Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Imprisoned

We traveled to Laramie, WY with the MINI 5280 group this weekend. We all met in Boulder, CO and travelled a somewhat less travelled road up to the turn-of-the-last-century Territorial Prison.

Photo courtesy of Prison Web Site
Taken when there was water in the Laramie River
(something we didn't see!)

It was a beautiful drive and the prison has been restored wonderfully. After housing over 1000 prisoners in its working life from 1873 to 1902, the buildings were turned over to the State and became an experimental agricultural research station until 1989. The prison and the Warden's home have been returned to their original condition (or somewhat better) and are well worth a visit if you are in the area.

A line of MINI Coopers heading toward Wyoming

 A shot from the co-pilot's seat
Inside the prison yard
The wagon that was used to transport prisoners. It was pointed out, the wagon had no springs!
Some of the stronger fellows in our group were told they had to be the horses, while I encourage them along with my pretend whip!



The prison had 3 tiers of cells. A guard cage could be used to view prisoners on either end of the prison.

The kitchen had a dumbwaiter that took food up to the 2nd floor dining area.

Prisoner intake room

The stockade was enlarged when it was discovered that prisoners could jump and climb over the original wall.
Many prisoners escaped. In the first years, 25% made it to freedom!

We had a docent take us around and fill us in on some of the prison details. He described life in the prison as well. The prisoners were not allowed to talk. They had to walk in single file with a hand on the shoulder of the prisoner in front of them. The warden determined that prisoners would fare better if they had jobs. In addition to working in the kitchen or laundry, there was a work building within the prison yard. Broom making was just one of the trades, and it is still practiced today by paid workers.







2 comments:

  1. Wow it is restored so nicely. Those tubs in their wooded cradles are something else! Thanks for the tour! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They did do a fantastic job of restoration. It was very interesting to see pictures of the cell blocks when they housed cows during the building's time as an agricultural research station.

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