The 10 Most Interesting Abandoned Prisons of America

Photo by somaphotography at Shutterstock

Fort Delaware, Delaware City

Time of Operation: 1859 to 1944
Built in 1859, Fort Delaware was created as a Union Fortress but used as a prison for the captured Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. It was home to up to 12,595 prisoners at one time. The fort was active during four wars, but Fort Delaware never fired a shot in combat during its entire history.

The fortress became a state park in 1951. Today, you can engage with fort historians dressed in period clothing and hear stories of those who lived here in 1864. See the officers’ quarters, barracks, kitchen, blacksmith shop, and ordinance room, listen to stories of great escapes, and watch as the Fort’s Columbiad cannon fires a gunpowder charge!

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