A Pacific Northwest state, Washington was admitted to the Union in 1889. More than half of the population lives in the Seattle metropolitan area in the western half of the state; the eastern and central portions of the state are more rural and much more sparsely settled.

The Territorial Government of Washington authorized the creation of a penitentiary in 1883 for incarcerations of longer terms than local jails could be expected to accommodate. The town of Walla Walla was chosen as the site of the new prison, and construction of the brick ...

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