“Wish You Were Here:” Prison Tourism in Michigan

An image of a terraced garden within the prison.

Postcard showcasing the tiered gardens that were once on the grounds of Marquette Prison.[Archives of Michigan] Courtesy of: Michigan History Center

Frances Heldt

Today we are relatively accustomed to the idea of old, closed-down prisons being destinations for curious tourists; think Alcatraz Island and the Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania. But the idea of prisons as tourist attractions has been around since the 19th century – though not for the same reasons.

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