Before The Jail: Mystic Den

Brent Finnegan -- March 4th, 2010

photo by ?I came across this photo uploaded by Melissa, in the hburgnews Flickr pool. It’s a shot of the buildings and businesses that used to be where the Rockingham County Jail is now.

For those of us too young to remember it, there are only faint traces of Mystic Den on the web; a hardcore band called Flowers of Discipline, a rumor of a gang called Property.

Chris Edwards writes:

By those years – when 18-year-olds could buy beer – the Harrisonburg bar scene was bigger than it is now. Hot spots of the ’70s and ’80s included Martin’s Garage (a former garage) which Touch of the Earth recently vacated; Gatsby’s, The Other Place and Mystic Den on the present jail site; and the Scotland Yard disco and Generation Gap on South Main. Melrose Caverns near North 11 was a party mainstay.

Poking around on the web led me to this video of a band called Skanks playing Mystic Den in 1986. There’s another song from the same performance called White Lies.

I remember when the jail was being built (my family moved to the Valley in ’87) but don’t have a very strong memory of these buildings. Any old timers care to fill in the blanks for us n00bs?

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53 Responses to “Before The Jail: Mystic Den”

  1. Sandy0885 says:

    hey was hopping to see someone on herethat i new but don t think i do if you visited laymans around 1976 would love to talk about those days those were some really good times but so so long ago i remember puff iworked evenings with him by the way is he still around ialso worked with helen diane and edie some of the people i remember coming in was brad johnny dove teddy well as you can tell it was mostly working man place to have abeer or two after work but i meet a lot of really nice people working there and juch want to say hey and hope all are doing really good

  2. Chuck Needham says:

    The Den was the best. I used to love watching the Waxing Poetics play there and a local JMU band Apartment 6 with Billy Kingsley as lead singer. I think some good reggae bands played there if I recall.

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