When West Virginia split from Virginia during the Civil War it instantly found itself needing many institutional venues that were previously served by those now located in Virginia.
One of those venues was a prison, so in the late 1860s they started building a prison in Moundsville, just south of what was then the state capital of Wheeling.
The Moundsville Prison was generally regarded as one of the most violent prisons in America, with numerous murders and other acts of aggression regularly occurring. Eventually in the 1990s it was closed, and now serves as a tourist spot and training facility.
Gallows – There were over 90 executions at the prison, initially by hanging. It is thought this was the first location for the gallows, they were later moved to the ‘Death House’, which is no longer standing.
A cell block.
The exterior wall.