The sole heritage-listed building in the Millicent township is currently being restored to its former glory.
The former police cell block between Davenport and George streets dates back to the 1870s.
After decades of neglect, a Mount Gambier building firm has been appointed to undertake the restoration work.
Timberwork and stonework need to be repaired and the gutters and roof replaced.
The cement path surrounding the two-storied building is being replaced with gravel as it would have been the case in colonial times.
Senior Sergeant First Class Rick Errington, officer-in-charge of Millicent police, has welcomed the start of the restoration work.
He said the restoration had been raised with Police Commissioner Grant Stevens when he last visited Millicent in 2020.
“We hope the SA Police Historical Society will unveil a plaque to coincide with the annual police foundation day in 2023,” Sgt Errington said.
The structure was formerly used as stables and was listed on the State Heritage List in 1995.
The listing at the time noted that it was a finely designed and constructed stone building.
“It was erected in 1874 along with a police station building and stables when the first resident police trooper was appointed to the town,” stated the listing.
“The lock-up is the only extant building from this early group.
“The historic, functional, law-enforcement structure built with fine stonework is in excellent condition and stands as a reminder of early police work in an isolated rural community.”
Nowadays, the building is used for storage purposes while pigeons roost in its roof.
Preliminary talks between the National Trust and police were held in 2016 about a transfer of building ownership but these did not come to fruition.