Erected in 1808, the Morrin Centre was Quebec City's first prison (it was known as Quebec Common Gaol at the time), though it was perhaps best known as the site of public execution in the city. At least 17 documented executions were held between 1808 and 1867, including that of Docteur l'Indienne, Quebec's first recognized serial killer, in 1829.
Later, the building was transformed into an English college and was home to the first learned society of Canada, the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec. But visitors can still view the remaining cell blocks, among them the original death row.
The Literary and Historical Society of Quebec took control of the building in 2004 and is overseeing extensive restoration of its interior. Today, the site is meant to educate the public about the present-day culture and historic contribution of the local English language speakers.