The Cape Fear Meat Packing Co plant operated from 1919 to 1923, slaughtering cattle and hogs in the small Brunswick County community of Navassa.
According to local tradition, it closed after the owner was found dead — hanged in the middle of the plant.
The large, decaying, multi-story structure stood abandoned for most of the next 80 years, mostly serving as a canvas for graffiti artists and a “haunted house” to scare children. At least one Facebook page is devoted to warning young people of the dangers of playing on the site.
Since 2006, under Mayor Eulis Willis, the Town of Navassa has been pursuing brownfields grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources to clean and redevelop the site. (“Brownfields” is bureaucratic shorthand for disused and possibly contaminated industrial sites.) Willis told the Star-News in 2008 that he would like to see the building restored — making it Navassa’s first historic property — and the area used as a park near the I-140 Wilmington bypass.
The post-apocalyptic NBC series “Revolution” used the plant for location shooting in September and October of 2012.
Date posted: August 21, 2009
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