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The Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site exists to share its resources with the public through preservation of its historic structures and artifacts, presentation of captivating educational programs & exhibits, all which illustrate the rich history of the Wyoming Territorial Prison, Wyoming's agriculture industry, and Wyoming's expansion from a territory to statehood as illustrated by the development of the community of Laramie.
As a state historic site, the Territorial Prison caters to tourists from around the world. The site also hosts special events such as the Horsebarn Dinner Theatre, Butch Cassidy Days, Cowboy Camp, and Ghost Tours.
The Territorial Prison was constructed in 1872 and opened for "business" in 1873 with a total of 16 prisoners. For the next 30 years, over 1,000 men and 12 women from various nationalities, ethnic backgrounds, ages, and race passed through the doors.
In 1894, our most famous prisoner was incarcerated for stealing horses. Robert Leroy Parker, alias Butch Cassidy, spent one year and six months as our guest. His conduct was reported as "good," and he received pardon by Governor William A. Richards.
In 1903, the remaining 25 prisoners were taken to the Rawlins Frontier Prison and the University of Wyoming converted the facility into an experimental Stock Farm. During this era, the Horse Barn, Box Car House, and Judging Pavilion were constructed.
The prison was restored in 1989/90 and opened as the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site in 2004. Restoration of the 1875 prisoner built Warden's House was completed in October 2006. The Broom Factory, where the inmates were employed in various industries, is currently being restored.
- Kassi Bauman
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