Executive Mansion Gets Marked

On May 12th, the newest addition to North Carolina’s historical marker army was unveiled for the world to see. This particular one will give pedestrians, and yes drivers too, a brief history lesson about the Executive Mansion that sits on Burke Square. The marker reads:

Official residence, N.C. governors, it was completed 1891 on Burke Square using prison labor. Architects, A.G. Bauer & Samuel Sloan.

The marker isn’t that exciting, not for me anyway, but with this news I can bring up one of my favorite historical facts that anyone can see around the Executive Mansion.

Prison labor, referenced on the marker, was used to build the executive mansion, including the brick sidewalk on the edges of Burke Square. Gang leaders left their names on bricks used in construction of the sidewalk and you can still see the names today. Here is an example of one on the block’s north sidewalk.

See more examples in an old RalCon post in 2008.

Prisoner Names Surround The Executive Mansion

I took the segway tour of downtown Raleigh this weekend and I learned some great downtown trivia during it. I thought one of the most interesting pieces of history was related to the bricks around the governor’s mansion. The bricks were made by prisoners at the time and to leave their mark, they wrote their names on the bricks. The next time you walk around the mansion look over the bricks and you will see lots of names written on them. Most are worn down but there are some that are still legible. I’m still not sure of the names on these bricks, any guesses?