Yuma Territorial Prison

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of touring the Yuma Territorial Prison. Here you can see the remains of a once thriving prison which had it’s heyday in the late 1800 to early 1900 time period. This historic state park was on the Arizona state chopping block due to the state’s massive budget problems but the city of Yuma is in final negotiations with the state to take over the operations of this interesting park. As a result, it looks like the park will remain open for visitors for at least the next three years. Here you can see the tiny cells where the prisoners spent their time, the “dark room” where uncooperative prisoners spent time, as well as see many artifacts gathered from the days of prison operation. The park has excellent videos on the prisoners it served, the wardens and even a funny, “ghost story” about the prison from one of the guards. Although much of the original prison was lost over the decades due to vandalism and theft, there is still enough of the original prison left to give you a taste of what prison life was like in the “old west.”