On Thursday, the day after Christmas, we left our home late in the morning. The destination was the Phoenix area. It was supposed to be a Christmas celebration with family. However, 6 days before Christmas, my dad had a mild stroke. So he spent Christmas in a rehab center in the East Valley.
We spent four days there in the Valley of the Sun. One day we celebrated Christmas with my parents at the Rehab Center. Not much fun for any of us, but Dad was in good spirits nonetheless. He got the good news that he would be released on New Years' Eve Day, so we made our plans to leave and get out of their way Tuesday (today).
We always take Maricopa Road (now known as AZ-347) and AZ-84 down to I-8, then I-8 across to San Diego. For several years now, we have made notes about the places along the way that we have not yet seen, and have decided to rectify that on upcoming trips. Today's stop was the Arizona Territorial Prison State Historic Park at Yuma.
The ATPSHP is located off of Giss Parkway, on Prison Hill Road, right along the Colorado River. You can see and hear I-8 from the park, so it isn't far from the highway at all.
AZ Territorial Prison & CO River 012 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
One of the first things you see when you walk up to the park, before you pay your admission fee, is the combination of water storage tank and prison guard tower. It's now an observation tower.
AZ Territorial Prison & CO River 007 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
You go through the Gift Shop Information Center, pay your walking tour fee, then go out to the right to see the Riverfront Park, that big bridge pictured above (which is Giss Parkway), and then slip back to go up into the observation tower/guard tower. The view up there is beautiful. Here's a nice view of the prison area.
AZ Territorial Prison & CO River 016 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
Going through the sallyport, you see the iron gates on both sides of it. It is long enough to house a carriage. It's been refurbished but is part of the original prison. From there the prison went into the cafeteria, which no longer exists.
AZ Territorial Prison & CO River 020 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
You cross a small space, then step into the Museum. It is a fairly new building, not part of the old prison at all. Inside were descriptions and photos of prisoners, superintendents, artifacts found when rummaging through the property, and this gatlin gun.
AZ Territorial Prison & CO River 027 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
No, you're not seeing this backward, nor did I upload this incorrectly. This is a clock made for a bar in Yuma, backwards so that it can be viewed correctly through a mirror.
AZ Territorial Prison & CO River 028 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
Once outside, here's a wagon, with the cell block still standing in the background.
AZ Territorial Prison & CO River 032 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
Cells were populated with 6 men per cell. It was very small! Two triple-high bunk beds were in each cell, with a chamber pot for all 6 men to use at night, and a small shelf unit. During the daytime, they were usually working in the various workspaces, which unfortunately no longer exist.
AZ Territorial Prison & CO River 035 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
One place a prisoner may have worked was the barbershop. Next time you're in a barber or beauty shop chair, think of this one. (BTW, there were women prisoners here too.)
AZ Territorial Prison & CO River 043 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
We spent a couple of hours here, seeing the Prison as well as the Prison Graveyard and part of the Riverfront Park.
AZ Territorial Prison & CO River 054 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
AZ Territorial Prison & CO River 057 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
AZ Territorial Prison & CO River 009 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
It was well worth the time, and the $6 admission for each of us, to see this place. It sure makes you appreciate what you have!