Vice President

A longtime member of HCJ, Holly is a local developer with a passion for historic homes. Holly's technical knowledge of historic rehabs has been priceless to HCJ over the years. In addition, Holly is an advocate for the arts and serves as Vice President of the Capital Arts Gallery.




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