Wyoming Frontier Prison
Rawlins | Rockies to Tetons
The eighty year history of Wyoming’s first state penitentiary, now known as the Wyoming Frontier Prison, is as colorful and elaborate as the plot of a classic western movie. The cornerstone of the prison was laid in 1888, but due to funding issues and Wyoming’s notorious weather, the doors wouldn’t open for thirteen years. In December of 1901, the prison opened and consisted of 104 cells (Cell Block A), no electricity or running water, and very inadequate heating. After serving the state for eighty years the prison closed its doors and sat abandoned until 1987 when a low budget movie titled “Prison” was filmed on location. In 1988, a joint powers board assumed ownership of the penitentiary, dubbed it The Wyoming Frontier Prison, and established it as a museum.
The Wyoming Frontier Prison includes guided tours through the Prison and grounds, an exhibit on the current Wyoming State Penitentiary, and our own prison museum. The Old Pen Gift Shop is also on site along with the City of Rawlins walking path that will take you up to the old prison cemetery.
From Memorial Day-Labor Day we are open seven days a week and offer eight tours a day. You will find tour fees and off season tour schedules by visiting our website.
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