Lots of stuff surrounding this. The old prison houses the Idaho Botanical Gardens, a museum dedicated to the prison itself, and the J. Curtis Earl Memorial Exhibit (a weapons collection ranging from Bronze Age to modern automatic weapons - mostly 19th and first part of 20th century stuff). Near by are the Bishops' House (haven't been in it yet) and the Idaho Museum of Mining and Geology.

The gardens are wonderful pretty much year round. They have a number of theme gardens, including a child's garden with a butterfly area and a native plants garden. During December they have a Garden Aglow every year.

The prison exhibit includes the remains of a rose garden - the inmates ran a test garden for Jackson & Perkins Roses.

The prison itself was built in the 1870s, much of the buildings by the inmates. They didn't worry too much about anyone wandering off, because you needed some serious wilderness skills to make it out of the area.

It closed in 1973, after a couple of riots caused in part by living conditions. You couldn't really blame the inmates - one of the cell blocks was a 3 story building made of sheet metal, with no air conditioning, and toilets that consisted of a bucket kept in the cell's air shaft. It was pretty grim during the summer, especially for those on the 3rd floor.