(Above: A view of Alcatraz from San Francisco, when we were on the boat ride over to the island. It’s creepy, I love it!)
A little info:
Alcatraz was a military installation established in 1850, later used as a military prison including incarceration of some HopiNative American men. The island became a federal prison in August, 1934. During the 29 years it was in use, the jail held such notable criminals as Al Capone, Robert Franklin Stroud (the Birdman of Alcatraz), and Alvin “Creepy Karpis” Karpowicz, who served more time at Alcatraz than any other inmate. The island is also known as “The Rock.” The U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy decided to close the penitentiary for good on March 21, 1963. The prison closed because it was far more expensive to operate than other prisons, and the bay was being polluted by the sewage from the approximately 250 inmates and 60 Bureau of Prisons families on the island.
(Above: I guess this would be the “Welcome!” sign for the penitentiary. It is located on the center front wall of the prison, so that when you arrive by boat it is the first thing you see.)
(Above: This is the electric shop. I won’t lie, I haven’t got the slightest clues what it was used for. Prisoners working in there, maybe? Just don’t know.)
(Above: The water tower at Alcatraz. This is visible from San Francisco but it’s much bigger in person!)
(Above: Yours truly, above in a cell wearing my headset for the audio tour. Those cells are so damn creepy, just standing in them imagining all the types of people that were in there years ago.. wow, chills..)
(Above: This is a poster with four photographs on it of four inmates. These men are heard on the audio tour.. they help narrarate the tour by saying who they were, how Alcatraz affected their lives, and what it was like. This was super interesting and I would do the tour again just for this part. It’s crazy..)
(Above: A typical empty cell. Friggin tiny, AMIRITE!)
(Above: A banner of the most famous or infamous inmates. This included but was not limited to: Alvin “Creepy Karpis” Karpowicz, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, Al Capone, and many more. Very neat poster. Something I’d like to have in a spare bedroom one day.. or maybe just in the garage..?)
(Above: This is ME again standing in a solitary confinment cell. This cell is so small that (if you can’t tell in the picture) my fingertips can touch both walls at one time. Also, what isn’t pictured is the huge scary metal door that shuts OVER the regular bar door. This ensures that the prisoner will 1.See no light of day ever 2.Hear no sounds of the living ever 3.Hate his life even more than before. These cells were so cool, I must admit!)
(Above: A small model of the island. Really cool to look at AFTER you hear about the men and how they tried to escape. It really puts things into perspective. And the guy with the yellow paper didn’t speak English and was in no attempt to move his yellow paper for our picture. Humph.)
During its 29 years of operation, the penitentiary never logged any officially successful escapes. Thirty-four prisoners were involved in fourteen attempts, two men trying twice; seven were shot and killed, two drowned, five unaccounted for, the rest recaptured. Two prisoners made it off the island but were returned, one in 1945 and one in 1962. The most famous escape attempt involved Frank Morris and brothers John and Clarence Anglin. The three disappeared from their cells on 11 June 1962 in one of the most intricate escapes ever devised.
(Above: This is a poster that gives a detailed description of some of the famous attempts to escape Alcatraz.. this poster comes right before the cells that are set up with the replica’s that the men had built. Sort of creepy!)
(Above: The cell that belonged to one of the men that had tried to escape. They built a mini-head, using hair they had gathered while working in the barber shop, to put in their beds on the night of the escape. Pretty genious, huh? If only they had made it.. Haha)
Well anyway, I have more pictures but perhaps that is enough for now. I just posted all my favorites. This isn’t my first time touring Alcatraz, but everytime I go I seem to love it more and more. It’s just so damn interesting. Anyway, thanks to Wikipedia for some factual information that was so kindly borrowed on my part.
I highly recommend checking Alcatraz out if you ever come to California or America! Or hey, if you live in California.. take advantage of it! It’s a National Park but it’s also a great lesson in history ❤