Friends of the Llano Red Top Jail

Special announcement

The Red Top Jail is now officially owned by the Friends of the Llano Red Top Jail. We took possession in 2015 from the City of Llano to oversee the restoration of this Historic Jail

The restoration work is well underway and the fondation repairs should compleated by spring of this year. the work is being done by Donny Hopson Construction and Capital Foundations in Austin TX

Visible from the historic Inks Bridge spanning the Llano River, the Llano Red Top Jail is an imposing Romanesque Revival structure. During the iron ore boom town era of the 1890s, the Red Top with its 4-story gallows tower became a constant reminder to outlaws that they should keep their guns at home. Due to its red roof, prisoners told people that they “stayed at the Red Top last night”.

Tours of the jail are currently on hold while stabilization work is ongoing. We hope to resume a full schedule of tours and events as quickly as possible. Follow our progress on repairs and museum planning on the “Press Release” page and through reading our newsletters. The Friends of the Llano Red Top Jail want to thank you for your patience while this process continues. If you wish to help in any way, check the “How You Can Help” page.

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Our Mission:

The Friends of the Llano Red Top Jail was established in 2008 to assist the City of Llano with the restoration of the old Llano County "Red Top" Jail. As stewards, our goal is to help the City of Llano with fundraising, historical research, community awareness and definition of an appropriate function for this historical structure. Your involvement erupts a grass-roots effort to preserve this historical structure that we hold dear to Llano, Texas.


  • Built in 1895 for $11,500
  • Granite exterior quarried locally
  • Built by J. Pauly Co. in 8 months
  • First floor housed jailor’s family
  • Eight jail cells (4/cell)
  • Red roof
  • Gallows tower
  • Prisoners slept on hammocks
  • Used as the county jail until 1982


Numerous paranormal societies have “stayed at the Red Top” and recorded extrasensory activity, ranging from electronic voice projections to photographs of orbs and possible ghosts. Some of these sitings/events happened after our first “Haunted House” with 600 kids in 2008. The ghosts had a lot to say about being disturbed! More can be found on the Ghost Stories page


There is a lot to be done, and we need all of you to volunteer with whatever talents you have. Please call Sheri Zoch (325-248-0284) if you have any interest in (1) researching the Red Top's history, (2) recording oral histories from local residents who know stories about the Red Top, or (3) helping with the accurate historical preservation of the building. We also need people who have computer skills (including Photoshop, ArcSoft and website generation).

Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the Daytripper's show about Llano as he visits the Red Top Jail with our
Mayor Mike Reagor

The pictures below are photo albums and can be opened by clicking on them.

Misc Photo's of the Red Top Jail

A variaty of pictures of the jail through the years

Ghost Hunting at the jail

Ghost hunters come from around the state to look ghostly activity.

Inside the Red Top Jail

The Pauly jail cells are an imposing sight

jail break at the Llano Red Top Jail

The jail break was staged by the Brazos Bottom Cowographers

Red Top

The cover photo was a gift from Larry Jones

Our first Friends meeting

The Friends of the Llano Red Top Jail gather in 2008 for their first meeting

Llano News

City Conveys Red Top Jail to Friends, Hires New Engineering Firm

Llano Red Top Jail On the Mend

Llano County Journal

Uncovering the past, for the future

Fundraiser aids Red Top Jail restoration efforts

‘Pier’ing at the Red Top Jail’s future

The Picayune

Llano group hopes to reopen historic Red Top Jail

Renovations coming to Red Top Jail in Llano

Renovations being made to Llano’s Red Top Jail to preserve its ‘haunted’ past

The Red Top Jail movie was filmed by the Llano High School with a grant from Preserve America. The film includes two original songs by W. C. Jameson.
Special thanks to Sheri Zoch and Steve Roberts for making this possible.

Follow the link below to see the Llano episode of the Day Tripper

The Day Tripper in Llano

Frank Rowell 325-247-4137

Llano...The way Texas used to be

Page Links

Home Page


Press Releases

About Us

Jail History

Activity Calendar

How You Can Help

Johnny Ringo
Johnny Ringo Society

Ghost Stories







Llano News

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