Saturday, October 2, 2010

Doing Time in WV's Big House

Nah, not really!
Just there for a tour.

We recently toured the Old WV State Penitentiary and I thought I would share some of the pictures.

This huge castle-like stone structure complete with turrets and battlements sits in the southern end of our little town.
As a little girl, I can remember sitting across the street from the prison eating ice cream at the Marshall Dairy. While there we could watch the prison trustees mowing the front lawns of the prison while other prisoners could be seen standing at the barred windows looking out.
It always made me wonder what life was like on the other side of those walls.
Now, some twenty years later I am able to tour the prison and get a small glimpse of what that life may have been like.
In 1995 the prison doors were closed as newer facilities were built that could provide bigger and more adequate cells, healthier living conditions and better security. The aging prison now serves our community as a tourist attraction as well as a training center.
Every year a 4 day Mock Riot takes place within these walls. For those four days, Moundsville buzzes with law enforcement teams from all across the U.S. that come to train, demonstrate and compete in the mock riot.
If you would like to know a little more history of the old place then you can read a bit more detail here.
WV State Penitentiary

Now on to my photo tour!
Visitation Room - Inmate (Cory) on one side of glass where a guard would watch and listen in on conversations while the visitor would sit on the othe side of glass.
Several paintings on the walls that were done by prisoners.
Mess Hall~ grab a tray at the window and sit down to eat.
Mess Hall painting by prisoner
                   Row after row of cells
                      Typical 5X7 cell
           Some preferred a splash of color
                Showers in the North Hall

I've got lots more to show so I'll have to divide it up into about three seperate posts so I'll be back with more tomorrow.


Steph said...

Glad you got out. I was all ready to bake you a cake with a file in it.

Primitives By The Light of The Moon said...

Makes you think about minding your manners and staying on the outside eating those ice cream cones!

Cheryl said...

lol @ Steph

That place should make ya think twice before doing a crime.

Carmen C. said...

Wow, not sure about those pepto bismol pink walls there, LOL, but it sure looks like an interesting place to tour! That kitchen looks a bit scary too!!!

Barbara said...

I cannot imagine being in there for any length of time, and yet those repeat defenders just keep going back, and seem to be right at home, sad, sad, very sad, hugs

the Goodwife said...

Wow talented prisoners with the paintings!