This building, a New Deal project of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Public Works Administration (PWA), was built in 1937 at a cost of $60,000. Called "one of the most modern jails in the South," it was designed by Rock Hill architect Alfred D. Gilchrist (d. 1944). Its second floor featured separate cell blocks for black and white males and separate cells for black and white females.
The office, kitchen, and jailer's quarters were on the first floor; hospital and juvenile cells were on the third floor; and cells for minor offenders were in the basement. The jail closed in 1976. Since 1984 it has been the headquarters of the Darlington County Historical Commission. The commission, created in 1965 to maintain a county archives and research repository, also marks area historic sites.