Sunday, September 16, 2018

Brushy Mountain State Prison

Here is a historical place if you like prisons. I don't but at least this one was empty. We found this near the Frozen Head State Park in Petros Tennessee and decided to pay the $24 entry fee. The old prison has been turned into a tourist site, including a restaurant with a moonshine distillery. We skipped the restaurant and moonshine and went on back to the prison museum. You can tour almost all of the old prison as it was when it closed. 

The Brushy Mountain State Prison has quite a history. The original prison building was constructed in 1896. That building burned and the current building was constructed the in 1930's. Prisoners were used to mine coal from the nearby mountains. The prison is actually surrounded by mountains except for the entry road. Walking through is a bit spooky. There was a prison guard that had worked there and he told us a few stories about things that happened there. You don't want to be in prison!

One famous prisoner was James Earl Ray, convicted of the assassination of Martin Luther King. He escaped June 10, 1977 with six other inmates by climbing over a fence. Ray was captured less than 58 hours later in rugged mountain terrain 8 1/2 miles from the prison. There was a story told in the museum that Mrs.King did not think he was the assassin. The prison closed June 11, 2009. Its functions were transferred to the Morgan County Correctional Complex which is on the entry road to Frozen Head State Park.

Mountains all around.

Not sure what this separate building was but it doesn't look like a nice place.

We went in anyway. It was not that bad.

This is the "Hole". Four cells no windows and just where the inmates did not want to be.

Lots of news articles were on display.

There were a number of inmate paintings around the building.

There were many items on display in the museum room.

This must have been a entertainment stage in the yard.

This was the maximum security section added in the 1970's.

There were 584 inmates at one time so row after row of cells.

Not a nice place to live for years.

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