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Traveling WV: Mill Point Prison

The Mill Point prison camp operated from 1938 to 1959. (WCHS/WVAH)

Walking along the Cow Pasture trail in the Monongahela National Forest, you'd never guess that there was once a federal prison located there. Mill Point Federal Prison was a minimum United States federal prison camp located west of Mill Point in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. It was built on a plot in Monongahela National Forest adjacent to the Cranberry Glades. In operation from 1938 to 1959, all buildings were demolished after its closure.

There were no walls or fences at the Mill Point prison, the mountains and rugged terrain provided a more than adequate barrier from escape. Of the 20 or so inmates who attempted to escape, most were picked up along the only road into the area, or asked citizens to take them back.

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