What would you do with this historic home complete with its own functional jail?

Kids driving you crazy during these final dog days of summer? Perhaps a historic home complete with its own functional jail is just the ticket for motivating some good behavior.

That might be one pro potential buyers of the former Howard County jail and adjoining residence in Fayette, Missouri, are factoring into their decision.

The $350,000 listing, which has been on the market for five days, has gained significant attention on Facebook and Twitter, prompting much speculation about all the potential uses the unique property could accommodate.

Twitter user Zach Jurgensen asked, “Wanna play D&D?”

“I was thinking ‘SEX DUNGEON!’ but sadly nooooo….” Twitter user Haley boldly proposed.

Others, however, thought it best to capitalize on the listing’s proximity to a local winery.

“Wow. You could hook up with the winery and run the most fun BnB out of there …” said Twitter user Rachelle Wise.

“I’m seeing full on basement brewing opportunities,” Twitter user el Jefé said. “A little more remodeling … I mean base plumbing is there. Would be amazing for fermenting & cellaring.”

Justin Radel | House of Brokers Realty

In fact, the current sellers used the property as both a rental and an Airbnb at different times, renting out the residence and jail as one package. The idea seems to be a popular one, as co-listing agent Justin Radel of House of Brokers Realty, who is listing the property with his father, Jeff Radel, said potential buyers of the property have noted similar ideas.

“I’ve had a number of inquiries on the property,” Radel told Inman. “A couple people mentioning possibly running a business out of here. I would say the main interest that has been expressed is kind of running it as a destination Airbnb-type rental.”

The property, which was constructed in 1875, still functioned as a jail as late as the early 2000s when Howard County determined to construct a new jail, according to the Howard County Sheriff’s Office. The last sheriff who occupied the residence was Randy Yaeger, who lived there until 1991.

From the street, the home looks fairly unassuming, aside from the “notable historic property” marker beside the front stoop. However, what may look like a pantry door located next to the kitchen counter yields to a fortified entrance to the nine-cell, half-bath jailhouse.

The residence portion of the property is 2,465 square feet and has three levels of living space that includes two bedrooms and 1.5 baths. The jail area is 2,500 square feet, and includes a booking room, in addition to the cells and half bath. “The cell door lock throws appear to be operational,” the listing notes.

Although the attention the home has received on social media hasn’t been insignificant — Radel said it’s received hundreds of thousands of mentions on Facebook and Twitter — Radel also said this type of combination jailhouse/residence property isn’t that uncommon for the region.

“For the most part, people realize that it’s just a very unique property that’s for sale, but in the grand scheme of things, this is probably a pretty common jailhouse setup for towns across the Midwest,” Radel said.

Given the amount of attention it’s received so far, Radel thinks the right buyer for the property will come along soon enough.

“I think with the right buyer, they’ll come along,” he said. “But it will take a somewhat special person to take on the project.”

Email Lillian Dickerson

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