Wyoming Frontier Prison
The eighty year history of Wyoming's first state penitentiary, is now know as the Wyoming Frontier Prison, and is very colorful and elaborate as the plot of a classic western movie. The cornerstone of the prison was laid back in 1888, but due to the funding issues and Wyoming's crazy weather, the doors wouldn't even open up for thirteen years. But back in 1901 of December, the prison opened and consisted of one hundred and four cells, with no electricity or running water, and very poor heating. Throughout the time of the prison there were 13,500 people who were incarnated, including eleven women. Apparently they were starting to overcrowd so in cell block A they decided to add thirty two more cells and that was completed in 1904. Women were housed in prison until 1909 and then the last woman was transferred to Colorado, and back in 1950 the overcrowding was relieved and included confined cells, and at least had hot running water and a better heating system compared to how it used to be back in 1901 when it had first opened. In 1966 the maximum security was added for thirty six cells only because they were reserved for discipline cases. There was several different discipline meaning with inmates, there was the dungeon, solitary confinement, and then the punishment pole, where men were handcuffed and whipped with rubber hoses. When it came to execution methods, there were many different ones used for different things, the first two were called traveling, and the death house. The traveling one was carried out and was used on Tom Horn in 1903 in Cheyenne. In 1916 the penitentiary completed the death house which consisted of six cells to house inmates chamber when it was chosen to replace the Wyoming's execution method of choice back in 1936. Nine men were hanged, five men were executed in the gas chamber by the use of hydrocyanic gas and fourteen were carried out by the death sentence.
Backstory and Context
The Wyoming Frontier Prison is a remnant of the grizzly past of the old west, but not every aspect of prison life was so putting off. Over the 80 year operation the prison produced goods to meet demands of the 4 major industries. From 1907-197 the prison had a broom factory, but during the riot they had the inmates decided to burn it down, the factory was rebuilt and operated as the shirt factory which was brought in twice by the revenue to the state. In 1934 there was a federal law that was passed to prohibit the transportation of manufactured goods from one state to another state, in which resulted in the loss of when the factory closed. Back in 1935 the factory began operating a woolen mill and it won the Navy E in 1942 for the superior of quality of blankets produced by the actual prison for the military during World War II. The prison changed production one last final time, in 1949 and produced license plates until the prison closed in 1981. After serving the state for 80 years, the prison decided to close its doors and it sat abandoned until 1987 and the only reason then was because a movie was filmed on the location with the movie title Prison even though it was a low budget film. When making this film damage was done to the grounds during the filming time because it had yet to be a historic site yet. Back in 1988, powers board took ownership and established it was a museum. Ever since then the Wyoming Frontier Prison has been listed a historic place and offers so many tours and 15,000 people annually.