Whenever someone asks me where I'm from, and I answer 'Anamosa, Iowa', often I will get the follow-up question, "isn't that the town with the prison?" Yes, yes it is. The Anamosa State Penitentiary is as much a part of my hometown as any other building or famous native son. Sorry, Grant Wood. Personally, I've always been fascinated with the structure itself. No, I've never wanted to see the inside of its prison walls, but the historic building made out of Stone City stone casts a giant shadow that's hard to ignore.

Anamosa used to house the worst of the worst criminals in the state. While there are still some violent offenders within its walls, other prisons built in Iowa now take on the worst of the worst. Every time we go back to visit my parents on the family farm north of town, Holly and the kids always ask me to drive by the prison on our way home. There is something mighty and majestic about the columns and walls that stretch up from the ground. My dad tells of the days when the used to give tours of the prison. Since those days are gone, the next best thing would be using a drone to get a bird's eye view. And that's now what we have.

In the fall of last year, the Anamosa Penitentiary Museum contracted with a videographer to shoot some drone footage of the prison which has been open since 1872. The results are a look at the historic building like never before.

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