In an astounding feat of dismantling and reconstruction, the famous Libby Prison was taken apart, with its pieces number, transported to Chicago, Illinois and rebuilt between 14th and 16th Streets on Wabash Avenue in 1888-1889.
Richmond officials had sold the prison to a Chicago syndicate who formed the Libby Prison Museum Association T/A Great Libby Prison War Museum, according to Official Publication #12 and published by the Richmond Civil War Centennial Committee fifty years ago. The purchase price reportedly was $23,000. The dismantling and transporting the parts of the building in 132 twenty-ton rail cars cost an additional $200,000.
The museum, though not affiliated with the 1893 Columbian Expositionr, included the massive Civil War collection of Charles Gunther, operated as a highly profitable enterprise for ten years. In 1899 the building was dismantled and the Coliseum was built on that site.
All that is left today of Libby Prison are beams and timbers purchased and utilized in the building of a barn located in Hamlet, Indiana and a door and keys which reside in the Confederate Museum in Richmond.
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