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39. Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, Tennessee

Dates: June 25, 2022

Who waits in line to get IN to a prison? This girl.

Brushy Mountain State Pen shut down in 2009 and is now a museum and music venue. The views are stunning. The history is intense. Prison life is rough.

Watch out for snakes, uneven steps and ghosts.

Yep, that’s what the caution signs everywhere say.

Allie: yikes, I hope there’s no snakes!

Me: ugh, I hope there’s no ghosts!

Allie: ah what if we see a ghost snake!!

Thankfully we didn’t see any of three.

Claim to Fame

Martin Luther King Jr’s assassin was kept here. The museum displayed his art and makeshift ladder he used to escape. He was caught within a few days.

Inmate Escapes

One inmate studied yoga for a year so he could contort his body to fit into 2 small boxes taped together. Another inmate helped package him into a box labeled "153lb roast beef." He got out! Then busted out of the box and hopped off the truck. An off duty guard was duck hunting though and recognized him. Back to prison he went.

This was the lighter side of the stories I read about. The others aren't fit for repeating.

Dwight Yoakum

And the main reason we ended up here... Dwight! He sounds just the same as he did 40 years ago. I'd go just about anywhere to see him live. Lucky for me, Kevin is a big fan too and Allie's happy with our entertainment choice.

My Flight Map

Incase you're like "What the heck, Megan? You were just in Illinois!" I flew from Chicago into Knoxville where Allie and Kevin picked me up so we could see the concert. Then we all drove back to Pickens. It worked out quite well.

Would I visit again?

For sure! It's so interesting. A different part of history I don't think about regularly.

Would I live there?

I pray I stay out of such places as a permanent residence!

Here’s to staying out of prison

Megan “Not A Jailbird” Giles

Placeholder for a fun shirt design to commemorate the trip.


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