Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Beaufort, North Carolina

On Wednesday, Miss Judy wanted to check out the historic town of Beaufort. We left Atlantic Beach and made the 30 minute trip to the historic area.

Beaufort, NC was settled in 1709 and is North Carolina's third oldest town. It began as a fishing village and an important Atlantic seaport and was named after Henry Somerset, Duke of Beaufort. The town was surveyed in 1713 and was incorporated in 1723 as has been the seat of Carteret County since that time.

Street names recall the early development of the Town; Ann Street for Queen Anne, Craven Street for the Earl of Craven, Moore Street for Colonel Maurice Moore of South Carolina who gave help in the Indian Wars, Queen Street again for Queen Anne, Pollock Street for the then governor of North Carolina, Turner Street for the landowner that owned much of the surveyed town property and Orange Street for William, Prince of Orange who became William III.

It was around noon when we arrived and we selected The Beaufort Grocery as the place to have lunch.

This eatery was charming and the food was yummy.

We thought that we would take a tour of the town. We had a choice of horse drawn carriages or a Double Decker English Bus. Wonder what we chose?

Judy and I decided on the bus tour. The English Double Decker bus departed from the Beaufort Historical Society. Judy and I just made the last tour of the day. Volunteers in period garb gave us a brief overview of the town's rich history - including pirates, star-crossed lovers, Confederate spies and the Hammock House, a landmark for sailing ships on early maps since 1700.

Blackbeard headquartered out of what was shown on ancient maps as the "white house" which was located on what is now Taylor's creek, overlooking the inlet to the Atlantic Ocean at Beaufort. After nearly 300 years, things have changed. Today the house is known as the Hammock House, and the the house is over 500 feet from water due to build up and filling in over the centuries.

The Hammock House, oldest home in Beaufort dates back to approximately 1700 and has been used for a variety of purposes during its nearly 300 year history. It has had 31 owners who held it for periods varying from less than one year to over 21, the average possession being a little over 9 years. It is probable that it was originally built as an "ordinary", or inn - the owners hoping to profit from sea or land travelers overnight needs. But it's been used, also, as a home, a residence for Union soldiers, a summer house and a school.

The name comes from the fact that the house was built on a "hammock", a "fertile raised area." Because its' two stories made it visible from considerable distance and it occupied land at the entry to the inlet, it served as a shipping landmark until the late 18th century. Originally Taylor's Creek came up to the front lawn of the house and one could paddle up to the area in a small boat and dock.

The narrator pointed out many important historic homes along the tree lined streets.

The town has a lovely boardwalk area on the bay. This area is where many large boats and yachts are moored. We took some time to visit the many galleries and shops.

Tomorrow - We will post our visit to the Old Burying Grounds.


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