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      Hanging around the Berrien Co. jail

      The Old Berrien County Jail is a major tourist attraction today but sightseeing and tours weren TMt always on the agenda. Before the jail was even finished being built they had a hanging.

      The first one was in 1902. That particular hanging took place prior to the jail being completed because the gallows, a portion of it had been finished so they went ahead and had that hanging, said said Brian Shaw, a volunteer with the Berrien Historical Foundation.

      Another hanging was in 1900. Shortly after those two hangings the state took over capital punishment and the jail was used for petty offenses like gambling, illegal liquor manufacturing, break-ins and domestic problems.

      After a few renovations, the jail is now home to the public defender TMs office.