The Old City Jail was one of many attractions we saw in Mount Airy. It is a local recreation of "The Courthouse" seen in many episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show." We saw the outside of it (it wasn’t open when we were there), and the vintage squad car was parked in front of it (better known as Barney Fife's car)
Actually, the Old City Jail was Mount Airy’s real one for several years. In addition, it has been Mount Airy’s municipal building, which holds many city offices and the Mount Airy Police Department. But, several years ago, the city offices were relocated to a new municipal building on South Main Street. Then what moved in this building was a local business.
Along with the local business in this building, The Old City Jail is the location of the annual Mayberry Days Proclamation by the mayor of Mount Airy.
You can tour this jail Monday to Friday 8am to 4:30pm, but it is closed Saturday and Sunday. The phone number of this place is 336/789-4636 or 800/576-0231.The admission to enter is free. You also can purchase souvenirs here.
When we went to Mount Airy in 2003 and 2004, we didn’t know about the vintage squad car ride you can have in Mount Airy. But we did know about where this car was located. As I mentioned, it sits in front of The Old City Jail. Therefore, we did at least take pictures of it and examine it closely. And it really does look like the car Barney Fife drove. Anyway, you can take a tour in this car. This tour takes you to Andy Griffith’s boyhood home, down the Main Street in Mount Airy, where you will pass Floyd’s Barbershop and Snappy Lunch. Then you will be driven to other attractions, such as the Andy Griffith Playhouse, the Old Jail, and the visitor center (home of the Andy Griffith Museum). In addition, you will swing by Wally’s Service Station. And then you will be taken to the open-face granite quarry and to the site where the "Andy and Opie Going to the Fishing Hole" statute is. This narrated cruise of Mount Airy (Mayberry) starts at $20 for 20 minutes. This tour is also available for special occasions, weddings, advertising, promotions, etc.
A squad car tour can be scheduled by calling 336/789-OPIE.
As cheesy as this tour may seem, I think kids and avid fans of "The Andy Griffith Show" would really like this. For the kids, it is riding in an old funny-looking car with a big cherry light on top, and for the adults, it would be being in a vintage car that looks like the one the character Barney Fife drove.