Old Idaho Penitentiary
The Old Idaho Penitentiary is a division of the Idaho State Historical Society. The "Old Pen" opened as a territorial prison in 1872 & closed its doors in 1973. It is now open year-round for self-guided & guided tours. Call 208-334-2844 for more details.
The Old Idaho Penitentiary opened its doors in 1872 to some of the West’s most desperate criminals. Today, visitors can experience over 100 years of Idaho’s unique prison history with a visit to Solitary Confinement, cell blocks, and the Gallows. The Friends of the Historical Museum and Old Idaho Penitentiary is an organization dedicated to support the Idaho State Historical Museum and the Old Idaho Penitentiary.
The Old Idaho Penitentiary features thirty historic buildings and special exhibitions including the J. Curtis Earl Memorial Exhibit of Arms and Armaments. Events and programs provide families, school groups, and visitors an opportunity to relive the Old Pen's exciting past of daring escapes, scandals, and executions. The Old Idaho Penitentiary is located in the Old Penitentiary Historic District and is open year round.
They have an interesting and informative tour available for a fair rate. I left with a head full of history about the penal system in Idaho, particularly the former death penalty. It's also a great place to take pictures and get a little creeped out by all the old buildings and execution chamber.
This was a fun place to go for a bit of history. A little pricey, but I know they have to do maintenance and keep it staffed. We went on the guided tour which was good.
Went for an after-hours self-guided tour. It was super cold, but a blast! Very cool facility. The docents were very nice and knowledgable. Definitely want to go back again (during daylight) for a more thorough tour.
I took the opportunity to photograph the Penitentiary on a photographers night. I was there day and night and it is cool. There are some restored buildings and some in decay. You can go through nearly all of the building including death row, which does have a vibe, I heard others mention it to. They have lots of historical pictures...
This place is a great look into Idaho history. It is nice and peaceful up there. You can also visit the Warden and Bishops house, I believe