South Main Street in Deer Lodge, looking north:

The one consistent source of employment in the town now (besides tourism) is the State Penitentary. You can see the original Prison in the left of the picture. It was closed in 1978 and a new prison was built about 6 miles out of town. The old prison is now a museum, and really worth a tour if you happen to be in the area.

I remember as a child we would occasionally hear the long siren which signalled that a prisoner had escaped. Typically low-security prisoners would escape from the Prison farm.

Ranchers in the area were instructed to leave their keys in their vehicles. That way if an escapee happened by, they would steal your car instead of breaking in to your house.

I'm really not making this up.


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