Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site

Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site

Listed on the National Register, the Wyoming Territorial Prison was a United States Federal Penitentiary in 1872 and later became Wyoming’s first State Penitentiary. Territorial Governor John Campbell, in his first message to the Legislature, pointed out the necessity of a penal institution to care for the lawbreakers of the new territory. Wyoming Territory received $40,000 in appropriated funds from the U.S. Congress in 1870 for the prison. It is the only federal penitentiary built in Wyoming and is one of the oldest buildings still standing. Over the years 1,200 men and women have been incarcerated within its stone walls. From territorial days to early statehood the Prison tells the story of Wyoming’s past. 117 years after the first prisoners walked into the prison, the two story 24,000 sq. ft. structure was restored.

Laramie River in front of Prison 1895. Photo from Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site.

Now a museum, visitors learn of punishment and rehabilitation, as well as discover the stories of infamous outlaws held within the iron cells through a prisoner identity card.  The Prison Industries Building (broom factory) shows visitors how it was used to raise revenue, manage the prison population, and used as a rehabilitative strategy. The Wardens’ House, built by the prisoners in 1875, interprets 19th century family life in the shadow of a prison.  

Located on 197 acres, the site offers restored historic buildings dated 1872-1920, museum exhibits, picnic area, a nature trail, and visitor center with gift shop. 

Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site 

975 Snowy Range Road

Laramie, WY   82070

Phone:  307-745-3733

Website:  www.wyomingterritorialprison.com

Located 45 miles west of Cheyenne just off I-80 at exit 311


$9.00 – Adult

$4.50 – youth ages 12-17

Free – children ages 11 and younger


May 1 – September 30

Open every day 9 am – 4 pm

Open Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

Open October-April

Wednesday – Saturday 10am-3pm

Closed Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thanksgiving, Christmas