When I was growing up, those four words would send chills down my spine: Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary. It's called "The End of the Line" because it's where convicts were sent when other prisons couldn't handle them. They knew if they were sent there that there was no way out. It closed down in 2009 after 122 years of housing bad guys...the worst of the worst.
The old maintenance building is now a gift shop and restaurant.
|"The damnation of many an evil man,|
the salvation of a humble few."
|Main building with the gym on the right|
|Maximum security prison built within the prison. The whole prison was once all maximum security but in the years before its closing housed some prisoners who did not require maximum.|
|Stage for concerts in The Yard|
|The manholes had locks on them to deter prisoners from attempting to escape|
|4 floors of cells|
|Graffiti on a desk|
|Shower at the end of the cells|
|A towel used as a cushion on the hard stool|
If you find yourself around the Oak Ridge area, it's definitely worth a visit to the "Alcatraz of the South". I love discovering East Tennessee, and Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary has always been a curiosity, but I certainly didn't want to visit while it was open as a penitentiary! Stop at the Gift Shop for some samples of moonshine. There are 9 different flavors (including "regular"). We were able to chat with the distiller for a couple of minutes...really nice guy!
|We left with 3 bottles: 2 are gifts and the other one will probably be in our fridge for a year...at least!|
Interested in visiting? Click here for information.
Even though he is dead, seeing the headlines for when Jame Earl Ray escaped still gives me chills. Read about it here.