Jailhouse B & B
NBC National News — A bed and breakfast in Parke County, Indiana is certainly a diamond in the rough.
Their motto is "you come as a guest, but you leave as a friend", but at this place, you're more like an inmate.
The Old Jail Inn is anything but ordinary.
The bed and breakfast is the renovated remains of Parke County's jail, which was in use from 1879 through 1998.
"It's not just staying at any bed and breakfast. It's an experience all the way through," says owner Debra Ackerman.
The building sat vacant until last year, when Ackerman tried to buy something in the basement.
"I only really wanted the door, but they wouldn't sell the door, so I had to buy the whole place," she says.
Ackerman quit her corporate job and spent four months renovating the space.
"My family, they thought I was crazy. Especially my grandkids because they told everyone their grandma was in jail," she says.
The former jail opened as a B&B last May.
"Inmates" at the Old Jail Inn stay in actual jail cells, complete with working bars.
There are nine rooms total.
The first floor cell block has five 7x7 cells.
Inmates share the bathroom - and the original shower the prisoners used.
"We have a lot of people that come here who worked here or had arrested someone here or a few who have been arrested" Ackerman says.
Upstairs, once murderers' row, is now home to two suites that are very private.
The doors are the same that were used to keep the murderers locked up.
Every inch of the inn is reminiscent of the original tenants, including bars on the windows and metal food trays.
Even the guest book isn't traditional - upon leaving, "inmates" sign the walls.
Guests have come from around the world to stay at the Old Jail Inn, even as far away as Norway and Japan.
The building itself dates back 141 years, and nothing inside of it - including tables, chairs and decorations - is new either.
"Nothing was bought in a store brand-new. Everything was reused and re-purposed, and we're really proud of that," said Ackerman.
With the first-year success of the B&B, Ackerman bought the property next door, and within just 30 days, turned it into the Old Jail Coffee House.
Earlier this year, there was another addition, but it wasn't exactly new.
"I've always loved this drunk tank. From the first time that I saw it I thought it was the craziest thing I'd ever seen. It has the tunnel to the courthouse. It's just an unusual crazy place to be," she says.
So they turned that drunk tank into what else - a winery.
And it's the only winery in Parke County.
They've also created their very own "Drunk Tank Wine" in addition to the other local varieties they sell.