Visit the "Old Pen" to get a glimpse of prison life in the West from the 19th Century onward. Built in 1870, the ... More
Old Idaho State Penitentiary
Visit the "Old Pen" to get a glimpse of prison life in the West from the 19th Century onward. Built in 1870, the castle-like fortress was enlarged over the years, often using prisoner labor. In 1973 it was replaced with a new prison. Visitors can take a 90-minute tour, complete with solitary confinement cells, death row and the gallows. It is also the site of Idaho's only hanging in 1957. The building now houses several museums worth perusing.
I live in Idaho and this is one of my favorite places to go. We did NOT take the tour! Go on your own with some friends and have fun, its definitely creepy and gives you chills when no one else is around.
Very interesting and sobbering look at early area history. Definately worth going on the guided tour as interesting stories and facts are shared. None of the buildings are heated, or cooled, so dress appropriately.
A great place to visit and take the kids. Except for some stairs and the rosebusjes, kid friendly. Be aware of the weather as you have to go outside to go from builing to building (no heat or A/C). Very cool place, lots to see, self guided and really gives you a feel for life when it was active. Great for pictures too!
We went to the the Old Idaho Penitentiary and I got some odd pictures of my husband. In every pictures that I have of my husband is very blury. We were in the solitary Confinenent and the pictures is no good. But I did like going and just being able to see how the penitentiary looked like. I would go again. I like the roses that they have in side the penitentiary.
this place was fantastic. We spent 3 hours there with our kids (8 & 10)
I had printed off a scavenger hunt for the jail from an Idaho website and the kids loved lookig for the objects. Great day out with heaps of interesting history and facts for the whole family
my 8th grade class took a trip to boise when we went there it was so amazing i loved the old look it had, i did find some areas a little creepy and i saw a few shadows move, but what can you sespect from a place that old. i am sure there are a few spirts still haunting the place. so over all i loved my tour and i think that every one should try it.
My team and I went for a team celebration for making our goal. It was quite hot when we went and there are next to no areas of shade. The cell and block houses are a bit too spooky to hang around in for long, and are just as hot as outside anyway. I would suggest going in the spring. Don't miss the exhibits, either. The weapons museum is real cool. You can wait for a guided tour or take a self-guided one. The guides give you all the history. Punishment at its very best. Too bad they don't make 'em like this any longer.
I like the part in one of the buildings that had a display on how the electricity was generated by the water system through the canals that ran through the city.
Maybe our prisons should be built like this one was so our convicts will know punishment for crimes. Seeing the trap door where the executions took place was an eye opener.Death row was a very small area. The walls outside the buildings were very tall making it hot. There was a separate women's building or dormitory by the warden's house.
The outside garden area by the warden's house is used for weddings and special occasions. Very ornate old bench surrounded by Black Eyed Susans.
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