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User / Frank C. Grace (Trig Photography) / Sets / West Virginia Penitentiary
Frank Grace / 32 items

N 21 B 12.6K C 2 E Nov 3, 2014 F Nov 10, 2014
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"Old Sparky"
West Virginia State Penitentiary
Moundsville, WV
November 3rd, 2014

The Former West Virginia State Penitentiary, a National Historic Places Registered facility, operated by the Moundsville Economic Development Council in Moundsville, West Virginia.

Built by an inmate to execute inmates...

Some info on this historic seat:

On top of the murders that occurred at this penitentiary, numerous official executions were carried out at the prison from 1899 to 1959. The majority of the executions were by way of the hangman’s noose. Eighty six condemned men met their maker that way. The remaining nine convicts died at the hands of 'Old Sparky', the prison’s aptly named electric chair. Coincidentally 'Old Sparky' was built by one of the prison’s inmates as well Up until 1931, executions at the prison were open for public viewing, of which some were just a little too gruesome for most folks to watch.

"The now-decommissioned electric chair known as 'Old Sparky' at the now-closed West Virginia State Penitentiary in Moundsville, West Virginia was installed in a facility originally used for hanging. It was in use from 1951 until 1959, during which time nine condemned prisoners were executed in the chair. The chair was bolted to a low platform which covered what had previously been the trapdoor of the gallows used in the state's judicial hangings. Its control apparatus was designed in such a way that three push-button switches were to be simultaneously pressed by three members of the execution team; only one of these switches actually completed the circuit, allowing each member of the execution team to reassure himself that perhaps he had not been the one who had actually initiated the death of the condemned."

SOURCE: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Sparky

Tags:   Moundsville West Virginia United States Penitentiary former prison jail paranormal haunted ghosts WVP riots murder death suicide cells cell blocks time Moundsville Economic Development Council hanging electrocution Gothic building history historic structure old sparky capital punishment murderer sentence death row inmates apparatus gruesome electric chair executions chair electricity condemned

N 70 B 12.5K C 9 E Nov 3, 2014 F Nov 12, 2014
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Moundsville, WV
November 3rd, 2014

The Former West Virginia State Penitentiary, a National Historic Places Registered facility, operated by the Moundsville Economic Development Council in Moundsville, West Virginia.

The history of this historic penitentiary:

"The prison at Joliet provided the prototype for the West Virginia Penitentiary. It was an imposing stone structure fashioned in the castellated Gothic architectural style (adorned with turrets and battlements, like a castle). Only the dimensions of West Virginia's facility would differ; it would be approximately one-half the size of Joliet.

No architectural drawings of the West Virginia Penitentiary have been discovered, so an understanding of the plan developed by the Board of Directors must be obtained through their 1867 report, which details the procurement of a title for ten acres of land and a proposal to enclose about seven acres. On the north side would be a street 60 feet in width, and on the west 140 feet for street and yard to the front buildings.

The prison yard would be a parallelogram 682 1/2 feet in length, by 352 1/2 feet in width, enclosed by a stone wall 5 feet in thickness at the bottom, 2 1/2 feet at the top, with foundation 5 feet below the surface, and wall 25 inches thick. At each of the corners of this wall would be large turrets, for the use of the guards, with inside staircases. Guardrooms would be above on a level with the top of the main. The superintendent's house and cell buildings would be so placed that the rear wall of each would form part of the west wall. "

SOURCE: www.wvpentours.com/history.htm

Tags:   West Virginia Penitentiary former prison jail paranormal haunted ghosts Moundsville WVP riots murder death suicide cells cell blocks time Moundsville Economic Development Council hanging electrocution Gothic building history historic structure United States prison riots riot

N 22 B 14.4K C 3 E Nov 3, 2014 F Nov 13, 2014
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West Virginia State Penitentiary
Moundsville, WV
November 3rd, 2014

"The entrance to the basement where one of Moundsville's oldest ghost still haunts 80 years after his death.

Another former inmate is quite famous and still sticks around the prison. Only problem is he’s not alive, he’s very much dead. His name is R.D. Wall and he was killed in the bowls of the prison. While alive, he worked in the boiler room, keeping the boilers fired up and going, and also did some work in the tool room. Problem for Wall though was that he was known as a snitch. As we found out earlier in the article Moundsville inmates didn’t take too kindly to those types. They cut off their fingers with dull shivs and then they severed his head completely off. Wall died, but some say he’s still working the boilers and sometimes takes a casual stroll outside. He’s also reported to be connected to the first ghost sighting. In the 1930’s, the guards would spot an inmate walking outside by the wall at the maintenance area. The guards would sound the alarm that a prisoner was trying to escape, but when the guards got to where they saw the inmate, no one was there, and none of the inmates were missing from inside. His face has been spotted in the area where he got killed, just his face, and no body."

SOURCE: www.jamesparadie.com/2011/09/come-meet-devil-moundsville....

The Former West Virginia State Penitentiary, a National Historic Places Registered facility, operated by the Moundsville Economic Development Council in Moundsville, West Virginia.

The history of this historic penitentiary:

"The prison at Joliet provided the prototype for the West Virginia Penitentiary. It was an imposing stone structure fashioned in the castellated Gothic architectural style (adorned with turrets and battlements, like a castle). Only the dimensions of West Virginia's facility would differ; it would be approximately one-half the size of Joliet.

No architectural drawings of the West Virginia Penitentiary have been discovered, so an understanding of the plan developed by the Board of Directors must be obtained through their 1867 report, which details the procurement of a title for ten acres of land and a proposal to enclose about seven acres. On the north side would be a street 60 feet in width, and on the west 140 feet for street and yard to the front buildings.

The prison yard would be a parallelogram 682 1/2 feet in length, by 352 1/2 feet in width, enclosed by a stone wall 5 feet in thickness at the bottom, 2 1/2 feet at the top, with foundation 5 feet below the surface, and wall 25 inches thick. At each of the corners of this wall would be large turrets, for the use of the guards, with inside staircases. Guardrooms would be above on a level with the top of the main. The superintendent's house and cell buildings would be so placed that the rear wall of each would form part of the west wall. "

SOURCE: www.wvpentours.com/history.htm

Tags:   Moundsville West Virginia United States Penitentiary former prison jail paranormal haunted ghosts WVP riots murder death suicide cells cell blocks time Moundsville Economic Development Council hanging electrocution Gothic building history historic structure R.D. Wall boiler room entrance basement administration building under Hell

N 37 B 17.3K C 3 E Nov 3, 2014 F Nov 21, 2014
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West Virginia State Penitentiary
November 3rd, 2014
Moundsville, WV

The Former West Virginia State Penitentiary, a National Historic Places Registered facility, operated by the Moundsville Economic Development Council in Moundsville, West Virginia.

I found this little gem inside the Mail Room of the historic West Virginia Penitentiary. Didn't know the history behind it until I looked it up and this type of fireplace has an interesting history tied to one of the USA's founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin.

SOURCE: antiquestoves.net/dir/ben-franklin-s-pennsylvania-fireplace

Among the educated and enlightened men of 18th-century America, none was more influential or gifted than Benjamin Franklin. He had few peers who could match his intellect and versatility as author, scientist, inventor, printer, philosopher, and popular moralizer. Being essentially a provincial American, Franklin's mind turned on practical matters, including the problem of how to heat a room evenly and inexpensively. From these musings came his remarkable Franklin Stoves, the first of which were manufactured in 1744 by Franklin's friend Robert Grace.

They were originally called "Pennsylvania Fire-Places," and Franklin himself wrote the first advertisement to publicize the stove, in which he claimed, "If you sit near the Fire, you have not that cold Draught of uncomfortable Air nipping your Back and Heels, as when before common Fires...being scorcht before, and, as it were, froze behind."

Franklin's stove was essentially a free-standing iron fireplace. It contained an air box below the hearth into which fresh, cold air was drawn by the heat of the fire over the box. Behind the fire stood an air column - actually an extension of the air box - the whole unit being L-shaped. At the top of the air column, the fresh air, now warmed by the fire, was allowed to escape back into the room; but the smoke was forced over, around, down, then up and out through the chimney. In short, the fire heated a separate volume of air from that which was mixed with smoke from the fire - an ingenious recycling system that constantly forced warm air down from above and back into the room where it was needed. According to Franklin, this method was healthier than warm air produced by common fireplaces "by which many catch cold, whence proceed Coughs, Catarrhs, Toothache, Fevers, Pleurisies, and many other Diseases."

Franklin also claimed his product was more efficient than other stoves and fireplaces because it burned less wood, a great advantage indeed for those who lived where wood was in short supply. Since Franklin lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, not far from one of the world's great coal regions, one can only be amused by his statement in 1744 that, by the use of his Pennsylvania Fire-Place, " . . . our Wood may grow as fast as we consume it, and our Posterity may warm themselves at a moderate Rate, without being oblig'd to fetch their Fuel over the Atlantick..."

Tags:   fireplace fire Benjamin Franklin stove wood burning heat mailroom West Virginia Penitentiary former prison jail paranormal haunted ghosts Moundsville WVP riots murder death suicide cells cell blocks time Moundsville Economic Development Council hanging electrocution Gothic building history historic structure

N 13 B 3.4K C 0 E Nov 3, 2014 F Feb 12, 2015
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West Virginia State Penitentiary
Moundsville, WV
November 3rd, 2014

The Former West Virginia State Penitentiary, a National Historic Places Registered facility, operated by the Moundsville Economic Development Council in Moundsville, West Virginia.

The history of this historic penitentiary:

"The prison at Joliet provided the prototype for the West Virginia Penitentiary. It was an imposing stone structure fashioned in the castellated Gothic architectural style (adorned with turrets and battlements, like a castle). Only the dimensions of West Virginia's facility would differ; it would be approximately one-half the size of Joliet.

No architectural drawings of the West Virginia Penitentiary have been discovered, so an understanding of the plan developed by the Board of Directors must be obtained through their 1867 report, which details the procurement of a title for ten acres of land and a proposal to enclose about seven acres. On the north side would be a street 60 feet in width, and on the west 140 feet for street and yard to the front buildings.

The prison yard would be a parallelogram 682 1/2 feet in length, by 352 1/2 feet in width, enclosed by a stone wall 5 feet in thickness at the bottom, 2 1/2 feet at the top, with foundation 5 feet below the surface, and wall 25 inches thick. At each of the corners of this wall would be large turrets, for the use of the guards, with inside staircases. Guardrooms would be above on a level with the top of the main. The superintendent's house and cell buildings would be so placed that the rear wall of each would form part of the west wall. "

SOURCE:http://www.wvpentours.com/history.htm

Tags:   Moundsville West Virginia United States Penitentiary former prison jail paranormal haunted ghosts WVP riots murder death suicide cells cell blocks time Moundsville Economic Development Council hanging electrocution Gothic building history historic structure


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