The first state prison opened in 1838 near Jackson and started with a temporary wooden prison. In 1839 the first 35 prisoners were incarcerated. It started with three log cabins, and walls built with huge wide logs, almost like a fur traders post, and 7 of the original 35 prisoners escaped over the walls. Then two years after it opened, on a foggy night June 1, 1840, 10 inmates dug their way out of the cabins and escaped. The fugitives terrorized the community, robbing banks and becoming known as the Jackson Robber Gang. It took two years to finally capture them. The stone walls that still stand today in Jackson were constructed in the 1860s and housed Civil War prisoners. You can read more about the prison in my Lost In Michigan book HERE
Now for something different
The state required me to replace my ten-year-old license plates and I got to wondering how they were made. I came across this video on Youtube and now it makes sense as to how there can be so many different designs.
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