Old New-Gate Prison & Copper Mine, East Granby


Old New-Gate Prison & Copper Mine is nationally recognized as the first chartered copper mine (1707)and the first state prison (1773) in early America. After colonial mining ceased in the mid-1700s the site was purchased by the government of Connecticut and used to inhumanely imprison people in the abandoned copper mine. 


Today, Old New-Gate operates as a history museum in East Granby, Connecticut. Comprised of a visitor center, outdoor prison yard, historic ruins/structures, and copper mine. Visitors are encouraged to self-guide through the grounds/exhibits and take a public tour of the abandoned mine. Additionally, the museum houses The Old New-Gate Museum of Art - a rotating exhibit of artwork from the Community Partners in Action's Prison Arts Program, as well as the first-ever Connecticut Hall of Change- honoring formerly incarcerated individuals for their contributions to their community.


Through a lens of multiple perspectives, visitors to Old New-Gate Prison & Copper Mine are encouraged to shine a light on issues of historic preservation, justice, and environmental conservation, promoting critical thought, civic engagement, and empathy for all people.


Join the Friends of New Gate

The Friends of New-Gate are accepting new members.  For those interested in promoting our Mission to support this National Historic Landmark, reach out to us at friendsofnewgate@gmail.com.


Aerial view of Viets Tavern, a large white colonial building located across from Newgate Prison on the East side of the street.

Old New-Gate Recieves Federal Grant Funding for Viets Tavern

We have recieved $750,000 from the National Park Service through the Semiquincentennial Grant funding to rehabilitate Viets Tavern, with the goal of opening it for public use. The Tavern was home to Capt. John Viets, New-Gate's first warden and is significant as a contributing structures to our Nation's first state prison. Stay tuned for updates. In the meantime, check out the virtual tour of the Tavern (external link). 


Old New-Gate Receives Federal Grant Funding for Stabilization

We are honored to accept funding from the Save America's Treasure grant program, through the Historic Preservation Fund, and administered by the National Park Service . This grant will allow us to stabilize / preserve the four-story Cell Block (1824) and retaining wall, ultimately allowing greater access of the site.

Specific details regarding the stabilization are yet to be determined, but if you have any questions, please reach out to Curator Morgan Bengel at Morgan.Bengel@ct.gov.








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