Folsom Prison...

This stop was on the top of my "To Do in Folsom" list. Jenny and I were not disappointed.

Folsom State Prison is California's second-oldest prison, and one of the nation's first maximum-security prisons built in the decades following the California Gold Rush. Construction of the facility began in 1878 on the site of the Stony Bar mining camp along the American River. The prison officially opened in 1880.
 Obviously, we didn't follow this sign!
Inmates spent most of their time in the dark behind solid boiler plate doors in stone cells measuring 4 feet by 8 feet with 6 inch eye slots. Air holes were drilled into the cell doors in the 1940s, and the cell doors are still in use today. Folsom was the first prison in the world to have electric power, which was provided by the first hydroelectric powerhouse in California (the same powerhouse we visited yesterday). The quarry at Folsom provided granite for the foundation of the state capitol building and much of the gravel used in the early construction of California's roads. In addition, we learned that inmates from San Quentin built the prison.
It was pretty incredible to be standing there in history.
On Jan. 13, 1968, singer Johnny Cash dragged his career out of the doldrums with an album recorded inside Folsom Prison before an audience of inmates. He simultaneously put the prison on the map.
Okay, so we tried to replicate JC's famous pose as inmates and guards looked on. I bet we were not the first!
I love the United States Postal Service. This one is rather unique. It is for the prison and is the town of Represa, CARepresa (translated as "dam" from the Spanish language) is the name given in 1892 to the State Prison post office because of its proximity to a dam on the American River that was under construction at the time. Man, I love history.

What a diverse and delightful escape to Folsom, a town 1.5 hours away from Tahoe. It was a super fun girls' weekend with Jenny, with more left to do next time.


"No man needs a vacation so much
as the man who has just had one."
-Elbert Hubbard

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