Rutland Prison Camp

Rutland, Massachusetts
The abandoned structures of the Rutland Prison Camp, in Rutland, Massachusetts, are fascinating remnants of the correctional facility.
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About This Location

The abandoned structures of the Rutland Prison Camp, in Rutland, Massachusetts, are fascinating remnants of the historical evolution of correctional facilities in the United States. Built in 1903, this once-bustling center for criminal justice and punishment served as a correctional facility for decades, primarily housing minor offenders convicted of offenses such as public drunkenness or petty theft. It now has been mostly torn down, while a few buildings remain standing and abandoned.

At Rutland Prison Camp, inmates were actively involved in agricultural activities, tasked with raising livestock and cultivating fruits and vegetables. The produce harvested on-site played a crucial role in sustaining the prisoners, forming a self-sufficient ecosystem within the prison walls. Additionally, the prison operated a dairy, producing milk for both internal consumption and external sale. Over time, the facility expanded to include a tuberculosis hospital dedicated to treating individuals suffering from consumption.

Unfortunately, in 1934, the Rutland Prison Camp faced abandonment due to issues related to poor drainage. Despite its closure, the remnants of this historical correctional facility have not been lost to time. The abandoned prison grounds are now part of the Barre Falls Wildlife Management Area, open to the public for exploration.

Walking through the overgrown grounds and amidst the crumbling walls, visitors can experience the eerie atmosphere of a bygone era. The prison’s transformation into a wildlife management area adds a layer of historical significance to its natural surroundings.

Two distinct structures stand as remnants of the prison’s past. The vegetable cellar, situated under a mound of earth, provides a glimpse into where prisoners’ agricultural products were stored. Its open interior allows visitors to walk inside and connect with the historical use of the space. Additionally, the solitary confinement cells, located a short distance from the cellar, stand as a stark reminder of the correctional practices of the time. While the roofs may have caved in, the standing walls offer a poignant view into the harsh conditions experienced by those held in solitary confinement.

Accessing the old prison camp is facilitated by parking available at the end of Intervale Road. The dirt road may be bumpy, and having a four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended. Visitors can also choose to park at the gates and embark on a walk to explore the remaining structures. The Rutland Prison Camp, now abandoned and embraced by nature, provides an intriguing historical journey for those curious about the evolution of correctional practices in the early 20th century.

Location

Address: 299 Intervale Road, Rutland, Massachusetts
Place GPS Coordinates: 42.401333, -72.002139
Parking GPS Coordinates: 42.401333, -72.002139
Parking Notes: There is parking available at the end of Intervale Road. The road is dirt and very bumpy. It is best to have a four-wheel drive vehicle to travel down the road. Parking is ample and free.

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