Ruins, Alton Prison

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These stark blocks of limestone, stacked upon each other as they have for almost two hundred years, remind me more of something I might see as part of a war memorial in Germany. But they are the stones that made up the first prison in Illinois, and later after the State moved its facilities to Joliet, it became one of the most feared prisoner of war facilities in the North.

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Interestingly, the remains of the prison were moved here from their original location. I’m not sure why exactly only this small portion was left after the vast majority of the prison was demolished. I suspect this corner may have been buried under fill that later covered up this corner of the site.

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Down the hill is where I think the prison was originally, by where the grain elevator is now. Read about the prison at the Civil War Trust site.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Tom Maher - Kirkwood MO says:

    More on the prison – it’s from a rebel organization known as the “sterling price camp, sons of confederate veterans.” It cleverly (?) stole the usual POW/MIA symbol by adding a kepi… At least it does not refer to the Civil War as “The War of Northern Aggression,” so favored by many apologists for the “lost cause.”

  2. samizdat says:

    “Interestingly, the remains of the prison were moved here from their original location.”

    Ah, that would explain why the bar pockets are opposite blank stone faces in the first photo.

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