We’ve pretty much exhausted our rainy day photography options. We’ve been to the Antique Trove twice, IKEA once, and last Tuesday we went to Folsom Prison. Doesn’t everyone want to visit a prison?

I was a little disappointed when all we could photograph was the one gate and from a distance. We were also not allowed to take pictures of officers or inmates. The small museum saved the morning. There were treasures in there. However, shooting through the glass enclosures proved to be difficult!

Aside from the Johnny Cash concerts, Folsom Prison was one of the nation’s first maximum security prisons. It was built in the decades following the 1848 California Gold Rush, relieving the overcrowding at San Quentin State Prison.

Today the prison houses medium security male inmates.

Take a look at what I saw, beginning with the outside.

Inside the museum there were many inmate made artifacts.

And there were some weapons made by inmates too!

Some other things at the museum.

There was quite a bit of space dedicated to the Johnny Cash concerts.

Good-bye Folsom Prison!

9 thoughts on “Rainy day visit: Folsom Prison

  1. This is really interesting – especially the Ferris wheel. Was it made of toothpicks? The weapons and such are rather grim, and makes me glad I am on this side of the walls.

  2. Thanks -N-. Yes, the ferris wheel was made of toothpicks. I was amazed at what they made the weapons out of! I hope you were able to read the cards that explained it.

  3. I have never been there. Your photos are so clean and crisp. What a great story. Thanks for posting this. Now I kinda want to go… in my medieval gown with my English mastiff 🙂

  4. Thanks Donna. We’re still waiting for the sun to come out for more than just a few hours. In the summer, we’ll be wanting cloudy weather. I guess we’re never satisfied!

  5. Nice reportage, Anne! I guess the photos from the outside of the prison wouldn’t look better on a sunny day… those dark clouds make the photos very atmospheric!
    When I started reading I thought the prison was an old one, a museum, not in use anymore… I don’t think in Europe you can visit a prison with inmates! I’ve only visited a prison once: the Kilmainham gaol, in Dublin. It’s an old Victorian prison, very interesting from a architectural point of view. At it also played a huge roll on the Easter Rising, when the Irish people rose against the UK government in Ireland (all the 16 leaders of the Rising where incarcerated and executed in Kilmainham)… But visiting a prison left me uneasy. You kind of feel bad for the people that were incarcerated there… but at the same time, they were criminals!! After 4 years, I’m not sure if I liked the experience….

    1. Thanks Mercedes. Folsom Prison is a working prison. We couldn’t go inside and were kept at a distance with a guard looking over us. The atraction was the museum; so full of great artifacts. Did you go to San Quentin when you visited San Francisco? That is not operational and is a National Park. Rangers give tours.

      1. I didn’t!! I stayed in San Francisco only for two days… I feel I skipped so many important things!! Actually, I didn’t visit Alcatraz either… Probably because I still felt the same about the Kilmainham jail when I visited San Francisco, so I went to the Muir Woods instead… Hehehe
        I hope there will be a next time in San Francisco (and California!!) soon, with more time to explore and different plans! Maybe I can include a visit to Alcatraz o San Quentin too next time 🙂

  6. Opps, I meant Alcatraz! San Quentin is still a working prison and I doubt they give tours. I felt the same regarding a visit to the concentration camps when I was in Germany. Our visit to Alcatraz was about 35 years ago, and it was great to take our teenage boys. They saw what life in prison was. However they wouldn’t let me leave my youngest! LOL. I thought it was very educational.

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