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Wyoming Territorial Prison

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Come DO TIME With Us

Listed on the National Register, the Wyoming Territorial Prison was a U.S. Penitentiary in 1872 and later Wyoming’s first State Penitentiary.  For 30 years it held violent and desperate outlaws.  Now a museum, visitors learn of punishment and rehabilitation, as well as discover the stories held within the iron cells and behind the prison walls through a prisoner identity.  The Prison Industries Building (broom factory) was used to raise revenue, manage the prison population, and used as a rehabilitative strategy. Located on 197 acres, the site offers restored historic buildings, museum exhibits, picnic area, a nature trail, visitor center with gift shop, and a RV Dump Station.


Wyoming Territorial Prison Featured On C-SPAN
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One of the best ways to get to know someone is by visiting their home. At the “Big House across the River” displays of cells and artifacts tell the stories of people from the Prison’s past. You can experience these stories through guided tours or on your own.

Bad Boys of the Wyoming Territorial Prison

River-in-front-of-PrisonPrison ca. 1890


Convict-learning-the-rulesConvict learning the rules





  • Adults $9.00
  • Youth ages 12-17 $4.50
  • Children 11 and under Free  

Wyoming State Parks Annual Daily Use permits and Wyoming Lifetime Veteran permits are honored as Free admission.

Please Note:  Last ticket sold one (1) hour before closing.  

Pets are allowed on the grounds, but must be on a leash no longer than ten (10) feet in length and physically controlled at all times. Pets are not permitted in any of the public buildings. This includes, but is not limited to, the Territorial Prison and the Prison Industries Building. Service dogs are allowed in all public buildings. For further detalis please refer to the "Rules and Regulations" for Wyoming Parks.



Guided tours are available May 27 through September 11. Tours are offered Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, and 2:30 pm. Tours last approximately one hour. No additional fees apply. Purchase tickets upon arrival.

The guided tour highlights the Territorial Prison’s history, architecture, notorious prisoners, prison management, and Wyoming history. It includes the prison and the prison industries building.

- OR -


Take a self-guided tour at your leisure. Tour pamphlets are available in English, Español, Français, and Deutsch.

Duration:  Approximately 1 ½ Hours







Private group tours of 10 or more people can be scheduled. Must schedule at least 2 weeks in advance. Additional fees do not apply.


An educational trip to the Territorial Prison allows your students to examine the larger story of the American west through the lens of the Prison’s history. The Prison is a rich learning environment. Its’ establishment and operation had a vital impact on the social development of Wyoming. School visits offer teachers and students the opportunity to think critically about the historical narratives of Western Settlement, Wyoming Statehood, and the Built and Natural Environments.  

In addition to our tour, we offer curriculum driven activities. Students use primary sources, critical thinking, deductive reasoning and teamwork skills.  

Tours are tailored to the grade level or college year of your group. Tour dates fill up fast; please schedule your school visit at least 2 weeks ahead.  

Duration: Approximately 1 ½ Hours



From territorial days to early statehood the Prison tells the story of Wyoming’s past. Discover the stories of infamous outlaws, prison reform, law and order, and science research.

These are a few of the special exhibits you'll want to see:   

Butch Cassidy: Who Was That Guy?

Butch Cassidy had plans, and those plans needed ruthless men to carry them out.  He assembled an elite corps of outlaws and organized a gang which became the most successful ring of thieves in American history.  This exhibit examines the mystery, the myth, and the man known as Butch Cassidy.  Cassidy’s story has become larger-than-life. The one outlaw that the Pinkerton Detective Agency never captured.  Enjoy your exploration of the folklore and history behind the escapades of Butch and the Wild Bunch gang.



May Preston Slosson: A Light in the Dark

Clergy and Convicts.  Chaplains were not always welcome in prisons.  Wardens during the reform movement considered them a hindrance to running a prison.  Chaplains visited prisoners, provided church services, and also served as librarians and record keepers.  In prisons of silence (such as this one) chaplains often acted as the voice of the prisoners. Dr. May Preston Slosson was appointed on July 7, 1899, becoming the first female Prison Chaplain in the United States. Dr. Slosson aimed to build up the prisoners’ sense of self-respect and provide education that she believed would assist in an orderly transition from prison life to life beyond the walls.  

May-Preston-Slosson-and-prisonersDr. May Preston Slosson with prisoners


Science on the Range

Learn how a Prison became a dairy barn. When the prison closed in 1903, the University of Wyoming acquired the property and embarked on a remarkable venture to adapt the land and buildings for use as an agricultural research station.


The University conducted numerous experiments on crops and stock animals from 1903 to 1989.  It was also known for its national stock show champions that were bred and raised on-site.  The steadfast goal of the staff and students at the research station was “to help build the most important agriculture industry in the west.”  Thus advancing farming and ranching practices in Wyoming and around the world.



Cuffed, Chained and Confined

Journey through time image


Butch Cassidy - Convict #187

Born Robert LeRoy Parker, he changed his name to Butch Cassidy when he began his life of crime. Later known as a legend of the American West and leader of the Wild Bunch, Cassidy was incarcerated at the Wyoming Prison at Laramie, for grand larceny (stealing horses) from 1894-1896. This would be the only Prison to ever hold Butch Cassidy. Upon his release he would establish the most successful band of bank and train robbers this country has ever seen. Butch and his gang would steal over $233,905.00 from trains, banks, and mining payrolls all over the West in five years. Cassidy, the Sundance Kid (Harry Alonso Longabaugh), Kid Curry and other Wild Bunch gang members were some of the most wanted men in four states with Pinkerton detectives, posses and bounty hunters dogging their steps. Butch and the Wild Bunch would become the country's last horseman outlaws. In 1901 the gang dissolved, Butch, the Sundance Kid and Etta Place set sail for South America. Cassidy may have died in a gun-fight with local law enforcement authorities in San Vicente, Bolivia in 1908 or he may have returned to the United States under another identity. His fate remains a mystery.





Robert (Bob) E. Lee - Convict #491

A member of the Wild Bunch gang and a participant of the infamous Union Pacific Wilcox Train Robbery (June 2, 1899), Lee was incarcerated at the Prison in 1900 and released (from the new state penitentiary in Rawlins, WY) in 1907. He was also a member of the Curry Gang, led by the infamous killer, Kid Curry (Harvey Logan).





Arthur Hinman - Convict #549

After stealing a horse and saddle, Hinman was convicted of grand larceny and incarcerated from 1901-1903. Upon his walking through the iron doors, at the age of 14, he was the youngest convict ever put behind bars at the Prison.





Eliza "Big Jack" Stewart - Convict #459

Stewart walked up and shot a man in the neck at a dance hall in Hanna, Wyoming. Not known if it was a lover's quarrel or a fight over money, she was convicted for "assault to commit manslaughter". Steward was incarcerated at the Prison from 1899-1901.





James Brown - Convict #516

Convicted of Forgery and sentenced to 3 years hard labor, Brown was one of many escape attempts at the Prison. He had 1 year left on his sentence when Brown escaped on May 30, 1903 while cleaning the chicken house. Prisoner was recaptured and punished by usual methods then given an additional 30 years. He was the last prisoner to escape State Penitentiary at Laramie. He served out the remainder of his incarceration at the new state penitentiary in Rawlins, Wyoming and was released in May 1935 at the age of 99.





William T. Wilcox - Convict #134 & #324

Wilcox did hard time at the prison for burglary from 1893 to 1896 (and again for forgery1897-1898). While incarcerated, he became a friend of Butch Cassidy, who was serving time for grand larceny. Wilcox possibly rode with the Wild Bunch gang after he and Cassidy were released. In later years, Wilcox would impersonate Cassidy, convincingly leading many to believe in the 1920s and 1930s that Cassidy had returned from South America to the American West.

To learn more about the 1,063 convicts that were locked up, worked and lived behind bars read: Atlas of Wyoming Outlaws at the Territorial Penitentiary, by Elnora L. Frye., c.1990




Wyoming State Museum traveling exhibits on display at Wyoming Territorial Prison





Two Wyoming State Park traveling exhibits, “Empire” and “Howdy” will be on display at the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site in Laramie May 1 through October 1.

The exhibit chronicles the history of Wyoming Exodusters – African American settlers, who moved West in the decades following the Civil War.

Howdy consists of a series of period postcards depicting Wyoming scenes. The exhibit considers the postcard as a communication device and advertiser of Wyoming’s natural and cultural landscape. Color and black and white images illustrate how postcards have promoted Wyoming as a “vacation dreamland” and a “wonderland of the West.”

For more information, please contact Renee Slider, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 307-745-6161 at the Wyoming Territorial Prison in Laramie.

The Wyoming Territorial Prison is located at 975 Snowy Range Rd. in Laramie.

The Wyoming State Museum offers travelling exhibits for rent free of charge to museums, libraries, and other cultural institutions. For rental or exhibit information please contact Carlos Santos, Curator of Exhibits, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



View Events for Laramie District:


Event Videos

Kids' Pumpkin Walk (Oct)


Holiday Lights & Music Show (Nov & Dec)





Below you will find the lesson plan for the Journey Through History lesson, our Primary and Secondary Sources Presentation, a link to our Journey Through History Story Map, and a fillable worksheet for your students.

Please let us know if you have any comments or questions by contacting the Wyoming Territorial Prison Curator, Renee Slider This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thank you and happy learning!





Site Status


Historic sites are now open




Open All Year


May – September 

  • 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.  Daily
  • OPEN on Memorial Day - Independence Day - Labor Day

October – April 

  • 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.  (Wednesday-Saturday)
  • Closed Sunday, Monday, Tuesday
  • OPEN on Veterans Day
  • Site CLOSED on April 15 & 16, Oct. 13, 2022 

The museum and site grounds are CLOSED on the following holidays:

Thanksgiving (November 25 and 26)
Christmas (December 25)
New Year's Day (January 1)


GUIDED TOURS are offered May 27 - September 11. No additional fees apply, purchase tickets upon arrival.

SELF-GUIDED TOUR available during operational hours.  Purchase tickets upon arrival. 



Phone Number






 Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site
 975 Snowy Range Rd
 Laramie, WY 82070

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