Custer County: A Goldmine of History – Sample Material

Calaboose

Arch Scherar, a stone mason, built most of the stone buildings in Westcliffe, including this jail
and the Westcliff school.

Marie Erps, a niece of Mr. Scherar, tells this story in the Reflections Cookbook. “Mr. Scherar,
being a very perceptive craftsman, as he was building the jail thought of leaving a few stones
loose just in case he might have to use the building and wanted to make a hasty retreat. Well,
wouldn’t you know, Mr. Scherar was the first guest to spend time in the jail. Ten days to be
exact. His evenings were spent at home in the comfort of his own bed. His days were spent in
the cell, and nobody was the wiser.”

This building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Westcliffe jail, built by stone mason Arch Scherar.

The Westcliffe jail, built by stone mason Arch Scherar.