Last January (2017) my tv show went to San Francisco for a week and a half to film, so on the weekend we all toured the city. Some of us decided to go to Alcatraz, which was well worth it! I love exploring historical sites. Having grown up in Alaska, our buildings are all fairly new structures. Not too much history to be found.
I took a bunch of photos, which is surprising for me as I have a fear for shooting in public. My guess as to why I was comfortable is the fact that this is an island full of tourists that ALL have their cameras and phones out. Hah.
This is my first travel blog, so please leave any comments or critiques you might have. Here goes!
THE ISLAND OF ALCATRAZ
The Island didn't start off as a prison, which is what it's most known for. It got it's name in the late 1700's when the Spanish sailed through. Lt. Juan Manuel de Ayala and his crew docked on the island to chart the harbor and he called it "La Isla de Los Alcatraces" or the Island of the Sea Birds (which we saw plenty of during our walk around the island!)
The United States secured the island in 1848 as part of a treaty to end the Mexican War. By 1859, having realized it could be used as a defense against any enemy attack on the bay, the US had built the largest fort west of the Mississippi River. It was utilized heavily during the Civil War from 1861-1865. After the war, it slowly became home to soldier convicts and eventually was designated strictly as a Military Prison in 1907.
You'll notice the United States Penitentiary sign upon exiting the boat with the words, "Indians Welcome" painted next to it. In 1969 years after the prison had closed came the Indian Occupation. Indian American activists seized the island and claimed it as indian land. The protest only lasted 18 months as their publicity and living situations began to deteriorate.
Continuing on up the road...
ALCATRAZ SOCIAL HALL
Looking up on the hill you will see the Social Hall, also known as the Officers' Club. This was for the Federal Penitentiary workers and their families living on the island to gather and mingle. In 1970 during the Indian Occupation, it was burned down during an accidental fire that also hit the Warden's Home and the Lightkeeper's Residence.
And onward we go again!
I'm going to pause for a moment and continue this another day. Travel Blogs are no joke! I hope I've kept your interest so far. Next I'll show you my walk around inside the penitentiary.
I will leave you with a selfie...