|View from Yuma Territorial Prison grounds|
Not too much of the original prison, built by its tenants in the mid 1870s, remains today. The guard tower sits on one rock pile, but it only appears to be a few years old. The entrance or sally port has been restored, but the cell blocks behind the museum are eerily original. Voices of prisoners tell their story as visitors peer into some of the cells.
|Yuma Territorial Prison cell block|
Prisoners, however, called their home a “hell hole.” Six men were crammed into a small space with only a bucket for a toilet. A good many prisoners died of consumption, now known as tuberculosis. Lice and roaches were common because of unsanitary conditions.
|A prisoner made this collar|
When they weren’t doing work for the prison, inmates could make extra money through crafts work. Examples of wooden boxes and jewelry were on display, but my favorite was seeing the exquisite lace knitted by some prisoners.
|One famous time|
The museum gets a lot of visitors today, many probably coming to see it because of the movie, 3:10 to Yuma, originally made in 1957 and remade in 2007. A clock on the museum wall is permanently set at 3:10.