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In 1917, the Mountain Park Hotel in Hot Springs, North Carolina, was leased to the U.S. government to be used as a prison. On June 6, 1917, just sixty days after the United States declared war on Germany, 350 German officers and 50 seamen were brought to the hotel. Soon after, these numbers grew to 517 officers and 2,300 seamen. After a prisoner escaped, towers were built to protect the prison. These towers were manned by U.S. Army guards. The government provided nutritional meals, including meat, twice a day. The prisoners bought fruit and vegetables from Hot Springs's growers. Exercise, including tennis, bowling, and swimming, was required for the prisoners. Once called “the prison from which no one wanted to escape,” the Hot Springs prison hosted regular concerts on Thursday and Saturday nights. An epidemic broke out in the prison in 1918 and prisoners who survived were moved to Fort Oglethorpe in South Carolina. The Mountain Park Hotel then operated as a hospital for American soldiers.
The State (NoCar F 251 S77), Vol. 50 Issue 8, Jan 1983, p18-19, 55, por
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