North Carolina People, Places, and Things-May 11
I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.
In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special.
In 1746 parts of Edgecombe County were carved out to form Granville County. A map below shows Granville County outlined in red.
Granville County borders touch five other NC counties including Vance, Franklin, Wake, Durham, and Person along with 2 Virginia counties-Mecklenburg and Halifax on its northern border.
My home county of Robeson has a similar story with five NC Counties on its border including Scotland, Hoke, Cumberland, Bladen, and Columbus. Robeson has three South Carolina Counties on its southern borders including Dillon, Marlboro, and Horry.
During the 1940’s the US Military had a post in Granville County called Camp Butner. It opened in 1942 as a training camp for World War II soldiers, once encompassed over 40,000 acres in Granville, Person, and Durham counties. During the war, more than 30,000 soldiers were trained there.
Photo of Post Office at Camp Butner-circa 1943
The hilly topography at Camp Butner proved helpful in teaching soldiers how to respond to gas bombings and how to use camouflage and cross rivers. Additionally, both German and Italian prisoners from WW II served as cooks and janitors at Camp Butner. Today, most of the land that was Camp Butner now belongs to the North Carolina government, and the no longer operational, Umstead Hospital was located there. Camp Butner was officially closed by the War Department on January 31, 1947.
On April 26, 1947, the War Assets Administration assumed responsibility for the acreage. As the Camp was phased out, over 20,000 acres were sold back to the farmers who had original ownership. Approximately 5,000 acres were transferred to the North Carolina National Guard which maintains it for training. In addition, over 13,000 acres were transferred to the State of North Carolina in 1947. On November 3, 1947, the State of North Carolina took over the Camp and assumed the police and fire services.
From 1947 to 2007 the state of North Carolina managed the town of Butner. In 2007 the General Assembly voted to incorporate the town of Butner.
The Federal Government has a prison located in Butner. The prison is often regarded as the best minimum security facility in country. Photo below.
Butner Prison houses about 3,600 inmates. Notables include former U.S. Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, former Adelphi CEO John Rigas, former Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard, and Bernie Madoff. In the past the Butner prison has housed would be presidential assassin John Hinckley Jr., Jesse Jackson Jr. and televangelist Jim Bakker.