We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Pottawattamie County Squirrel Cage Jail and Museum

226 Pearl St, Council Bluffs, IA 51503
+1 712-323-2509
Review Highlights
Must visit

Excellent tour guide, Doug, a volunteer. Unique, three story, rotating jail built in 1885 and... read more

Reviewed yesterday
LaNette H
Kansas City, Missouri
via mobile

This 1885 3-story rotating jail remains today as a one-of-a-kind design, much like a lazy susan... read more

Reviewed 18 September 2017
Pierre S
Topeka, Kansas
Read all 101 reviews
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
  • Excellent47%
  • Very good34%
  • Average15%
  • Poor3%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
All hours
Hours Today: Closed
226 Pearl St, Council Bluffs, IA 51503
Write a Review
Reviews (101)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

1 - 10 of 101 reviews

Reviewed yesterday via mobile

Excellent tour guide, Doug, a volunteer. Unique, three story, rotating jail built in 1885 and closed in 1969. Impressive how they figured out to build that in the 1800s. Take the tour, read the articles on display, and learn something!

Thank LaNette H
Reviewed 18 September 2017

This 1885 3-story rotating jail remains today as a one-of-a-kind design, much like a lazy susan. The idea was to be able to see whose in the cells without having to walk the beat, reducing manpower costs. The Solitary Confinement cell is a mere 6...More

Thank Pierre S
Reviewed 9 September 2017 via mobile

Engineer's will love this lockup. Cylindrical rotating design of cells. 100 years of history. Worth an hour of your time after lunch at Duncan cafe.

Thank SnowAvoiderSalem_VA
Reviewed 25 August 2017 via mobile

One of the only spinning jails left in the country. Very interesting to see the design and technology! Our kids, ages 5-11, also enjoyed it.

Thank Julie C
Reviewed 9 August 2017

This is a must see as is a round jail with a great history of earlier times. I've taken many out of town friends there and love seeing it over & over.

Thank bigjim48921
Reviewed 3 August 2017

First I must say even if you are not a history buff, or even interested in historical sites you should still visit this place. It is unreal what we used to use as a jail, and seeing it live in person is just incredible. I...More

Thank Bobby A
Reviewed 11 July 2017

Closed in 1964. Escape proof but no doors on the pie shaped cells. A Must see piece of history. Only 2 or 3 left in the United States. Don't miss it.

Thank David C
Reviewed 5 July 2017

My son and I had some time to kill after visiting the Union Pacific Railroad Museum, so we decided to take a tour of the Squirrel Cage Jail. Overall, it was an interesting albeit somewhat disorganized tour. We entered to find 1 guide who said...More

Thank DelawareCitygirl
Reviewed 23 May 2017 via mobile

I work beside it and it never looks like it's open. Never busy during the week. Please call and look up to see when they are open.

Thank 793merric
Reviewed 2 April 2017 via mobile

I stopped here on a road trip with my 12 year old grandson. We both found it fascinating for the first 30-40 minutes, but then the tour began feeling too long. We left the tour at the one hour mark, unfortunately before we heard any...More

1  Thank intrepidgram
Nearby Restaurants
Dixie Quicks
292 reviews
.74 km away
Duncan's Cafe
96 reviews
.15 km away
Primo's Mexican Restaurant
42 reviews
.57 km away
LPL's Restaurant & Pub
19 reviews
1.44 km away
Nearby Attractions
Union Pacific Railroad Museum
235 reviews
.07 km away
Historic General Dodge House
67 reviews
.47 km away
Kanesville Tabernacle
23 reviews
1.11 km away
Ask a question
Questions & Answers
7 November 2016|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from MilesL44 | Reviewed this property |
No, not any more
Pat O
18 August 2016|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from tab1956 | Reviewed this property |
From their website Squirrel Cage" Rotary Cell Jail Museum 226 Pearl Street Council Bluffs, Iowa Hours: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 11-4 No appointment necessary. For groups larger than 15 phone/e-mail in... More
19 May 2016|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Linda B | Reviewed this property |
See next person down.