1912 Cell House Entrance - Deer Lodge, MT
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 46° 23.580 W 112° 44.180
12T E 366507 N 5139178
Quick Description: This large brick cell block, built in 1912, has an impressive stone entranceway at its southwest corner. Known as cell block one, it was actually the third cell block built in the old Montana State Prison.
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 11/4/2014 10:59:38 AM
Waymark Code: WMMTQV
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Dorcadion Team
Views: 1

Long Description:
Built primarily by the convicts, this large cell block and doorway were designed by architects Link & Haire, of Billings, MT, who provided the plans for a variety of Montana jails, court houses, schools, and state buildings. Made entirely of locally quarried stone with a steel barred door, the recessed entrance is quite impressive, particularly for a prison cell block.

The prison was built in stages over many years, mostly by the convicts themselves, a good example of "hard labour". The present cell block was built in 1896, the prison wall was extended north in 1911 and a 400-man cell block built within in 1912, a theatre was built in 1918-1919, the administration building in 1930-1931, and dormitories, a storage building and a visitor centre were built between 1910 and 1930. A maximum security building, also used as a women's ward was built circa 1918.

Self sufficient, the prison had its own water well and water tower, power house, hospital and school.

The prison was still in use when entered in the national register on September 3rd, 1976, but was decommissioned by the end of the decade.

The Powell County Museum has online a great article on the prison.

Cell Block

1912 Cell House

To ease increasing overcrowded conditions, the 1912 Cell House was constructed, adding two hundred cells to the prison complex. Erected in only eleven months using convict labor, the cell house was a model facility for its day. Each cell had running water, a flush toilet, and good ventilation.

During yard time, this corner of the cell house was popular with the inmates. Many immortalized their prison stay by carving their names on the cell house wall. A urinal and water fountain were added as yard time and recreation were increased. By design, most locations in the yard were visible from at least two guard towers. Since this semi-hidden nook was only visible from one tower and there were always several inmates congregating here, it provided a location for contraband and drug transactions.
From the sign at the door

Type of material of the door: Steel

Functional door?: Yes

Location of this door/way: On public property

Is it accessable only by paid admission": Yes

Style: Gothic

Address or physical location:
925 Main Street Deer Lodge, MT 59722

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