Mount McGregor Correctional Facility
Mt. McGregor Correctional Facility was a medium security prison for male inmates in the Town of Moreau, Saratoga County, New York, USA. Before updating security, it was called "Camp Walkaway" due to the number of breakouts.
The facility was a former sanatorium, taken over by New York State. It is served by the Wilton, New York post office.
Mount McGregor closed on July 26, 2014.
The peak, Mt. McGregor, was originally called "Palmertown Mountain," named after a local native tribe. It was renamed after Duncan McGregor, who purchased the land on a tax sale, who then constructed a small resort along with a restaurant for summer visitors. The Saratoga, Mount McGregor and Lake George Railroad then bought the property and opened a more sumptuous resort at the end of a rail line. When the Hotel Balmoral burned in 1897, the resort faded in popularity.
The "Sanatorium on the Mountain" at Mount McGregor was opened in 1913 by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company for the benefit of its employees suffering from tuberculosis. It closed in 1945. This sanatorium, fully staffed by doctors and a nursing staff, had a goal of restoring the health of all the company's employees. A labyrinth of underground passages used to transport the bodies of patients who died to the church and crematorium still exist.
After World War II, the sanatorium served as a facility for military veterans returning to civilian life. Local stories suggest Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner at one time looked into purchasing the property in the 1960s or early 1970s.
In the 1960s the facility was taken over by the State of New York as a school for the mentally retarded. At first the school was the Mount McGregor division of Rome State School and then became Wilton State School.
The facility was taken over by the New York State Department of Corrections in the 1970s. During the summer of 2014, New York plans to close the facility; private developers and the affected towns are planning the site's future once it is turned over to them.
1000 Mt. McGregor Road, Box 2071
Wilton, New York 12831-5071
Grant Cottage State Historic Site, the last home and death site of Ulysses S. Grant, former U.S. president and army general, is on the grounds of the correctional facility. Grant spent the last weeks of his life there, finishing his memoirs.
- Rick Karlin, "Prison set to close, but not quietly," Albany Times-Union, July 25, 2014, http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Prison-set-to-close-but-not-quietly-5648057.php, retrieved 2014-08-18