BURLINGTON COUNTY PRISON PICTURES
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Remember, ghosts were people too!
Robert Mills (1781-1855) was born in Charleston , South Carolina to a well-established Scottish family that settled
there in 1770. One of six children, Mills was singled out early to follow a professional career and completed his classical
course of study at Charleston College in 1800. His interest in architecture was probably developed and influenced by his architect
uncle, Thomas Mills of Dundee , Scotland and his contact with the noted English architect James Hoban, who lived in Charleston
during Mills' college years. In fact, Mills began his formal training as a draftsman under Hoban who was then working
on the Capitol building in Washington , D.C.
In 1803 Mills drew
the attention of President Thomas Jefferson who asked him to assist in the design of Monticello , Jefferson's plantation
home in the foothills of Virginia 's Blue Ridge Mountains . He resided there for two years during which he developed a
very deep friendship with Jefferson . With letters of introduction from Hoban and Jefferson, Robert Mills began practice in
1805 under Benjamin Latrobe, the celebrated English-born architect responsible for, among other projects, the interiors of
the U. S. Capitol. Mills continued under Latrobe until 1808 when he struck out on his own in private practice.
During this period (1808-1830) Robert Mills married and
moved to Philadelphia , Baltimore , Charleston and finally settled in Washington , D.C. It was during his tenure in Philadelphia
that Mills was awarded the commission to design the Burlington County Prison that was constructed in 1810-11. The building
was one of Robert Mills' first designs as an independent architect and is a fine example of his ability to identify and
solve some of the most difficult structural, safety, and utilization issues of the day.
1836 President Andrew Jackson appointed Mills to the position of Federal Architect and Engineer. During his 16-year tenure
he played an essential role in this country's early development including directing the design and construction of the
U.S. Treasury Building, U.S. Patent Office, and the U.S. Post Office. He also designed numerous churches, houses, and monuments
along the eastern seaboard. Two of the most renowned are the Washington Monument in Baltimore and the National Monument in
Washington , D.C. The latter was an engineering accomplishment of international acclaim and the tallest single edifice in
the world at the time.
The original "GALLOWS where men were hung up until the 1960's!!!!
Joel Clough brutally stabbed his girlfriend to death with a knife. Sentenced
to death, he escaped from the prison but was quickly recaptured. He spent his final days in the death row
cell known as "the dungeon". Clough was hanged in 1833. Shortly after his death, guards
and inmates heard moaning and the sounds of rattling chains from the empty cell. They
also claimed to see apparitions and items levitating in the cell. During the restoration of the building
in 1999, workers reported strange events such as loud noises, voices, and quick temperature changes. Missing items turned
up in rooms the workers had not even entered. These and many other inexplicable events have drawn dozens
of paranormal and ghost research teams from across the county to the museum to investigate.
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