Colorado is known for its state prisons, and their history is well-chronicled in the Museum of Colorado Prisons in Canon City.

Museum is A Former Prison Facility

The museum is actually located inside a former women's prison building that was built in 1935. Ironically, the building is located adjacent to the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility, which has been an active prison since 1871.

In 1986, the Colorado Legislature gave Canyon City a 99-year lease to house the museum in the prison facility. Two years later, the museum was open for business.

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140 Years of Colorado Prison History

The museum covers over 140 years of Colorado prison history, including infamous inmates like Alfred Packer, the so-called cannibal, and Antone Wood, a 12-year-old convicted of murder.

See A Gas Chamber and Execution Table

In the gallery and video below you will see the inside of the prison museum including 30 inmate cells on the other level. The museum is filled with artifacts that depict the lives of prisoners and guards through the years, including a gas chamber and execution table. The walls are filled with historical photos of prison life and various inmates.

Guided Tours

Since the museum opened in 1988, more than 200,000 visitors have passed through the doors of the former prison facility. The museum offers guided tours and is open Wednesday through Sunday during the winter, and seven days a week in the summer. Admission is $10 for adults.

Look Inside the Colorado Museum of Prisons

The state of Colorado currently operates 19 state prisons and two private facilities. The Museum of Colorado Prisons is appropriately located in Fremont County, home to 6 of the state's correctional facilities. The photos below take you inside the prison museum in Canon City.

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