Sue Buffkin taught language arts in the 1970s and 1980s at Samarkand Manor (also spelled Samarcand Manor) in Eagle Springs, Moore County, North Carolina, a rehabilitation center for delinquent children. She was also a historian for the school. Her papers include her secretarial minutes and notes (1974-1984) for faculty and general staff meetings, very limited correspondence, student essays, the 50th anniversary publication (1968), and reports and publications (1971-1991) such as the student publication The Straw (1977), the staff publication The Samarkand Communiqué (1990, 1991), and an undated Samarkand Behavior Code.
Sue Addor Buffkin was born 26 March 1925, and died 7 August 2012. She was educated at Aberdeen High School, Rabun Gap College, and Flora McDonald College. During her career, she taught at Greenwood High School and Aberdeen High School, as well as Samarkand (or Samarcand) Manor in Eagle Springs, Moore County, North Carolina. She taught language arts at Samarkand, a rehabilitation center for delinquent children, and was also the historian for the school. Buffkin taught at Samarkand in the 1970s and 1980s, but was involved with the school into the 1990s in her role as a historian.
Samarkand Manor, also known as the State Home and Industrial School for Girls, was a correctional center established in 1918. The site was formerly the Marienfield Open-Air School for boys, which opened in 1914, but was purchased a few years later in 1917 by the North Carolina State Legislature and turned into a girls' correctional center. The institution provided a safe home for troubled girls, as well as a variety of vocational training and skills such as sewing, canning, and farmwork. Controversially, the school was also the site of many forced sterilizations as recently as the 1950s. In 1974, the school was officially renamed Samarkand manor when it came under the purview of the North Carolina Department of Human Resources, Youth Division. At this time, it became open to both male and female children and young adults, and shifted its focus from vocational training to therapy and treatment.
The facility was closed in 2011 due to state budget cuts and remained vacant until 2012, when it was taken over by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety as a training facility. Construction of several new buildings and improvements to others began shortly afterward. These improvements were completed in 2017. That same year, the first class of law enforcement students graduated from the school. It is still open and educating law enforcement students as of 2019.
This collection contains various types of material from Sue Buffkin's personal papers, relating to her time as a teacher and historian at Samarkand Manor. The bulk of the collection consists of memos concerning various elements of school administration and minutes of meetings about similar topics. The small amount of correspondence primarily includes letters between school administrators and government officials, and mostly does not relate specifically to Buffkin.
Other types of material in the collection are a history publication from the school's 50th anniversary in 1968, several issues of the school's student publication The Straw and faculty publication The Samarkand Communiqué, a program for the chapel dedication in 1975, and an undated behavioral code. The collection also contains insights into the lives of students at the school, including many personal essays written by students and a few behavioral reports.
Gift of Robbie Buffkin Harter
Processing completed by Emily DiBiase on May 14, 2019.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.