Maine State Prison Showroom
Address: 358 Main Street, Thomaston, ME 04861
Latitude/Longitude: 44.077583, -69.191598
Web site: click here
Phone: (207) 354-9237
The Maine State Prison Showroom is a retail store that sells wood products and crafts that are made by inmates of the prison as an opportunity to learn job skills that can be transferred to post-prison life. Merchandise includes model ships, cutting boards, furniture, old-fashioned wooden toys, birdhouses and jewelry boxes. Recently some leather purses were added and a few woven items. Some items are more simple and others are quite intricate in their designs. The program raises several million dollars for the prison that gets fed back into the program to re-train other prisoners.
The Maine State Prison opened in Thomaston Maine in 1824 and remained there until it was demolished in 2002 when the new state prison was opened in neighboring Warren Maine. In the early years, the prisoners worked the lime quarries and by the 19th century the prison had several shops including a wood shop and broom factory. In the early 1930s, the wood shop began constructing mostly furniture. The prison was supposedly the inspiration for author Stephen King and his novella that eventually was produced as the “Shawshank Redemption” movie. And, yes the prison showroom sells the t-shirts!
The Maine State Prison Showroom is open seven days a week all year round from 9-5pm. It is only closed major holidays and possibly snow days in the winter. Prisoners and Prison officials both work at the store.
From the Author: We had a visitor who had been recently engaged and went to the prison store and purchased about a dozen beautifully crafted wooden cutting boards that were stamped "Made in Maine State Prison". He wrapped the cutting boards beautifully and took them with him a reunion he was attending where he gave them to all of the women matriarchs of the family - Grandmother, mother and aunts of his bride. He commented how most of his conversations with new family members were very superficial and how very few people at the event spent much time with him "drilling" him about his background and his life story!! Are you searching for the perfect wedding or birthday gift, hmmm, nothing says "I love you" quite like a gift stamped "Made in Maine State Prison" .
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