Wyoming Frontier Prison Museum
Rawlins | Rockies to Tetons
The Old Wyoming State Penitentiary in use from 1901 – 1981 is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and offers hour-long guided tours that take visitors through three cell blocks, the cafeteria, the grounds and the Death House.
While outlaws roamed the windswept high plains, canyons and mountains of post-Civil War Wyoming, the Territorial Legislature was planning a state-of-the art penitentiary at Rawlins in anticipation of statehood.
This new Wyoming State Penitentiary, which served from 1901 until 1981, would send a strong message to free-wheeling desperadoes: Wyoming would NO LONGER be a haven for the lawless.
The Old Pen, as the Wyoming Frontier Prison is affectionately called today, is “haunted by history.” Tales of great train robbers, wily escapes and of women driven to crimes of passion are told on the regularly scheduled guided tours offered daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Group tours and off season tours are also available.
Visitors may browse through history in the prison museum where historical information sits side-by-side with confiscated inmate-made weapons and an exhibit of the movie, “Prison,” filmed on location in 1987.
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