Exploring a “Jail” at Seligman AZ

On the way to see the South Rim of the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas, our bus tour stopped for lunch at the small town of Seligman, Arizona (link to Goolge Maps). Disney fans may recognize Seligman as the inspiration behind the town in the movie ‘Cars’.

My first impression, as I alighted from the bus, was that I’d landed in a post-apocalyptic town. Apart from the bakery/restaurant, a gas station and a few buildings across the street, there wasn’t a man or woman, a car or a house in sight. As any modern human being with a mobile phone and internet would do, I Googled the population of Seligman. Not surprisingly, the population of Seligman as of 2017, was only 471. For a moment, I wondered what it would be like to live in such a small town. Would I enjoy the close-knit community or go insane from boredom…

Seligman Depot at Seligman, Arizona

My hypothetical musings were interrupted by the tour guide shouting that we had 20 minutes at the stop. Tired and hungry from the bus ride, I made my way straight to the bakery to get myself some cake, which the tour guide had praised as award-winning. As I was one of the first ones in line, I bought my cake pretty quickly and still had 15 mins left to explore my surroundings.

Seligman Depot

Fake Storefronts at the Seligman Depot in Arizona

I stashed the scrumptious-looking generous slice of the Black Forest cake in my backpack to have later on the bus and crossed the street to check out the vintage-looking buildings. To my surprise, as I got closer, the buildings were just storefronts and not actual stores…

There were 5 storefronts in total. There was a Livery, a “Tonsorial Parlor” which is a complicated way of saying “a Barbershop”, a hotel, a gun shop, and a Wells Fargo Store. I had no idea what a Livery meant. A kind reader and friend on Instagram informed me that a Livery would board horses for owners but they also had horses for ‘rent.’ After the invention of cars, these stores, as expected, went out of use. Thank you to Nancy for giving me a brief lesson in American History.

Model of a 1860’s territorial jail at Seligman Depot, Arizona

A Territorial Jail

These storefronts were definitely interesting but what caught my attention immediately was the small wooden cabin with the words “JAIL” written in bold letters. On entering the Jail, I found there was just one jailcell with a single grubby bed. The door to the Jail cell was open. So, of course, I had to go in and take some crazy shots and indulge in my usual shenanigans. Here’s the proof of my silly behavior. Maybe I should’ve opted for a more somber expression for a more realistic effect, but it was hard to control my laughter.

Shenanigans inside the jail cell
A cage used to transport prisoners.

Once I got out of Jail, I stopped to read the signboard outside. The signboard detailed the “History” of the place. It said,

At one time, this 1860 Territorial Jail, held such notorious outlaws like Seligman Sam, Three Finger Jack, James Younger and many more. In 1866, four Indians escaped by tunneling from this small cell to the OK Saloon. Four days later, they were dead after a shoot out with Marshal Carl, ‘Curly’, Bane.

In my opinion, it read like a plot from an Old Western and I wasn’t wrong. Wikipedia informed me that the jail and the stores of Seligman Depot are not historical buildings but were put there to attract tourists by the RoadKill Cafe owners. What a great way to educate and have fun at the same time! Don’t you agree?

RoadKill Cafe

The Seligman Depot and the jail are created by the Roadkill Cafe owners as a tourist attraction

Speaking of the RoadKill Cafe, you can find the restaurant right beside the jail cell and the Seligman Depot. This has a funny story to it. As we neared the lunch stop, the tour guide on our bus joked that the Roadkill Cafe served actual roadkill. Their specialty was raccoon soup. The joke went right over my head. In my defense, our tour guide was pretty bad at jokes. All along the journey, she cracked many jokes and hardly got any laughs. Anyway, I didn’t recognize this as one of her jokes and thought this was actually true.

I didn’t have time to check out the Roadkill Cafe as the stop at the Seligman Depot was just 20 minutes long. After I returned home, I posted on my picture on Instagram telling my readers that the cafe actually served roadkill. How I wish I had done some research before posting this information… To my embarrassment, the son of the owner of Roadkill Cafe happened to read my post. He informed me that the cafe didn’t actually serve roadkill but the standard American fare. The items on the menu were given funny names just as a gimmick! I immediately updated my Instagram post to correct my mistake. You can see my conversation with the owner’s son here.

So, if you visit Seligman Depot on the way to the Grand Canyon, I would recommend you check out the Seligman Depot and the Roadkill Cafe. I, for one, owe it to the Roadkill Cafe owners to make a stop there, the next time I visit. For people who are curious about the Grand Canyon tour I took from Las Vegas, here’s a link to the bus tour. The tour is long (approx. 12 hrs) but a worthwhile day trip to take from Las Vegas.

Love this post? Share on social media or save this pin on Pinterest to read later.

Check out the Seligman Depot, the territorial jail and the Roadkill Cafe at Seligman, AZ

Affiliate Link Disclosure

Some links in this post may be affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you click through to make a purchase at no cost to you.

Recent Posts

Review of a tour from Las Vegas to Antelope Canyon (Canyon X)

My first introduction to the Antelope Canyon was a Windows Desktop wallpaper that came prepackaged with the operating system. Every…

February 3, 2020

What to see in Paris

Paris is a city where you can spend a whole year and still not run out of things to do…

November 26, 2019

Where to buy the Japan Rail Pass

If you are visiting Japan for the first time, "riding the bullet train" will probably be on your must-do list.…

November 12, 2019

Top Toronto Shopping Areas – What to Buy And Where To Eat

If you are an avid shopper like me, you'll love the Toronto shopping scene. It's diverse and caters to all…

September 25, 2019

7 reasons why ICONSIAM is THE best shopping mall in Bangkok

Bangkok is a shopaholic's paradise. The shopping opportunities are endless.. you can shop at big malls such as MBK, Terminal…

July 15, 2019

Thailand Holidays : 15 Best Places To Visit In Thailand

The thought of Thailand holidays brings up images of pristine beaches, beautiful temples, and delicious food. You're truly spoilt for…

June 21, 2019

We use cookies. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.