The Carbon County Prison is located just outside the City of Jim Thorpe, PA and is a major tourist attraction, besides having a lot of History behind it.
The old Prison was built back in the early 1800’s and held more than 72 inmates. It was in operation until around 1962 when it was closed for good and later turned into a Museum for Tourists to walk thru and see what it was like to be in a Jail at that time.
Looking at the side view of the Prison shows the small exercise area that is fenced in so inmates don’t escape. The exercise area is not very big at all. No room to play baseball or any other activity that required some room. Enough room just to walk or run around and maybe play some basketball, but not much else. Back then inmates were not granted much, except 1 hr. of exercise per 24 hrs. The rest of the time they were locked up in their cells!
Here’s another view of the ole’ Prison with my Brother standing along the side checking the place out. The Prison is open for tours most everyday, but it was closed for the Winter when I was here. I did take a Tour of it a while back, and it’s a whole lot different than what is today. Cells are very small. Maybe 6 ft. wide and 9 ft. long with a small window. No air conditioning back then! It also has the original hanging platform from which the Molly Maguries were hung from.
The story of the Molly Maguries is a whole long story in itself. In short the “Mollies” as they were called were a bunch of Miners that wanted to change the working conditions in the Mines back in the 1800’s. There were a number of murders and shootings from Pinkerton Detectives that were hired to find out what’s going on. Until all was said and done over the years, 4 of the Mollies were jailed here. I can’t remember dates, but it was back in the middle 1800’s. The 4 Mollies were sentenced to hang for the crimes they committed.
The one Molly, named Jack Keho, sentenced to hang with the other 3 made a statement before being led to the hanging platform. He said that if he is innocent of all the crimes he has been charged with “my handprint will remain on this wall forever!” With that he placed his hand on the wall, and it has remained there to this day!! Can you believe that? Well, it’s true as Im sitting here typing this. I have seen this handprint for myself and it really does exist there! The people who take care of the Prison have tried to wash off the print, sand it off, paint over it, and do what-ever it took to see if it comes off. It doesn’t and never will! To this day it remains. Since there are no pictures allowed in the Prison, I could not capture the print as it is. It is also said that the old Prison is haunted by inmates that died here. This I don’t know about for myself, since I’ve never seen anything while there. There are strange sounds from no-where, footsteps when no one is there, and ghostly images that appear from nothing!
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