• Voices from the Gathering PlaceSault Ste. Marie: 1622 - 1870

Die Stromschnellen von St Marie (The Rapids Of St Mary), Frank Buchser, 1868

By kind permission of the Kunsthaus Art Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland

This website was created by teacher Peter White for the Algoma District School Board

The Fence Jail

To the left is a painting of Joseph Wilson's home in Sault Ste. Marie in the late 1800s.


As you can see in close-up below, there was a fence around his home.


Joseph was not only the customs officer for the town but he was also the sheriff.


Since there was no police station or jail, anyone who got in trouble was told to stand inside Joseph Wilson's fence until he returned home to sort things out.


If someone broke the law today, do you think it would work to tell them to go stand inside a fence and wait for a policeman? Why/why not?


Why do you suppose it worked back then?


Painting of Marchbank, Joseph Wilson's home by F. J. Faulkner in 1868, Courtesy of the City of Sault Ste. Marie