115 Lafayette St, Jefferson City MO 65101866.998.6998 Map it Website Address
Decommissioned in 2004, the Missouri State Penitentiary was the oldest continually operating prison west of the Mississippi. The prison was 100 years old when Alcatraz began taking inmates. When the prison opened in 1836, the Battle of the Alamo was going on in Texas and Andrew Jackson was in his second term. Public history and paranormal tours showcase the prison’s grisly past, including cells of famous inmates such as heavyweight champion Sonny Liston and James Earl Ray, the gas chamber where 40 men and women were executed, several housing units and the upper yard. In 1967 the Missouri State Penitentiary was infamously named the "bloodiest 47 acres in America" by Time magazine because of the incredibly high number of serious assaults on the grounds between 1963 and 1964. Reservations are recommended. Groups of 20 or more can book a private tour.