History, Hikes, Gardens and Ghosts: There’s something for everyone at the Old Idaho Penitentiary

History, Hikes, Gardens and Ghosts: There’s something for everyone at the Old Idaho Penitentiary

From Treasure Valley Living

It’s generally a good idea to avoid spending any amount of time in a penitentiary, but the Old Idaho Penitentiary is different. With a wide variety of activities, and something for every member of the family, you’re sure to enjoy your time there.

Completed in 1872, the Old Idaho Penitentiary served as the territorial prison for the Territory of Idaho. Idaho became the 43rd state in 1890, and the prison remained the preeminent place to lock up nefarious criminals and everyday lawbreakers. The penitentiary would serve as Idaho’s prison for 101 years, until 1973 when the Idaho Department of Corrections moved to a new facility south of Boise. Upon closure of the penitentiary, the Idaho State Historical Society took over the administration of the buildings.

Today, visitors can tour the penitentiary and exhibits, take a hike to nearby Table Rock or explore the neighboring Idaho Botanical Garden. With free parking available, and with a wealth of activities to choose from, the Old Idaho Penitentiary offers a great place to spend the entire day.