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MUSEUM

MEMORIAL

THE TRAMP CHAIR


     In the old west many towns had no jails to keep prisoners in overnight. Thus, in the 1800's a local smith designed the TRAMP CHAIR made of steel, riveted and bent so that the sheriff, constable or justice of the peace could hold a prisoner overnight. For most, one night was enough. Vagrants would soon vacate their "guest" chair.

     This chair is an exact duplicate of the chair used in Yuma, Arizona, and you can imagine what it might be like to sit on the hot iron seat during the hot days and cold nights of the desert. Today we don't permit the use of "Tramp Chair". This would be cruel and unusual punishment. However, in the early days justice wasn't so kind to saddle tramps and vagrants, and anyone arriving in town soon disappeared on their own.

     You are welcome to try out the cell on wheels that could be moved by he town marshal and then locked tightly until the next day. Please use care. The metal-is heavy and uncomfortable.

     Picture yourself outside this building in the Tramp Chair in the heat with rain - and perhaps cold weather at night. Often the prisoner was stripped naked and the kids from the area would poke him with sticks or throw rotten eggs at the victim.