Yuma Territorial Prison

We visited the old prison in Yuma today, very interesting history here.

The bridge is called the ocean to ocean bridge because it was originally the ocean to ocean highway, built to cross the Colorado River in 1915. There are two bridges there, one is for vehicle traffic and the other one is railway. The right photo is the Sallyport which is where the original entrance to the prison stood.

The mirror was used for mug shots, pretty ingenious as they only wanted to take one photo because they were using the below camera. No digital photo to see if it turned out.

There is a museum now where the intake area was. Very interesting stuff in there. They did do public hangings and the sheriff would send invitations for the event .

The prison was ready for inmates in 1876 and was originally only for male prisoners. However too many women began behaving badly (and getting caught) so in 1878 the first female prisoner arrived. She had to be put in isolation until an area could be added on to accommodate the women.

Quite a few men escaped. When they were caught they were put into a cell AND chained to the floor.

The bell was rung to alert the town of an escape.

If they were repeat offenders and/or misbehaved they were put in the dark cell in isolation.

Six men were kept in each cell. The iron beds replaced the wooden ones in 1901 to lessen the bug infestation.

We climbed up to the guard tower for a different view.

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