Angola Museum Review
The 18,000 acres that make up the notorious Angola prison are a half-hour drive from St. Francisville, at the dead end of Highway 66. With a prison population of about 5,200 inmates, this is one of the largest prisons in the United States. Nicknamed "The Farm," Angola was once a working plantation, with prisoners for field hands. Now, it produces 4 million pounds of vegetables each year that feed 11,000 inmates across the state. The prison has been immortalized in countless songs and several films and documentaries, including Dead Man Walking and Angola Prison Rodeo—the Wildest Show in the South. The latter film is based on the prison's biannual rodeo in April and October, which offers visitors a rare look inside the grounds of the prison. Inmates set up stands where they sell their arts and crafts during the rodeo. A small museum outside the prison's front gate houses a fascinating, eerie, and often moving collection of photographs documenting the people and events that have been a part of Angola. Items such as makeshift prisoner weapons and the electric chair used for executions until 1991 are also on display.
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