When Clay and I were planning our early anniversary trip for last week, we knew we wanted to visit the Alcatraz East Crime Museum In Pigeon Forge, TN. That is a place that has been on our must-do list ever since it opened and we finally had the opportunity to visit, just the two of us.
We teamed up with the folks at the Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge to show you a couple of their displays. Let me just preface this post by saying that if you are into the history of crimes in the US, I highly recommend this museum! We spent 3 hours on our tour, did a ton of reading and took over 500 photos! So, you can see that this post only gives a sneak peek into what you’ll discover inside Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge. It doesn’t even begin to cover everything. With that said, I did include around 35 photos, but I didn’t want to give too much away. 😉
Some photos are sprinkled throughout this post and the rest are in a slideshow at the bottom.
This crime scene museum follows many US crimes throughout history and takes you through a pretty good order, starting with the Salem Witch Trials and ending with modern day crimes from throughout the country. You have the option of ordering the Audio tour which gives you access to the handheld audio device. This device syncs to various displays throughout the museum that give additional information about specific exhibits. To me, it was worth the extra $5 but if you don’t have it to spare, you will still get a ton of information from the info cards at each display. The audio tour just adds a little extra to your experience. If you’ve ever visited the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, you’ll likely know what I’m referring to.
The first display we came upon was a listing of reasons one may have been punished in early America. OMG! This list is insane! Falling asleep in church? I mean, I agree you should pay attention. But what if you just happened to be coming down with a cold? Or your baby kept you awake all night with colic? You’re going to be tired enough to fall asleep. And not having properly working stocks? Ummm, things break and it isn’t always possible to get them repaired immediately. I hardly think some of these things called for being punished. My goodness!
We then moved on to the Salem Witch Trials which had various texts talking about this time period. Next up was pirates. Ahoy, Matey! There were swords and other weapon displays as well as an interactive knot tying station. There were a lot of folks there so I didn’t get to try my hand at knot tying. I did get a neat photo of the Pieces Of Eight. You’ve heard these mentioned in the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies. It turns out that, while those movies are fictional, some of the things mentioned in them about pirates are true!
Next up, the Outlaws of The Wild West!
We looked at photos and displays from the Wild Western period. There were guns, photos and text depicting and giving information about life and crimes from then. We learned about the Earp family and the standoff at Tombstone.
There was also a interactive wheel with some trivia.
The Alcatraz East Crime Museum then moved us along to the age of the Mafia and various crimes from then. This particular era was depicted a few different times throughout the museum depending on what type of crime was being showcased in that area.
We saw Al Capone’s “prison cell” which was pretty posh! He had lamps and velvety bedding, a comfy reading chair and a desk. The list actually goes on and on. He sure didn’t have it rough compared to the common prison cell shown here.
We learned about prohibition and the ban on alcohol sales. Many companies, like Budweiser, found ways around prohibition by creating alternative products like malt to be used in “bread making”. Based on the number of sales they had, there was more than bread making going on!
We also saw a bottle with a spider web design that was created right here in Kentucky for the Frankfort Distillery. Little fact, my papaw actually retired from one of the Bourbon distilleries here in Kentucky. So it was really neat to see those displays and read info on how certain liquors were still allowed to be prescribed as medicines during prohibition. There’s ways around it folks!
I drove a police car simulator and learned that, either that steering wheel was super loose and the brakes didn’t work well, or I am a horrible driver! Honestly, though, the brakes didn’t work because it would take me around 1000 feet to come to a stop, which then put me in the middle of an intersection where I was t-boned by a dump truck! So, that was weird. But it was fun to pretend to be driving a police car!
We saw a gas chamber and various other methods of the death penalty, tested our skills in forensics with interactive exhibits like a dental comparison and autopsy table. I scored 100%! Maybe I should have been a forensic scientist! We also looked at O.J. Simpson’s infamous white Bronco, Ted Bundy’s Beetle and other famous cars in crime history.
Lastly, we checked out the new exhibit that will run for one year. It is “The Second Amendment” bearing arms exhibit. Here, we got to see rare firearms as well as ones we all know like the the American Long Rifle, Winchester, Colt, and Smith & Wesson. We saw several other guns throughout the museum like Flintlock Pistols and even automatic weapons. It was really neat to see how these have evolved over time.
Alcatraz East Crime Museum will be opening “The Second Amendment” on Friday, October 5, 2018. The exhibit will be open for one year, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about laws that shaped this amendment and see rare firearms on display. Alcatraz East has partnered with the National Rifle Association Museums, which includes the National Firearms Museum located in Fairfax, Virginia, which have generously loaned the special firearms in this exhibit.
This exhibit includes nearly two dozen artifacts that show the progression of firearms, from a 15th century matchlock carbine, to the most popular firearms of today. There are also pieces that have become synonymous with America itself, such as the American Long Rifle, and the iconic manufacturers Winchester, Colt, and Smith & Wesson. The exhibit will display a Spencer carbine, a repeating long gun from the Civil War, invented in 1860, and an especially rare Porter Turret rifle, unusual for its revolving chambers pointing outwards like spokes on a wheel.
About Alcatraz East Crime Museum In Pigeon Forge
Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests of all ages can encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East Crime Museum is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages – so much fun it’s a crime!
The museum is always adding to its collection, and has a star-studded panel of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including those in law enforcement, collectors, a medical examiner, crime scene investigators, and others. The board includes Jim Willett, a retired prison warden, Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial.
This family attraction is located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. General admission tickets are $14.95 for children, $24.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the last ticket sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.alcatrazeast.com.
Check out more photos in our slideshow below. And remember, I actually took over 500 photos so there are tons more exhibits to see at the Alcatraz East Crime Museum then just what I shared here. So, be sure to check it out the next time you’re in Pigeon Forge!
Click the box on the top right of the first slide to load the slideshow full screen, for better viewing.
Have you been to Alcatraz East Crime Museum In Pigeon Forge? Leave us a comment and let us know your experience!
Crystal is a stay-at-home- mom, living in KY with her husband and children. She is a travel and lifestyle blogger encouraging folks to live their life one adventure at a time while also focusing on beauty, health and lifestyle. From time to time she also likes to showcase her adorable pets along with her family. Along with Cinnamon Hollow she can be found at The Martin Family Adventure … read more