Historic Tour

First Highway Patrolmen Tour the State

1929 Ford

After completing the training school, the original Highway Patrol members toured the entire state as a group. This was an historical event in North Carolina, beginning in Beaufort and continuing west across the state to Asheville and back to Raleigh. The tour covered a total of 1,028 miles.

The tour, led by Captain C. D. Farmer in a 1929 Buick and followed by nine groups, each consisting of three patrolmen on motorcycles in a diamond formation and a lieutenant in a Ford Coupe, departed Beaufort on Sunday morning, June 23, 1929.

Later in the tour, the patrolmen departed Wilson in a heavy thunderstorm arriving at the Carolina Hotel in Raleigh for the night. The patrolmen on motorcycles who had not been issued rain gear were thoroughly drenched. When the patrolmen arrived in Marion they purchased all the yellow sharkskin raincoats in town. The remaining patrolmen who were not able to obtain rainwear then purchased raincoats in Asheville.

Lieutenant E. S. Guthrie fell victim to the first of what has become a tradition in the Patrol - practical jokes. While Lieutenant Guthrie was asleep, some of the other lieutenants slipped into his room and clipped one side of his mustache. Needless to say, he continued the tour clean shaven.

On Monday, July 1, 1929, the patrolmen met in the House Chambers of the State Capitol Building for the official swearing in ceremonies. During the ceremonies, the Honorable Henry A. Grady, Superior Court judge, gave the following charge:

The State of North Carolina is entering upon an experiment which I trust will ripen into an established institution of great benefit, not only to the state itself, but to all those who pass through its borders. The success of this venture will depend, in a large measure, on the loyalty, intelligence and personal integrity of the several men who make up the Highway Patrol. It is a serious undertaking and it will call forth every ounce of courage and every particle of patience subject to your command. In discharging the duties of your office, the state does not expect any display of power. It does not expect its peace officers to be used as instruments of oppression, but it does expect and it will demand of you a sincere application of the ancient rules of common sense, which are after all, the best rules for the regulation of human conduct.