Friday, September 12, 2014 -- Wyoming Frontier Prison
Wyoming Frontier Prison -- In use 1901-1981. Now a museum with tours and Wyoming Peace Office Museum.
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 another 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.
Throughout the prison’s operation, approximately 13,500 people were incarcerated, including eleven women. In 1935, their "in-house factory" began operating as a woolen mill which won the “Navy E” in 1942 for the superior quality blankets produced by the prison for the military during World War II. In 1949 the prison changed production one last time, producing license plates until the penitentiary closed in 1981.
Oh yes …… The Old Pen is looking for first hand accounts from people who served time in or were employed at the Wyoming Frontier Prison and/or artifacts from the Wyoming Frontier Prison or the Wyoming State Penitentiary. So, if you can help they’d be glad to hear from you. :-)