Bozeman History

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Old City Bozeman Jail…by Zane

Photo of Old Bozeman Jail from The Gallatin Historical Society

Photo of Old Bozeman Jail from The Gallatin Historical Society

The Old Bozeman City Jail was built in 1911.  It replaced the former jail, which was inside the old City Hall.  The first prisoner was moved into the jail on December 3, 1911.  Three days later, on December 6, six prisoners escaped.  They escaped by carefully examining the way the guards locked and unlocked the doors as workers put on the finishing touches on the jail.  At one point the prisoners realized one of the doors was not double locked and they took their chance and escaped.  Four of them were found within the next two weeks.  The other two were never apprehended.  The jail had five general rooms.  One room was used for the Sheriff’s office.  There was one room in the very back, which was for the psychopaths.  A large room in the center was for all of the men, and two rooms upstairs.  One room was for women and one room was for children.  There is a list of things they confiscated from prisoners including: guns, knives, and even a couple of grenades.

In 1982 this jail was replaced by a new jail and became the Pioneer Museum.  The Pioneer Museum has exhibits about all of the old parts of Bozeman, including parts of the old jail.

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