What: Museum & Historic Landmark. Formerly a prison & copper mine.
Where: 115 Newgate Road, East Granby, CT 06026
When: Closed for 2010 Restoration
Old Newgate Prison was a Colonial American prison in what is now East Granby, Connecticut. It is now a historic site.
The prison was originally a copper mine, opened in 1705, and is believed to be the first copper mine in America. After mining operations proved unprofitable, the colony of Connecticut converted it to a prison, like its London namesake Newgate Prison. The first prisoner, John Hinson, was committed for burglary in 1773. Later Tories and Loyalists were held here during the Revolutionary War. In 1790 it became a state prison, the first such in America. After the prison closed in 1827 mining operations resumed for a time, but since the 1860s it has been mainly a tourist attraction. Nearby Peak Mountain offers a bird’s eye view of Old Newgate Prison from the Metacomet Trail.
In 1972 Old Newgate Prison was declared a National Historic Landmark. The site is now owned and administered by the State of Connecticut as a museum.
In 2006 an episode of Treasure Hunters sent the contestants to the prison. We’re trying to find that video, but in the meantime here is a video from a person’s visit around Halloween in 2008.