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September through November 2012 we are open Tuesday - Sunday Tours are every hour, beginning at 11:00am, the last tour leaves at 4:00pm
Moundsville Economic Development Council
818 Jefferson Ave
Moundsville, WV 26041
TIME features Former West Virginia Penitentiary
50 Authentic American Experiences
"Unlike most of the people who've previously walked through the gates of the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville, you can be fairly certain you'll be walking out again a few hours later. The imposing Gothic structure was first opened in 1876, but closed in 1995. It's seen riots, fires and the execution of nearly 100 prisoners through either hanging or electrocution. These days, the only things it sees are much better behaved visitors. You can take a tour of the grounds and see the rows of cramped 5 ft.-by-7 ft. cells during the day; for braver souls, the penitentiary also offers midnight tours, followed by the chance to kick around inside the prison on your own until 6 a.m. Overnight visitors are allowed to bring their own food, so there's no need to trade your boyfriend for a Snickers bar." View Article
Welcome to the Former West Virginia Penitentiary
The prison at Joliet provided the prototype for the West Virginia Penitentiary. It was an imposing stone structure fashioned in the castellated Gothic architectural style (adorned with turrets and battlements, like a castle). Only the dimensions of West Virginia's facility would differ; it would be approximately one-half the size of Joliet.
No architectural drawings of the West Virginia Penitentiary have been discovered, so an understanding of the plan developed by the Board of Directors must be obtained through their 1867 report, which details the procurement of a title for ten acres of land and a proposal to enclose about seven acres. On the north side would be a street 60 feet in width, and on the west 140 feet for street and yard to the front buildings.