This Maximum-Security Prison was opened in the mid-1800's. It was constructed through the use of convict labor. In the 1860's, it housed prisoners of the Civil War. By the late 1800's, it was the largest single prison in the U.S.
In the early 1900's, one of the inmates murdered the then-currrent warden's wife and lit their house on fire with her inside.
In the mid-1970's, one of the cell blocks was taken over by gangs which held several correctional officers hostage. One inmate was killed during this riot.
The prison (which was a fully self-sustained facility, providing its own water and electricity) employed inmates in the manufacturing of goods and equipment for use at other correctional centers, mental health facilities and state universities. Additional "computer input" training was also later offered for the inmates, a program which was designed to serve the state government. Prison labor was limited early on to state institutions so as to not compete with wage labor in the open market.
Despite being labeled "obsolete" as early as the 1920s, this prison remained active for nearly 150 years, before finally closing in the early 2000's.