“Where Butch Cassidy was locked up!”
Listed on National Register of Historic Places, the Wyoming Territorial Prison incarcerated vicious thieves and murderers (including the notorious outlaw “Butch Cassidy”) during the dramatic times of Wyoming’s Territorial days and early Statehood. The “Big House across the river” was dedicated to “evil doers of all classes and kinds.” This Prison is significant as one of only three federally constructed territorial penitentiaries still existing in the western United States and the only one in which most of the original structure is preserved. The Prison’s establishment and operation had a vital impact on the social development of Wyoming during its early years. Now a museum, located on 197 acres, visitors can walk into the strap iron cells where convicts were locked up, worked and lived during the 30 years the prison operated. The buildings now house convict photographs; displays relating to their confinement and working “volunteer” convicts manufacturing brooms just like they did in the 1890s. Site offers Visitor Center, restored historic buildings, museum exhibits as well as diverse natural and cultural landscape features. The history of ranching in Territorial Wyoming is a story all to itself. Romanticized by Hollywood, yet oftentimes, stark and full of daily drudgery, the westward bound pioneers carved out their living in meek and meager ways. The ranch exhibit pays tribute to these pioneers through a display of historic log structures move from the Chimney Rock Ranch, Albany County, Wyoming.
I wish we'd had more time to go thru. It was very hot and we had been waiting for Robert Fuller fan activity. Very interesting info and blogs, store was nice and facility appeared to be well maintained.
Good place to stop for a bit of Wyoming history. Knowledgeable tour guide! Exhibits very well done.
Great spot to stop and a stretch your legs. Quick 45 minutes self guided tour. The kids loved it.
We stopped here on our road trip. My 13 year old son said this was his favorite stop, and we had a lot of stops. Very interesting. There is a lot of walking, which was fine for us but if you have trouble walking this would be tough as some of the walking is in gravel to go from building to building. There were several exhibits that were closed for renovation so that was disappointing.
This is one of the nicer maintained and renovated historic places we’ve visited. The renovations held show what the prison was like without making it too modern looking. The self guided tour is well written and the displays are well done. We learned a lot and are glad we stopped although we were a little unsure upon our arrival.
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Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site
- Sun - Sat: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
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