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Visit the decommissioned Missouri State Penitentiary during 50 Plus day trip on May 5
POSTED: 04/13/2017
Enter the Missouri State Penitentiary, as many inmates did between 1836 and 2004, during an early May day trip being offered by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

History of the Big House is the name of this trip, which will take travelers to the what has been called “bloodiest 47 acres in America” by Time magazine due to the number of murders and assaults that took place there. The decommissioned prison is located near Jefferson City, Mo. Participants tour the upper yard, the oldest housing unit and the underground cells. Imagine life in the penitentiary as an inmate behind lock and key or a guard on watch while learning its history and listening to interesting stories. The Missouri State Penitentiary was once the largest prison in the United States, housing 5,200 inmates at its peak. After lunch, a guide will take the group on a tour of the “Puppies on Parole,” a program that allows prisoners to train shelter dogs making them more adoptable. The trip will end with an ice cream stop at Central Dairy in Jefferson City.

To find this program in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under 50 Plus and then under travel. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keywords “day trip.”

This trip will leave at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, May 5, from Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch, Merriam, and return at approximately 6 p.m. that day. The cost is for this nine-and-one-half-hour day trip, including tours, admission, lunch, and transportation, is $89 per person. For more information or to register, call (913) 826-3030. To see this program online at, click on the green “Register for Activities” button and complete a barcode search for 39046.

While JCPRD’s 50 Plus programs are primarily for people who are age 50 or older, interested parties who have not yet reached that magic age may still be able to attend. Persons 18 and older who are interested in a 50 Plus class are invited to call the 50 Plus Department at (913) 826-3030 for space availability.

Printed copies of the My JCPRD Activities catalog are available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches.

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