The Frog Gates at Shelby Farms

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Shelby Farms and the old Penal Farm complex are just full of oddities. I've already written about mysterious gravestones, blue barns, and abandoned 1950s cars in the woods. But the other day, I spotted these strangely decorated gates in the western portion of the complex.

Yes, the two concrete gate posts are topped with brightly painted, cast-concrete FROGS. Now I have to say that for a former prison, Shelby Farms certainly has a lot of gates, but these are the only ones I've found (so far) that feature animals. And why frogs, I wonder?

They're located on Nixon Road, just south of Mullins Station, right across from the building that now houses the Shelby County Archives. The gate itself doesn't serve any purpose anymore, since the road now runs just a few yards to the east of it. But I really do like the frogs. I'm sure they brightened the days of the prisoners who trudged through these gates years ago to work the fields.

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