Alcatraz Island - The Traveller


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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Alcatraz Island


Alcatraz Island – National Recreation Area – National Historic Landmark

Alcatraz Island is situated in San Francisco Bay, about 1.5 miles offshore from San Francisco, California, United States. The Alcatraz Island was developed with amenities like a lighthouse, military ramparts, a military prison as well as a federal prison from 1933 till 1963.

Towards the beginning of November 1969, it is said that the Alcatraz island had been occupied for over 19 months by a group of aboriginal inhabitants from San Francisco who seemed to be part of a movement of Native activism all over the nation with public protests during the 1970s.

Towards 1972, Alcatraz was the national recreation area, receiving the designation in 1986 as a National Historic Landmark. Presently, the amenities of the island are managed by the National Park Service, as part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area and are open to tours.

Tourist can reach the Alcatraz island through ferry ride from Pier 33 which is near fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco. Hornblower Cruises and Events which tend to operate under the Alcatraz Cruises are considered to be the official ferry provider to and from the island.

Home to Abandoned Prison/Site of the Oldest Operating Lighthouse

Alcatraz island is home to the abandoned prison and the site of the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States, an early military fortification as well as natural features like rock pools and seabird colony. The federal prison on the island in the chilly waters of California’s San Francisco Bay had some of America’s most dangerous and difficult criminal during the years of operation from 1934 to 1963.

Those who served during the maximum security facility were the notorious gangster Al Scarface Capone and murderer Robert Birdman of Alcatraz Stroud.None of the inmate was ever successful in escaping `The Rock’ the so-called prison though several known attempts were made over the years.

When the prisons were shut down, owing to high operating costs, the Alcatraz island was occupied for two years by Native American activists and presently historic Alcatraz Island besides being the site of U.S. military prison from late 1950 to 1933, is also a popular tourist destination.In 1847, seventy-two years later, the U.S. Army noticed `The Rock’ and its value as a military fortification.

Discovery of Gold – American River, California

The typographical engineers started conducting geological surveys and towards 1853, U.S. Army engineers began constructing military fortress on the island together with the Pacific Coast’s first operating lighthouse. Towards 1848, the discovery of gold along the American River in California, attracted many miners from across the world to the West Coast in search of the valuable metal.

As the news regarding the abundant wealth in California spread all over the world, the United States Government summoned for security measures in order to protect the land as well as the mineral resources from being seized by the other countries. According to the documentary of 1971 on the History of Alcatraz the island is said to measure 1,675 feet by 590 feet and is 135 feet, the highest point at the time of mean tide.

But the Alcatraz island’s total area reported is 22 acres. The landmarks on the island comprise of the Main Cellhouse, Lighthouse, Dining Hall, and Library, the ruins of the Warden’s House together with Officers Club, Parade Grounds, Water Tower, Building 64, Recreation Yard, New Industrial Building and Model Industries Building.

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