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Was there hidden treasure at the Maryland Pen? | READER COMMENTARY

Construction machine and workers doing the demolition of the old Baltimore City Jail, built in the early 1800s as the Maryland Penitentiary and has been owned by the state since 1991.
Construction machine and workers doing the demolition of the old Baltimore City Jail, built in the early 1800s as the Maryland Penitentiary and has been owned by the state since 1991. (Kenneth K. Lam)

For the better part of two decades, I visited with inmates in Maryland’s prisons including the old Penitentiary (“With regret and satisfaction, Baltimore watches the infamous Maryland Penitentiary tumble down,” Sept. 25). One lifer I got to know well insisted that there was a fortune built into the Pen.

He explained that under the metal cladding of the peaked sections of the roof were inch thick sheets of copper. Whenever I’d drive past on the Jones Falls Expressway, I would wonder if he really knew what he was talking about, or if it was just another bit of prison folklore. I suppose now, though my friend has been dead for several years, the truth or fiction of his story will come to light.

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Lou Jacobs, Baltimore

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