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Welcome to a new feature of our website - the "Virtual Museum". As we continue to search the archives of the Department, we will highlight new stories here in our main exhibit hall. Over time, we hope to build a complete history of the facilities and individuals who make the Department what it is today
Indiana gained statehood in 1816. In 1858, a Michigan City businessman, Chancy Blair, happened to own 102 acres of land on the western edge of the city limits, and he offered to sell his property to the state for the sum of $4,500. After purchasing the land, and gaining financial support from the State Legislature the first Warden, C.W. Seely was selected and began construction on the prison with 100 offenders from Jeffersonville.
To date, there have been 30 men who have served as Warden/Superintendent.
The Prison’s first perimeter wall enclosed 8.3 acres and each wall was 600 foot long. Through the years, as additional room was needed, the facility was enlarged to 24 acres inside the wall. There are ten gun towers on the walls and they are manned everyday, 24 hours. Indiana State Prison is the oldest facility in the system and the staff takes pride in keeping the buildings and grounds clean and presentable. Each spring and summer the sidewalks are lined with flowers, as are certain areas inside the wall.
The Indiana Women's Prison is the oldest female prison in the United States that is located on the grounds originally built on.