Old Idaho Penitentiary Site

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By Peter Wollheim – Idaho Issues Online, CC BY 2.5,

Located in Boise, Idaho, the Old Idaho Penitentiary Site offers a uniquely historical and intriguing destination, making it a stop that is both educational and worth exploring for those interested in the darker chapters of the past.

Photo By Nikki Russo – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

What makes a visit to the Old Idaho Penitentiary Site truly exceptional is its role as a former territorial prison that operated from 1872 to 1973. The site preserves the historic cell blocks, gallows, and various buildings, providing visitors with a glimpse into the harsh realities of prison life during different eras. Exhibits detail the stories of notorious inmates, prison escapes, and the evolving methods of corrections. The town of Boise complements the experience, offering a modern contrast to the historical site. The unique combination of historical preservation, gripping narratives, and the chance to explore the remnants of a once-active prison makes the Old Idaho Penitentiary Site a compelling and thought-provoking stop, offering a journey into the criminal justice history of Idaho.