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.
Missouri State Penitentiary Museum
In conjunction with the Missouri State Penitentiary tours, the museum provides additional historical information about the famous prison that operated for 168 years. The museum houses MSP memorabilia as well as a replica cell that demonstrates the living conditions at the prison. Visitors can view the many displays that provide information on prison industries, contract labor/private industries, life inside the walls and control/counter-control as well as items on loan from former Deputy Warden Mark Schreiber. Please make reservations for groups of 10 or more.
The museum is located in the lower level of the Col. Darwin W. Marmaduke House at 700 E. Capitol Avenue.
Admission is $2 per person (or free with the purchase of a prison tour).
Museum Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm