Thursday, April 2


Here are a few more pictures of the Old Idaho Penitentiary from my weekend tour.
In 1870 the first building was construction. Idaho was still a Territory. A few years later a Dining Hall, Commissary, Barber shop, Hospital and Solitary confinement were constructed. Most of the building and the stone wall were built using stone that was cut and transported by the convicts from the Quarry at Table Rock located in the foothills just above the Penitentiary. The Old Idaho Penitentiary is located about 4 miles from downtown Boise. Back in the day.. It was a three day trip from downtown to the Prison.


New Cellhouse built in 1889

House 3 built in 1899- This was designed by the same architect that designed Idaho's Capital building.

Solitary Confinement. I can touch both sides with my arms stretched out. Only light is a tiny hole in the ceiling.

This is one of the newest buildings. When constructed, the average height for men was 5 foot 10. I'm not sure the cell doors are even that tall. This building has four stories of cells.


There was just enough room for two bunks (with grass cotton bags to sleep on) and a honey pot in the corner. There was no electricity in the building. Only daylight through the wall of windows.

In 1973 a riot, which broke out in March, was triggered largely by inmate Larry Trujillo, who charged that he was beaten by guards at the new prison's maximum security site. He was brought to the old site for medical treatment, and when the prison staff attempted to return him to the new prison, a disturbance began. Within three hours, four buildings were set afire, the Dining hall and Chapel were destroyed, and considerable general damage occurred. An official report issued after the riot said Trujillo's injuries were self-inflicted.
All remaining prisoners were transported to the New State Penitentiary located south of Boise.


Dining Hall

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Alex the Girl said...

I can't imagine having to live there. All the history...did you get chills just walking through?

Visiting from SiTS, love the pictures.

Diane said...

Wow,very interesting pics! TFS!

Love your new blog look!! And Thanks for the wonderful card and stamp you sent me Michelle,you made my day. It took me too long to post it,just haven't posted much lately.

mE said...


Thank you for the cool virtual tour! I LOVE historical places and learning about history. There's something really special about connecting with our past.