Thursday Doors – October 3, 2019

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time). 

Kingston Pen (Part #2) – Kingston, Ontario

As I mentioned in last week’s post Kingston Penitentiary was Canada’s longest serving and most notorious maximum security prison.

Originally built in the mid 1830’s, by the time it was closed for good in 2013 it was an out-of-date, obsolete, overcrowded hell-hole.

Today, it is part of the Canadian Corrections Services Museum.

Back when it first started taking in prisoners, KP housed both male and female inmates; in separate buildings of course.

One of their most notable female inmates was Grace Marks who was the inspiration for Margaret Atwood’s novel Alias Grace.

The 19th century was a different time. Back then children found guilty of certain crimes were often locked up as well. In its early days KP had its share of child prisoners.

During our tour we learned of the youngest one, eight-year-old Antoine Beauché who was sentenced along with two of his older brothers, to three years for pick-pocketing passengers on a steamboat on the St. Lawrence river.

One of the cells in the isolation/confinement wing

Prison records show that back then corporal punishment in the form of lashings was used to keep prisoners in line. There were strict rules in place such as no noise, no speaking, no laughing, no whistling, and no communication among the prisoners.

Now try enforcing this for any length of time on an eight-year-old….

Over a period of 9 months records indicate that Antoine received lashings on 47 separate occasions. In 1848 commissioners appointed to investigate the management of the penitentiary noted that the treatment of this child was a “case of revolting inhumanity” and was one of the factors leading to the firing of KP’s first Warden.

For a time KP was also at the forefront of correctional innovation with several shops where inmates could work and learn marketable skills that could allow them to find employment upon release.

Formed in the 1940’s CorCan was the KP run company that had the contract to supply Canada Post’s mailbags for several decades, well into the 1990’s.

Needless to say these were highly coveted positions where inmates had to be on their best behavior to qualify for jobs that paid a small wage.

Inmates could then spend their money on small luxuries, such as cigarettes, candy bars, or other treats available from the KP canteen.

Infirmary cell – minus the bed

Door to one of the isolation cells

Across the road from the Pen we visited the Warden’s residence which is also part of the museum.

An example of a cell door used in the 1830’s

An early 1900’s door

A typical cell 1835-1906

A typical cell 1998-2013

Okay, let’s wrap it up – this place is giving me the creeps. I’ll be back with some fun, pretty doors next week, I promise 😉

As always I thank you for taking the time to stop by 🙂

Want to join in on the fun and share your own Thursday Doors post with other door lovers? Then simply add the link to your Thursday Doors post in the comments section below.

Don’t forget that if you share your blog posts on social media, use the #ThursdayDoors hashtag to help others find you, and please do take a few minutes to visit some of the Thursday Door posts shared by others.

About Norm 3.0

World’s youngest grumpy old man & heart failure wonder boy. Interests: writing, woodworking, photography, travel, tennis, wine, and I know a bit about power tools.
This entry was posted in Photo Challenges, Photography, Thursday Doors and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

86 Responses to Thursday Doors – October 3, 2019

  1. We did this tour a couple years ago but the shorter, PG tour since we had our youngest with us. You took some amazing photos. I’d driven by this place so many times growing up, it was cool to see inside.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. joey says:

    I’ve never seen such a prison. Seriously, that staircase, those doors! What an interesting place, full of captures for our cult 😉
    Having only been to one famous prison and not much liking the tour … well, let’s just say I’m glad you brought these snaps to the public 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sherry Felix says:

    Interesting. Reminds me of Johnny Cash, who sang at Folsom Prison. We’ve been watching Country Music by Ken Burns.
    My contribution:

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A lot of history behind these massive doors. I worked as HR for a county that included the jail and its employees. When I’d go over to a meeting with the guards or the superintendent, I’d have to pass through a series of doors. As each one closed behind me with a loud bang, I was reminded why I never wanted to do anything that would present an opportunity to actually be afforded three hots and a cot there.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. scooj says:

    Another fabulous post, some great unique specialist doors there.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. slfinnell says:

    I know children were treated as such then but it still tugs at our hearts. So harsh!
    My post:

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Croatian doors, and a poem where time is/might be a door:

    I’ve missed participating. A broken foot has kept me indoors (well, mainly indoors) for three months now, due to a wrong diagnosis. The cast will come off in December, so I still have a long way to go. I’m slowly stepping back into the world again though, both digitally and in real life.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Brittany says:

    This is such a cool series.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You’ve shown us some creepy doors, Norm. But there were some nice exceptions and I enjoyed the post very much.
    Here’s my color-themed post for this week:

    Liked by 1 person

  10. jazzytower says:

    Imagine the ghosts roaming around that place… torture chambers. No talking, no laughing, whoa. That poor kid. I did like that red door though.

    Here’s mine for this week

    Liked by 1 person

  11. JT Twissel says:

    Children in prison … for pickpocketing. How Dickensian.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It is creepy, I couldn’t finish the Alcatraz tour, I left the group

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Goodness me, those are some impressive and intimidating doors.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Tara says:

    ‘Tis creepy! The arches, though! The brickwork! (I did enjoy those two aspects.) The 1800s doors were particularly claustrophobic. *shudders *

    (I’m posting tomorrow so I’ll be back to doors next Thursday)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Junieper2 says:

    Even though out of date, all the metal in these buildings have a modern feel. What happened to the 8 year old is indescribable. It sounds children were supposed to behave like adults:( Difficult and complicated to find the right way to punish, so it leads to a better life. Butt I like the workshops they had, to at least give them an opportunity to learn a trade.
    Lately I’ve discovered several images I had for some time that have doors, hurrah!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ostendnomad says:

    Creepy? Maybe:). But it’s definitely (an interesting) history.
    My doors of this week:

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Prior... says:

    Norm – this is an important post to have in the blogosphere as a reference!
    And oh my goodness – the things people gripe about today in prison reform do not come to close to what “used” to happen in this realm! The story of the eight year old was tough but glad it led to an investigation and eventual change,

    Here is my link for this week
    Two doors from pioneer museum

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The 1830’s style cell door would be great for my room when I was growing up.

    Here are my Etruscan doors which you might have seen – oh, indeed you have!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Flavia Vinci says:

    And here is my contribution ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Dan Antion says:

    These doors are amazing, albeit creepy, Norm. Purpose-built with one goal in mind. I like looking at the details in your photos. I also appreciate the background information. I enjoyed this mini-series, but I’m looking forward to upbeat doors.

    My muted response to the prompt is

    Liked by 2 people

  21. At least some interior areas had plenty of space, Norm, considering the size of those tiny cells. You even found a red door. Here’s my list for this week, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Lynn says:

    Again, not a place I would want to spend an awful lot of time in but it does make for some pretty interesting stories and a unique perspective on doors!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Good selections, especially the chunky iron grids.
    This is my contribution this week…

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Dymoon says:

    Norm I have always wanted to do the tour, thank you for doing it for me. Really .. thank you! here is my link

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Unfortunately there are new Antoines being brutalized in new prisons even now.

    My doors this week:

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Jackie says:

    What a great collection of doors!
    Those conditions were brutal, to the extreme.
    I need to go back and re-read Margaret Atwood.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Sheree says:

    Interesting doors + history = magic!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. marianallen says:

    I think two of my daughters split Antoine’s spirit between them. They got away with a lot, because you’d have had to kill them to stop them. Luckily for them, neither of us possessed any of that warden’s … whatever it was he had. I’m intrigued by the little pink flowers on one wall and the fancy decoration around the one number. Were those from the women’s facility, or what? My post is much, MUCH happier, featuring an opera house where I saw a DJ at work for the first time in my life!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Marian. The wall flowers and decoration is from the Warden’s residence/museum. I think it’s just leftovers of how the house was decorated back when it was still a home.


  29. Debbie Smyth says:

    Very interesting, indeed, Norm. But I’m looking forward to next week’s fun.
    Here are my doors fr this week:

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Good grief, cell doors through the ages…fascinating, though.
    For me, more Cambridge pictures of doors:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Yes, fascinating in a morbid sort of way. Certainly a motivator to not only obey the law but to want to do better as a society so that places like this are no longer needed.


  31. TCast says:

    Yes, it can be chilling and creepy but educational too. Thanks for this Norm. I am still in my topic of Scotland, here are some doors in Edinburgh.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. willowdot21 says:

    An excellent though chilling post. My experience has shown me that prisons where dreadful places but even so many people returned to them time and time again. All prison museums that I have visit have been very grim.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Joanne Sisco says:

    As if the pictures weren’t grim enough, the stories are shocking. The way humans treat humans never ceases to appall me. This 2-part series on the Kingston Pen has been an eye-opener, Norm!

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Yvonne says:

    Poor Antoine. There are always brutal, sadistic people around, it seems.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.