This is the earliest known photograph of the Anamosa Penitentiary. Taken around 1875, the view looks south. Construction of the now-familiar cellhouse facing High Street has not yet begun. The original board stockade fence is plainly visible (center left), but wall construction has started (left of building).
1874 - Started construction of first cellhouse on 5/8/1874, it was under roof by 1/1/1875, and was 50ft by 120ft. It was two stories high, with a basement. It contained 72 cells, each constructed of 6 inch flagstone, each stone securely dovetailed together. The cells measured four feet, 6 inches wide, seven feet six inches in height, and eight feet in length. The steel doors had been purchased in 1872, and were later moved to the south cellhouse, the first large cellhouse, which was finished in 1881. At that time, the 72 cells were apparently removed, and the building continued to be used for the kitchen, dining hall, library, chapel, storage, and offices. The building burned in the 1896 fire, and was later rebuilt as the power plant and "Shop #1."