The Tours

2020 Prison Tours Canceled

Dear Tour group operators, We are sorry to say that this year’s tours that include Michigan’s 1st Prison have been cancelled. We are working on a new pricing structure for tour companies for the 2021 season and you should check this website soon to engage a date for next year.
We know this year has been hard on all of us, but we are looking forward to a brighter 2021. I will be contacting those of you, whom I know, to set up something for next year. If I do not have your contact information, please send me an email at and I will get back to you.
We expect next year to be a banner year (It will be, compared to 2020).
Steve Rudolph
General Manager

Michigan's First Prison

“Michigan”, a brand new state in what was the wild wild west of the 1830’s needed a prison. Six villages and an established city fought tooth and nail to get it.

This story and many more, take you through the history of Michigan’s first prison, the National Guard Armory it became and its current evolution as an artist’s community. Go back in time with a live story telling guide as you relive the history of infamous prisoners, the politics and the policies of an era long past. It is the story of a small village that became a great city with the help of a huge prison.

Bring your camera as you explore solitary, the yard and Michigan’s first permanent cell block. These are stories that you will retell for years to come.

Allow two hours for this tour that ends in our gift shop.