Saturday, March 5, 2011

THE Trip, Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, Yuma Arizona

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

One of my friend Mary's suggestions of places to visit while in Yuma, (and a very good suggestion it was), was to the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park.  We allowed most of the afternoon for our visit.  The prison was opened July 1, 1876, and operated for 33 years.  The Arizona Parks maintains a very informative web page, there is even a YouTube video. During the time the prison was in operation there were 3,069 prisoners, including 29 women.

And, sadly, men died and were buried there as well.  There is a cemetery on the grounds with the remains of 104 of the 111 that died. There is a brass marker with the names of the 104, but each individual grave is marked only with a pile of rocks, no numbers, no indication that I saw that would inform you which man was buried in which grave.

You can see the memorial that lists all the deceased below the tree to the left.
The names of the 104 buried here are listed.
Every grave looks like this, unmarked in any manner.
Double gate entrance, wagons would go through the
first gate (the 2nd one already being lowered)
then the first gate would be lowered, so they could
check the wagon for contraband or possible escapes.
There is a museum and some of the original cell for your educational journey.  You enter the museum, and pass through it to the cell blocks.  In the museum there is a short continually running film of the story of the jail, and there are some nice displays.

Ball and chain and other methods of restraint.
(Behind glass, some glare, sorry.)
The following inscription/information was taken in full from one of the display cases:

"C.E. Hobart # 1113, was a lifer. He did most of his time in the Yuma Territorial Prison for murdering a man, spending his days making adobe and quarrying rock to build new prison cells. He was put in solitary confinement numerous times for violating prison rules and tried to escape twice. But during his free time, Hobert knitted lace, beautiful lace."

Just one of the pieces of C. E. Hobart/Hobert's lace.
This mirror trick is how they did some mug shots, so, is he innocent or not??

Next, the cell blocks of the Yuma Territorial Prison.


Joan said...

Interesting -- never would have thought of visiting a prison museum. Definitely part of the old west.

Barbara Poole said...

What beautiful lace by Mr. Hobart, such a shame he didn't learn his lesson. Interesting post.