A UNIQUE COASTAL VILLAGE PRESERVED Authentic history of the homes, buildings, sites and families

A Unique Coastal Village Preserved

Mary Warshaw's latest 200-page volume focuses on 285 historic homes built from the late 1770s to the early 1900s - 150 plaqued homes and 135 historic homes yet to be plaqued—all presented street-by-street, with images and histories of the families who called them home. Also included along these streets are historic buildings and sites.

Special pages present Beaufort's 300-year history, as well as research on the Coree Indians (and Tuscarora War), Taylor's Creek, Piver's Island, Gallant's Channel, Rachel Carson Reserve, and Beaufort's bridges.

Through the study of deeds, family records and other sources, I was able to discover more accurate dates for many of the historic homes, including the Hammock House, a house long assumed to be the "White House" seen on early 18th century maps; four pages are dedicated to this important discovery, concluding that the Hammock House was actually built in 1800 by Samuel Leffers."

See excerpts below:
     I always dreamed of moving to the coast to paint. And though I had never been to Beaufort, I was undeniably drawn to the quaint seaside village. Settling full-time into a duplex cottage at 207 Orange Street in 2001, I sensed the historic reality of Beaufort's charm.  
     Inspired by all the unique porches and fences, I began to paint, while exploring and expanding a sincere fascination with my new community. Yearning to know more about the homes and residents of yesteryear, I searched family records and house histories; this helped me capture the character and spirit of each dwelling.
     While exploring other materials and sources, I found much I had not seen in the few local publications. With no internet archive of the town, in 2006 I began my first weblog, Beaufort, North Carolina History—Histories and Images from the Past. As the site content grew, descendants from all over the country, even researcher Ian Lucraft of Sheffield, England, began contacting me with more information about their ancestors. I was also surprised by a call from... MORE...

Excerpt from the 8-page Introduction

    "After her first volume, PORCHSCAPES...for the past two years, with help from three dedicated friends, author and artist Mary Warshaw has laboriously combed old files to produce this new book, North Carolina's HISTORIC BEAUFORT...When Mary asked me to put on paper some of my recollections of growing up in Beaufort, I jumped at the opportunity!...In her new book, Mary provides all of us an accurate history; I will limit myself to telling just a bit of what it felt like to me at the time....

Converted 1796 Courthouse 
was at 401 Ann Street
"...Daddy died in 1933 when I was 13 years old...that year was also the year of 'The Hurricane,' the mammoth storm that separated Shackelford Banks from South Core Banks, creating Barden Inlet. The wind had picked up to about forty-five knots and white caps had formed on a sea that was getting angrier by the minute. The hurricane flag, flying on the tall tower near Miss Lena Duncan's Front Street house, looked as if it was tearing apart, along with the other flags on the mast...Around mid-night, as the water approached Ann Street, I announced, 'We must go to higher ground in five minutes! Put on warm clothes and be ready to follow me! We are going to Aunt Lighty's!'—and off we went. ...Electric poles were down and uprooted trees had thrown sidewalks into vertical blockades...We finally arrived at the converted 1796 Courthouse—a fortress in a storm! Freighted to death, Aunt 'Lighty' had locked the door and crawled under her bed. Sons Bud and Nat let us in, where we huddled together until dawn. By ten in the morning the sky was blue again. After taking care of the dead and injured, town leaders began planning a safer Beaufort. No one considered leaving 'paradise.' ..."

Excerpt from 2-page Tribute to Georgia W. Neal
by Francis Borden Mace
The tribute includes five sketches.
     "The first artist to recognize and sketch the stylistic importance of Beaufort's old homes and to self publish them in booklet form in 1937, along with an early short history of the town, was Georgia Washington Neal (1902-1968).  A trail blazer for others to come, Miss Neal was a true daughter of Carteret County, one with an unusually observant eye for everything around her. 
     ...for part of one summer, I was privileged to be..."

Excerpt from 2-page account on the Coree Indians 

     Cwareuuock, the reference to the Coree tribe on earliest maps (1590 De Bry and others), included the Algonquian ending -euuock, roughly translated ”people of" or "land of"—thus, the name referred to "Cwar" or Core territory. (Blair A. Rudes, UNC Charlotte, The First Description of an Iroquoian People)...
     ...The Core or Coree occupied a portion of the North Carolina coast, south of the Neuse River, from Craney (Harker's) Island west, including what is now Carteret and Onslow Counties. 
     ...In his book, John Lawson referred to two villages, Coranine and Raruta. In Colonial Beaufort, historian Charles L. Paul wrote, "Before white settlers entered the area, the Coree had two villages. One of these was located on the north side of the Straits of Core Sound which separates Harker's Island from the mainland, a location not more than seven miles east of the present site of Beaufort or more than eight miles north of Cape Lookout." ...


Excerpt from 12-page Brief History of Beaufort

    A town was born when an Act of the General Assembly officially granted permission for it to be laid out or established—thus founding and naming the town. Approved on October 2, 1713, Beaufort is North Carolina's 4th oldest town, behind 1705 Bath, 1710 New Bern and 1712 Edenton.
     Robert Turner, then owner of the 780-acre land patent, hired Richard Graves to plot a 100-acre town, with 106 lots for sale. The dates, men and circumstances connected with the "Beaufort plan" were mentioned in all deeds issued for the years before Carteret became a precinct in 1722. As a part of Craven Precinct during those years, Beaufort deeds were recorded and archived at the New Bern Courthouse. (In 1739, all precincts became counties.)
     Even after Beaufort was mapped on paper, one can only imagine how the uninhabited, undeveloped acreage appeared at the time. The seaside wilderness was likely thick with yaupon, chinkapin, cedar, live oak and native shrubs. Tidal flats and marsh grasses surrounded the area. The first paths were merely sandy clearings; lots were yet to be cleared. Topsail Inlet, barrier islands and the sea were visible from the waterfront...

Excerpts from 6-page account of the
Histories of Taylor's Creek, Piver's Island, Gallant's Channel, Beaufort Bridges & Rachel Carson Reserve 

     ...In 1726, John Galland received a patent for acreage in Core Sound signed by brother-in-law John Lovick. Part of Galland's acreage, north of Beaufort, became known as Galland's Point.
     John Galland and sister Penelope were children of Penelope and John Galland. After the death of Galland Sr., in 1705 widow Penelope married Charles Eden, who became the governor of Colonial Carolina in 1713. 

     In 1727, John Galland became clerk of court for Carteret County; he continued in that position until 1729 and died in 1730. In 1731, Richard Rustull Sr. sold Old Town Lot 13 to widow Mary Galland for £3...
     A Corp of Engineers project, begun in 1881, resulted in dredging Gallant's Channel in the early 1900s. Up until that time, a huge oyster rock, known as "Jones Rock," was "a source of food for subsistence in the 1890s" Over-harvesting and dredging gradually eliminated the oyster rock...

 ...In 1893 the citizens of Beaufort asked the federal government to build a breakwater on Town Marsh to protect "Carrot Island Channel" (then the name for what is now the western half of Taylor's Creek). The request was denied, but in the early 1900s the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers began dredging Taylor's Creek, using Town Marsh and Carrot Island, to the east, as dredge material deposition areas...

Excerpt from Craven Street

131 Craven Street

circa 1895 – plaqued 
   About 1890, mariner Joseph P. Dill (1846-1895), son of Samuel Leffers Dill and Elizabeth Ann Roberson, married Jennie McRacken (1869-1942); they had one child, Sophia. Joseph purchased this lot in 1893 and died two years later. In 1906, widow Jennie married widower Benjamin J. Bell and lived at 306 Ann Street. In 1919, Jennie and Sophia sold the house to Macon and Helon Snowden. Macon St. Clair Snowden Sr. (1879-1935) and Helon Palmer McPherson (1891-1982), married in 1909, first lived with Helon's parents in Portsmouth, Virginia, where Macon captained a steam boat. MORE...       

Excerpt from North Ann Street and the Leecraft Family

301 Ann built by Benjamin Leecraft III
305 & 307 Ann built by William Leecraft
     ...The 1850 census found Benjamin Leecraft II 55 and wife Mary 50, in their Turner Street home with: William 19, Julia F. 16, Lafayette 12, Nathan Franklin 10, grandchildren Mary B. 5, and 2-year-old William Leecraft Arendell (surviving children of their daughter Zilphia, deceased)
     When Benjamin Leecraft II died intestate in 1852, he left behind a massive estate. In addition to his property holdings, thousands of dollars in promissory notes remained for his heirs to collect when due. This gave heirs a cash flow surplus, especially providing young William with adequate means to construct the two elaborate homes on Ann Street. Mary's petition for dowry contained seven pages detailing specifics as to the many properties owned by her husband. The 1860 census recorded 60-year-old Mary on Turner Street with Lafayette, Nathan Franklin, and grandchildren Mary and William Arendell; Mary's personal estate valued at $10,000; that of children and grandchildren totaled $37,000. The 1870 census found Mary and "seaman" Nathan; real estate valued at $3800, personal estate at $500. 
     In Mary's 1866 will, proven in 1878, son Nathan received Turner Street Lot 53 "where I now reside"... 

Ann Street includes the greatest number of historic homes  and sites. 
North Ann Street includes 29 pages (above snip).  
South Ann includes 19 pages.

Excerpt from the 6-page account of 
the Beaufort Restoration Grounds

1829 Jail
100-block Turner Street

     The 1829 Beaufort Jail, originally on the northeast side of Courthouse Square, remained in use until 1954...built by Elijah Whitehurst at a cost of $2,800...the long porch which originally existed on the front of the building has since been removed. There was a trap door on the second floor, used for hanging. The 28-inch thick walls boast legends of ghosts and a single hanging in 1874. By 1976, the Beaufort Historical Association purchased the building and moved it to the Restoration Grounds...

Excerpt from Front Street's 21 pages

Clawson's circa 1909
427 Front Street

     In 1866, 28-year-old Swedish-born Charles Alfred Clawson Sr. came to Beaufort where he met and married Irish-born Mary Louise Donovan in 1868. The couple opened a general store on the south side of Front Street; they lived upstairs where Mary baked bread and pastries. In the early 1880s the Clawsons bought land on the north side of Front where they built a house and later a bakery on the front part of the lot with a small bake house with oven at rear...When his father's health was failing, Charles Jr. took over the bakery business...About 1908, he began building a new 2-story Classical Revival brick store on their property, replacing the bakery, just west his parents' front yard. About the same time, the bakery operation moved into a new 2-story brick building behind the new general store. According to Frank Clawson, "Charles Jr. moved into his new building in 1909—Clawson's Grocery and Bakery." ... 

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