In its day, it was an imposing structure. And it made no bones about what it was there to do. The Wyoming Territorial Legislature demanded its construction in 1869, and three years later, it started its historic 30-year run of incarcerating the Territory’s criminals. The Wyoming Territorial Prison was dedicated, in its own posted words, to “evildoers of all classes and kinds.”
The new prison, located in Laramie, Wyoming, would house some of the Wild West’s most infamous bad guys. During its 30-year existence, the Wyoming Territorial Prison would lock-up a thousand men and 12 women. Butch Cassidy spent a year and a half there. The leader of the Wild Bunch had been nailed for horse thievery but was pardoned in 1896. And the rest of Butch’s adventures with the Sundance Kid and life and death in South America were to come. Big Nose George Parrot did time at the WTP. And so did Minnie Snyder, a local lady convicted of manslaughter in 1896.
Wyoming Territorial Prison was commissioned and built at a time when the Wyoming Territory was becoming more populated. The Territory had grown to a whopping 9,000 inhabitants in 1870, two years before the prison was put in use and some 20 years before statehood. But it was to serve its purpose and fulfill its obligation in 1902. A bigger and more efficient facility had been built in Rawlins, Wyoming, to take over a growing task, in a growing State of Wyoming.
Eighty-nine years later, in 1991, a 5-million dollar renovation project was completed at the old Wyoming Territorial Prison, and the Wyoming Territorial Park was formed. It’s a wonderful area that includes all of the original structures. The prison cells are particularly eerie in this authentic display of the old prison. During the summer months, the Horsebarn Theatre on the grounds of the Wyoming Territorial Park will stage a live show. And in April of 2012, an exciting new exhibit will debut at Wyoming Territorial Park. “Science on the Range” will focus on the site’s history as the University of Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station, when the prison building was used as the dairy barn, and UW conducted research projects and bred and showed world-class breeding livestock.
Today, it’s a fun place to visit. But back in the days of the Wyoming Territory, this was the last place you wanted to be.
Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site, 975 Snowy Range Rd, Laramie, WY 82070; Phone: (307) 745-3733
Wyoming Territorial Prison Resources
Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site
Wyoming Territorial Prison Hosts Annual Pumpkin Walk Event, Oct. 6 2018-09-18 11:11:33 Wyoming Territorial Prison Hosts Wyoming Statehood Day, July 10 2018-06-29 10:03:14 Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site Hosts Holiday Light Show
strong>Wyoming Territorial Prison Historic Site | Travel Wyoming …
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Wyoming Territorial Prison is an imposing stone structure built in 1872 (restored in 1990). For thirty years it held the West’s most violent and desperate outlaws (including the notorious Butch Cassidy) during the dramatic time of Wyoming’s territorial days and early Statehood.
Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site – Laramie …
Prisoners were transferred to Rawlins in 1901, The prison was closed in 1903 and given to the University of Wyoming.</p><p>The university operated the property to conduct experiments in livestock breeding until 1989. In 1991 the property opened to the public. In 2004 it was established as Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site.
Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site | C-SPAN.org
Built in 1872, the Wyoming Territorial Prison was a federal government prison near Laramie, Wyoming. It became a symbol of law and order during the turmoil of the wild west.
Wyoming Territorial Prison – Review of Wyoming Territorial …
Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site: Wyoming Territorial Prison – See 488 traveler reviews, 307 candid photos, and great deals for Laramie, WY, at Tripadvisor.