Old Idaho State Penitentiary

Old Idaho State Penitentiary was active until 1973. During its 101 years, the penitentiary experienced five major riots and 500 escaped prisoners, with nearly 100 of the escapees never caught.

Old Idaho State Penitentiary in Boise, Idaho.

The penitentiary is at base of the foothills in Boise, Idaho.

Looking through what once was a church.

Typical cell inside the Old Idaho State Penitentiary in Boise, Idaho.

In many of the cells, you can see scrawled artwork signed and dated from the early 1970s.

Inside a cell on Death Row, only a few paces from the gallows.

Another cell on Death Row.

Friday the 13th at the Old Idaho State Penitentiary in Boise, Idaho. We learned about a double execution (Troy Powell, Ernest Walrath) that took place there on Friday the 13th in April of 1951.

Sutter's Fort

Sutter's Fort was the first non-indigenous community in California's Central Valley. Fort Sutter was the seed that became Sacramento, and Sacramento and its gold rush paved the way for California. Basically, this small, modest fort is the birthplace of California.

Its founder, John Sutter, or at least his family name, is known widely in California. It's easy to find streets, parks, schools, and businesses with the Sutter family name. John Sutter was Swiss-German and later received Mexican citizenship but was never himself American, although he was a fan of at least one American pastime, slave labor.

John Sutter was neither a good businessman nor honest. He left Europe for the United States to escape his debts, and he left the United States for the Wild Wild West to escape his debts again. He fell into debt yet again and Fort Sutter was at risk until his son took over the business, which involved branching out and expanding the settlement into what is now Sacramento. John Sutter always resented his son for founding Sacramento.

The wall surrounding Sutter's Fort in Sacramento, 

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park.

Replica workshop at Sutter's Fort.

Sutter's Fort is in Midtown, Sacramento, not too far from the California State Capitol.

Most of the fort was rebuilt in the late 1800s. Built in 1839, tis the only remaining original building.