05/04/14 300 W, 5 I - + 14 - 8 Old Governor Morehead School Campus

Everyone knows about the North Carolina Highway Patrol training facility at 3318 Garner Road, which is also home to the State Bureau of Investigation. And you've probably seen the historical marker at the corner that identifies same as the Governor Morehead School. That was the name of the campus beginning in 1963.

Before then, the campus was known as the State School for the Blind and Deaf. And it was a segregated school, only housing African-American students. White students were housed at the state school on Ashe Avenue.

This 1934 Sanborn Map sheet shows the buildings and streets, most or all of which are still there today. Note there was even a rail spur, that delivered coal to the power plant. Click to enlarge:

In 1963, the names of both the Garner Road and Ashe Avenue locations were changed to the Governor Morehead School. In 1967, approval was given to move black deaf students to the traditionally all-white deaf school in Morganton. In 1971, consolidation of black and white blind students was completed at the Ashe Avenue campus. Read more of that history.

When did the Highway Patrol move to the site? Where were they located before? Ditto the SBI? And how many of those buildings on the campus were erected after 1971? Maybe our readers can help. And one fun fact, did you know that former Raleigh Fire Chief Charles Farmer was the first highway patrol commander? Here's a blog post about him that we did.

As for the site today, here's a Bing Maps Bird's Eye view photo. And some ground-level explorations from myself, this (Sunday) morning. See those photos. Need to go back for a few more.


My ex-wife worked there just before the school closed after the 1973-1974 school year. She was a teacher’s assistant for the young Deaf students, (kindergarten, 1-3rd grades). I worked 2nd shift and drove her to work for the 8am classes and picked her up, went home in time for me to head for my 4pm shift. A year or 2 later, thereabouts, I was in electronics (TV/Radio) and we were contracted to re-work the main building’s communications console for the Highway Patrol’s preparation to move into the campus. That’s all I can remember, hope this helps. To continue, the First Citizens Bank Operations Center’s outdoor lunch area (west of the Patrol’s campus) has a mighty fine view of the Highway Patrol’s training tracks.
By the way, I am a part-time historian for the Deaf community related to schools for the Deaf and I shared the same dormitory floor at the North Carolina School for the Deaf’s first black male student in the fall of 1967.
Lester Latkowski (Web Site) - 01/12/15 - 00:45

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