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Wyoming Territorial Prison

Wyoming Territorial Prison



  • Author:
  • Date Posted: May 1, 2014
  • Category:
  • Location
  • Address: 975 Snowy Range Road, Laramie, WY 82070, USA


History:

The city of Laramie is located in Albany County, Wyoming. Albany County was organized on December 16, 1868 from Laramie County in the Dakota Territory. On May 19, 1869, the territory’s government was formally organized.

Laramie has a population of approximately 28,000 residents. It is located west of Cheyenne, Wyoming along the Laramie River. Laramie was once the location of Fort Sanders.

Laramie is named after Jacques LaRamie, a French-Canadian trapper. Mostly all of the landmarks that are designated “Laramie” are named after him including the Laramie River, Fort Laramie, Mount Laramie, and more. The city itself sprung up following construction of the Union Pacific nearby. It was a “tent city” originally along the Overland Trail.

As with many early railroad towns, Laramie was rather hard to govern and suffered from lawlessness. The first mayor, M.C. Brown resigned after only 3 weeks in office, stating that the city was “ungovernable”. Tales of gunfights and lynchings are abundant in Laramie’s early history.

The Wyoming Territorial Prison is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1872. It housed a fair number of famous outlaws including Butch Cassidy. It is a 42 cell facility.

The first Wyoming Territorial Prison warden was Deputy U.S. Marshall Nathaniel K. Boswell.

In 1884, federal inspection of the Wyoming Territorial Prison revealed that there were only 10 inmates in the facility and they were often permitted to go into town on Saturday night! By 1887, the prison was overcrowded and rules were fairly strict.

Inmates at the prison spent their days making brooms in the broom factory or building furniture, or assembling cigars.

Today, the Wyoming Territorial Prison is a park and a museum which is open to the public.

Paranormal Reports:

There are reports of full body apparitions that have been observed in the prison and on the grounds.

Resources:

No Author (n.d.) Laramie Photos from Wyoming Tales and Trails. Retrieved August 11, 2009 from http://www.wyomingtalesandtrails.com/laramietpris.html

No Author (n.d.) Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historical Site. Retrieved August 13, 2009 from http://www.wyomingtourism.org/overview/Wyoming-Territorial-Prison-State-Historical-Site/32582

No Author (n.d.). Wyoming: Arts, Parks, History. Wyoming Territorial Prison. Retrieved November 21, 2009 from http://wyoparks.state.wy.us/Site/SiteInfo.asp?siteID=25

Wikipedia (2009). Albany County, Wyoming. Retrieved November 21, 2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albany_County,_Wyoming

Wikipedia (2009). Laramie Wyoming. Retrieved November 21, 2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laramie,_Wyoming

Shadowlord (1998). The Shadowlands Haunted Places Index. Retrieved August 11, 2008 from http://theshadowlands.net/places/wyoming.htm




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