Wyoming '99: Thursday
After getting back from taking pictures downtown, I swung back by the hotel, where I picked up Chris and Julianne to take them to jail. Their mother wanted me to put them behind the bars of the old Wyoming Territorial Prison, just across the tracks from town, whose hospitality was once enjoyed by the likes of Butch Cassidy.
I did what I could, but I'm not sure they suffered anything worse than boredom.
Julianne preferred the hammock to the mattress. I never got to hang around in a hammock when I was a kid. I think prison life is too soft for these characters.
This is an old holding cell in the Marshal's office just outside the prison yard. Mainly what it holds is a checkerboard. There were also some excellent posters in the Marshal's office for John Wesley Harding, but unfortunately they weren't for sale.
Under the circumstances, I didn't feel like trying to steal one.
Although this looks like a cell, it's actually the guard's perch at the end of a cell block. The cell block was two or three stories tall; the guard stands level with the second floor, where he can see all the way up the block but the prisoners can't get at him.
The frontier prison was perennially short on budget. Across the yard from the jail was a broom factory; they shipped brooms worldwide. In the prison we saw workshops where they made the prisoners' clothing, shoes, and . . . musical instruments. Here someone's in the middle of making a violin.
Archaelogists have excavated a lot of intriguing stuff from underneath the prison. This is just one example of what they've learned about life in prison on the old frontier.