Folsom Prison Museum

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Category: Museums

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The Retired Correctional Peace Officers (RCPO) Museum at Folsom State Prison (founded in 1975), is operated by the Retired Correctional Peace Officers Association.  The museum is a non-profit charitable organization, not an entity of the state.  The museum is dedicated to the prison staff who have died from cancer.  The museum donates to The American Cancer Society, Fisher House and Make-A Wish programs.

The museum chronicles the prison’s bloddy history.  Discover the reason for Johnny Cash’s “Blues” at Folsom State Prison.  Learn how the prison was fashioned from gray granite from the surrounding rock quarries.  The museum features a wealth of photographs, old hemp ropes used to hang prisoners, memorabilia from Johnny Cash’s famed concert shows, a hand-cranked Gatling gun, many inmate manufactured weapons and an eight-foot motorized Ferris wheel created by a prisoner in the 1930s, which is made of a quarter million toothpicks.

Most people perceive prisons through the filter of television or movies; these only provide a tracing of facts.  The primary goal of the museum is to educate the public about the realities of prison life through a multitude of exhibits.

The museum is housed in old house #8. Just insde the prison’s Entrance Gate.  It is only one of two prison museums still operating in California at this time.  The museum is staffed by volunteer docents who warmly welcome the opportunity to share the prisons vast history with all who enter.  The admission fee of $2.00 is donated to the aforementioned charities.  Visitors to the museum are first invited to view a video which will take them on a brief tour of the prison.

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