Folsom Prison Museum: Johnny Cash & Jail History

As a Johnny Cash fan, I felt a visit to Folsom Prison was a good stop on my recent road trip. After a little research, I found out they had a museum you could visit at the prison but that you need to note the hours as it is still a working prison. The museum was small but great, and it had a lot of memorabilia for both Johnny Cash and the history of this 100-year-old jail. Here is all the information if you want to visit.

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  • 2 dollars to enter, children under 12 free (as of 2017)
  • I wrote this in 2017
  • Parking is free
  • Open Daily from 10-4

After parking in the lot for both the prison visitors area and the museum, we entered the outer prison walls and were greeted with the famous view of the front of Folsom Prison.

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After taking the obligatory photos, I proceeded into the museum and paid my 2 dollar fee. The museum is only four small rooms, but I  thought it was well worth the 2 dollar cost as there is a lot to see.

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The front room is fascinating as it has a lot about the weapons, smuggled in contraband, and the hangings in the jail over the years. The below image shows all the things people have tried to bring in in their bodies.

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They also had a wall of confiscated weapons made inside the prison for an anticipated big brawl that did not end up happening. Someone made a spear!

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The museum played up the Johnny Cash references, but there wasn’t a ton of stuff there for it, some history, a DVD of the performance, and lots of images which were cool.

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The second room had a lot of items that had been made by prisoners while in jail. The highlight was the 6 foot tall Ferris wheel that was made with toothpicks in the 1930s by an inmate.

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The last room had a replica jail cell, which was crazy because it was so small. You could press a button and have the inmate tell you about the living conditions.

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They also had a lot of stuff in here about escape attempts, which were fun to read.

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If you are looking to get some souvenirs, they have a lot of Folsom Prison stuff here as well. As you exit, there are a couple more things to see outside on the porch like old toilets, spotlights, and some other antiques.

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When we were walking out, it started raining, and a lot of the wild turkeys that roam the grounds came running through trying to get away from the rain.

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As you walk back to your car, check out the sign that shows all of the things you are not allowed to wear when you visit the prison, no yellow rain gear!

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For the price, I thought the Folsom Museum was a great deal. The history of the prison and the exhibits about the inmates over the years were fascinating. Add to that the Johnny Cash history, and it is easy to see why this is a good road trip stop. If you are in the area, I would recommend it.

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