Local News

Army completes investigation into Rockefeller fire

Posted June 1, 2009 3:47 p.m. EDT

— The Army has completed an investigation into the fire that burned a building that was part of a former Rockefeller family estate in February.

The Bird Song building was the largest of five homes on Fort Bragg property used for training.

The building had no electricity, so investigators think the fire may have been set by trespassers. No official cause was released.

Members of the second-generation Rockefeller family established Overhills in the Sandhills area, just north of Fayetteville, in the early 1900s. They used the estate as a hunting lodge and resort for themselves and guests.

The Bird Song house, built about 1962, had more than 20 rooms – including 14 bedrooms and 14 baths – and was 10,649 square feet. It was used as a residence for members of the family, which also had a nearby mansion named Croatan. Fort Bragg officials described it as a guest house and said it also had an indoor swimming pool.

The Army purchased the property in 1997 for $30 million so it could add the estate's 10,500 acres to its training grounds. The estate had 150 structures, including stables and a golf course.