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Six decades for Camp 17

Posted on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 9:51 am

Back in the 1950s, the Northern Neck still had a lot of dirt roads. Eisenhower had put a premium on road building, mainly interstates but all roads were being upgraded. To do it in the Northern Neck, labor was needed and, to a great extent, it was to come in the form of convicts. In 1959 Camp 17 at Haynesville was opened to house them.

Properly called Haynesville Correctional Unit 17, the camp celebrated 60 years Friday with a lunch for current and former employees and guests. The food, fried and baked chicken, baked ham and sides were prepared by the same staff, including inmates, who prepare the food daily at the camp.

Superintendent Patrick Gurney welcomed all the staff and former staff including two former superintendents, Claude Mitchell and James White. “I am blessed to work at Camp 17. This is a great place to work,” he said.

Gurney noted that when the decision was made to build the camp, it was built using convict labor.

For the full article, pick up the latest Northern Neck News 10/9/19

Superintendent Patrick Gurney (right) socializes with Camp 17 employees.