The 10 Most Interesting Abandoned Prisons of America

Photo by David R. Daniel at Shutterstock

Old Idaho State Penitentiary, Boise

Time of Operation: 1872 to 1973
In 1872 the Idaho Territorial Prison opened for some of the most desperate and mean criminals the West could offer. The place was built to hold about 600 people and saw over 13,000 inmates in its lifetime. In 1973 the Idaho State Penitentiary closed its doors, but they have now reopened for visitors to explore more than 100 decades of Idaho’s unique prison history.

Visitors can walk through solitary confinement, cell blocks, and the gallows. Walking through here, you can relive the Old Pen’s exciting past of daring escapes, scandals, and executions.

Fun Fact: This prison is only ten years younger than Idaho itself.

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