Bands of outlaws and Vigilantes roamed early Montana Territory leaving a path of destruction and death. In an attempt to tame the Wild West, a prison was established in Deer Lodge in 1871. Constructed primarily with convict labor, Old Montana Prison was an active prison until 1979 when it was moved to a new site four miles west of town. The Old Montana Prison is listed on the national register of Historic Places.
As you will see, a lot of the prison is still set up as it was when in use. It was kind of creepy knowing we were touring where murders and other criminals were housed while incarcerated. They gave us a booklet that walks you through the self guided tour. Numbered markers in front of a specific spot correspond with information about the spot in the booklet. Really well laid out.
The Gallows inside the Theatre.; This execution scaffolding is one of few hanging gallows remaining in the United States. It’s called the Galloping Gallows because it can easily be moved from one location to another.
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