William Luther Paul (1869-1946)

Inventor and entrepreneur William Luther Paul was born in Davis Shore, Carteret County, to Raymond Luther Paul and Frances D. "Fannie" Styron. In 1894, William Luther married Emeline "Lina" Willis (1874-1943), daughter of Frances Watson and Simeon Willis of Smyrna, Carteret County.

James Davis Table circa 1840

Master carpenter, brick mason and cabinetmaker, James Davis, built this table about 1840 in the raised basement cabinet shop of his house on Moore Street, known today as the James Davis House circa 1829. Passed down through the Davis, Potter, Chadwick, Shaw and Gray families, the table is now cherished by a descendant in Texas.

James Davis (1780-1861) was born in Core Creek, Carteret County - the Quaker colony on the Newport River, north of Beaufort. He was the eldest son of Joseph Wicker Davis Jr. and Susanna Stanton, who were married in Carteret County in 1776. In 1803 James married Elizabeth Adams (1783-1868), daughter of Nathan Adams and Mary Canaday, who were farmers in Core Creek.

James and Elizabeth's daughter Elizabeth Harris Davis married William Jackson Potter (Ann Street Inn). Their daughter Mary Elizabeth Potter married Robert Withers Chadwick (Chadwick House on Ann). Daughter Mary Caroline Chadwick married William Wallace Shaw. Becoming a skilled cabinetmaker, carpenter and builder, Mr. Davis often referred to himself as an “ar-chÄ“-tech.” One of Davis’ early structures was Beaufort’s first “Market House,” built in 1812. He left his mark on lots all over town—many well-constructed homes that have weathered close to 200 years of coastal storms.

1913 Visit to Beaufort and Bogue Banks

In a 1913 article in the Potsdam Courier, NY, Martin V.B. Ives described his visit to the Beaufort Life Saving Station, Bogue Island and the turtle hatchery in Beaufort; he also described the wild horses. Irving Bacheller was mentioned in the article; about 1909-10, journalist Bacheller, who founded the first modern newspaper syndicate in the US, owned the Blare House circa 1779, at 111 Marsh Street in Beaufort, later home to Nathaniel Hancock Russell, engineer on the first train to Beaufort. This article is transcribed as written. Old postcards and photographs were added to this post and not part of the article:

"...we visited the Beaufort life saving station with deep interest and were cordially received and entertained by the Captain in charge. He related to us many of his life saving experiences which were exceedingly thrilling to say the least. By referring to his log book the Captain informed us that his crew had saved the lives of 200 sailors and from other sources we learned that the bronzed old Captain himself held the honorable record of personally and alone at a wreck off Hatteras (his crew having refused to take the risk) having saved the lives of seven men. We could not help saying “God bless the men of the life saving stations.The next day breaking fair, Capt. Palmer informed us that it would be a good day for us to visit Beaufort Fish Hatchery and the old fellow was as much if not more interested in the act that we were, for he could see at least one dollar for five minutes work taking us across in his sail boat to the small island on which the hatchery was located. However we were not sorry we went and felt well repaid for the visit. As its name would suggest we expected to see small sized fish of all grades, but nothing of the kind, as this particular hatchery was devoted to the propagation of shell fish only, but we were informed that class of fish culture was very popular and that students came from all over the United States to study shell fish culture..." MORE...

131 Craven and the Snowden Family

circa 1895
(Click to enlarge images)
    The house would be more accurately plaqued the "Dill-Snowden House," for builder Joseph P. Dill, who lived here for two years, and for the Snowden residents who called this home for about 60 years.
     In May 1893, mariner Joseph P. Dill (1846-1895) purchased this lot from Mary and Henrietta Roberson. Three years earlier, Joseph, son of Samuel Leffers Dill and Elizabeth Ann Roberson, married Jennie McRacken in Smithville, NC; they had one child, Sophia. Joseph died in 1895. Widow Jennie married widower Benjamin J. Bell in 1906 and lived at 306 Ann Street. In 1919, Jennie and daughter Sophia Dill Merwin sold this house to Macon and Helon Snowden.
      Macon St. Clair Snowden Sr. (1879-1935) was born in Currituck, NC to Walter D. Snowden and Caroline Brabble. In 1909, 30-year-old Macon eloped with 18-year-old Helon Palmer McPherson (1891-1982); they were married at a hotel in Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County, NC. The couple first lived with the McPherson family in Portsmouth, Virginia, where Macon captained a steam boat. By 1911 they were in Wildwood, Carteret County, when son Ernest Maynard Snowden was born.
      Originally captain of a merchant ship, Macon owned and operated a hog and sweet potato farm in rural Beaufort. The 1930 Beaufort census found Macon Snowden Sr. 51, Helon 39 and 6-year-old Macon Jr. After Macon died from a heart attack in 1935, at 56, he left 44-year-old widow Helon and 11-year-old Macon Jr; son Ernest had already graduated from the US Naval Academy. 
Ernest M. Snowden
       Helon worked hard and saved every dime. She made ends meet by doing dress-shop alternations and renting the upstairs; she installed the 2nd front door and blocked off the stairway for access. Helon continued to run the farm and ship sweet potatoes by train, documented in newspaper articles as the first North Carolina woman to ship farm goods. Sons, Admiral Ernest Maynard "Ernie" Snowden (1911-1975) and Captain Macon St. Clair "Mac" Snowden II (1923-1995) were Navy pilots.
       Ernest Mayard Snowden was born in 1911 in Wildwood, Carteret County. He was only 8 when the family purchased the Craven Street house. He attended Beaufort High School and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1932. Admiral Snowden married Lois Arnold, the daughter of Five-Star General "Hap" Arnold. "Ernie" Snowden retired as a US Navy Rear Admiral. He received numerous awards for his service during WWII, including the Navy Cross, Silver Star, Legion of Merit and Distinguished Flying Cross. 

Capt. Macon Snowden
       Capt. Macon St. Clair "Mac" Snowden (1923-1995) was born in the south corner 2nd-floor bedroom of the Craven Street house. He graduated from Beaufort High School. "Mac" followed in his brother's footsteps, becoming a member of the US Naval Academy Class of 1946. Macon married Velvie Evelyn Grass (1922-1992). Designated a naval aviator in 1948, Capt. Snowden served Commanding Officer of Fighter Squadron 91, embarked on USS Ranger - the squadron won the Naval Air Force, Pacific Fleet Battle Efficiency Award. He was a graduate of the US Naval Pilot School, the Armed Forces Staff College, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and received a Master of Science Degree from George Washington University. He held the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Navy Commendation Medal. From 1971-72 he was commander of USS Guadalcanal and afterwards assumed duty as head of Aviation Plans Branch in the Office of Chief Naval Operations. Capt. Snowden was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
About 1952
Helon and Macon Snowden 
  This was home to Helon Snowden for about 60 years. Sadly, in her 80s she suffered from dementia. In her later years, neighbors observed 6'5" Helon daily "raking" the Ann Street Methodist Church parking lot across the street. She was also seen on the rooftop of the house doing repairs. Eventually, her tenants took advantage of her, not paying rent, coming into her home to make long distant phone calls, while also taking many of her antiques. Helon was finally placed in a nursing home in northern Virginia. Helon was buried in Ocean View Cemetery, Beaufort, next to husband.

Blare House circa 1779

111 Marsh Street Images (circa 1980) scanned from  
The Old Port Town - Beaufort by Jean Bruyere Kell
    In 1779, Frances Blare sold the original 4-room house to John Shepard for "a cow and a calf." (Kell) John Shepard, born about 1753 in Carteret County to Jacob Shepard and Sarah Lewis, married Miriam Wallace on June 29, 1771; their son William was born in Beaufort in 1779.

Charles Laban Abernathy (1872-1955) lived here from about 1890 until 1905 and mostly likely remodeled the house, probably reorienting it to Marsh Street. He moved to Beaufort where he founded the Beaufort Herald newspaper. He practiced law in Beaufort and was also solicitor for the 3rd judicial district. (Wrenn)  Abernathy married Nancy "Minnie" May in 1896.      The house was owned by journalist and writer Irving Addison Bacheller (1859-1950), who founded the first modern newspaper syndicate in the United States. Sowing of the Two Fields, in Wesleyan Literary Monthly in 1910, was documented, by copyright, as written in Beaufort. In a 1913 article in the Potsdam Courier, NY, Martin V.B. Ives wrote, “Having been given a letter of introduction to the gentleman, Mr. John Royal by my friend Dr. Irving Bacheller, who became acquainted with Mr. Royal during the two winters Dr. Bacheller sojourned at Beaufort for his health…
     Noted on Front Street with his widowed sister Sallie Broadhurst in 1910, Nathaniel Hancock Russell (1875–1951) owned the Marsh Street house by 1920. Born in Hubert, Onslow County to Daniel Ward Russell (1827-1886) and Margaret Ann Duffy (1835-1908), 31-year-old Nathaniel Russell was engineer on the first passenger train to Beaufort in 1906.    
     On June 1, 1916, Nathaniel Russell married Maude Littleton Frazier (1889-1929) in
Loudoun County, Virginia. They were parents of Susan E. Russell, born about 1918, and Thomas Hancock Russell, born in 1920. Maude Russell died from pneumonia in 1929. About 1932, Mr. Russell married Cora Lorena Cutler (1898-1991) of Long Acre, Beaufort County; they became parents of Nancy Duffy Russell. In the house in 1940 were Nathaniel 65, Cora 42, Thomas 19, Susan 17, Nancy D. 6 and lodger-barber Henry Russ.
     Nancy Duffy Russell (1933-2003) spent her lifetime in the house, leaving only to attend St. Mary’s and Salem College. She taught music at Havelock High School for over 38 years, played the organ and was Altar Guild Chairman at St. Paul's Episcopal Church and was organist for Ann Street Methodist Church and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Morehead City. She was also regent for the Daughters of the American Revolution and obtained funding from the state for the documentation of Beaufort’s African-American community, which resulted in Beaufort's African-American History and Architecture by Peter B. Sandbeck. As an integral part of Beaufort's early preservation movement and town commissioner, Miss Russell was instrumental in obtaining funding for development of guidelines used by the Historic Preservation Commission, which she chaired for 10 years.
     As a tireless researcher and historian, Nancy’s dream was to have her weekly “Beaufort Scrapbook” articles (Beaufort Gam) published in book form. After her death, the Nancy Duffy Russell Preservation Trust and the North Carolina Maritime Museum made Beaufort Scrapbook a reality.
     The house appears on Gray's 1880 map, oriented facing the water.

Charles Randolph Thomas - 1861 Run for CSA District Congressman

Library of Congress Collectlion
Charles Randolph Thomas was born about 1827 to Marcus Cicero Thomas (1801-1853) and Elizabeth King Duncan (1808-1887), who were married on September 10, 1825. 

Charles became an attorney and married Emily Pitkin on April 29, 1852; performed by John Rumley, minister of the gospel, witness John C. Manson. 

Charles and Emily had nine sons. 

1861 Proclaimation by President Lincoln regarding Port Beaufort

Library of Congress
Recorded 1865
Click to enlarge images

1864 Rules for Regulating the Beaufort Market

Library of Congress
(Click to enlarge)

Colonel Thompson House

Historic American Buildings Survey
Library of Congress
(This house was located where the Inlet Inn stands today.)

1829 Jail

Old Beaufort Jail
Originally on Courthouse Square on Cedar Street
Historic American Buildings Survey 
Architectural Drawings by William J. Patrick – 1967
School of Design – NC State
Library of Congress

Built by Elijah Whitehurst circa 1829. The jail remained in use until 1954, when a new jail was constructed. The building served as a museum on site until it was moved to the Beaufort Restoration Ground in 1977.


1967 Photo - Historic Architecture Research (NCSU Libraries)

Contemporary Photograph
Beaufort Restoration Grounds

C.G. Gaskill - "Orville G," Gaskill's Hardware

     Mail-boat vessel Orville G was built by C.G. Gaskill and named for his son, born in 1910. The vessel carried freight and passengers from down east Carteret County to Beaufort until sold and put into service as a mail carrier.
     One of the murals in the Beaufort Post Office, by Russian-born artist Simka Simkhovitch, depicts Orville G, the supply and mail boat on its way to nearby Cape Lookout Lighthouse.
     Born in Straits to Stephen A. Gaskill and Lydia Ann "Lillie" Whitehurst, Carl Graham Gaskill (1885-1968) began C.G. Gaskill Company on Front Street about 1905. On June 24, 1908, he married Annie Warren Chadwick.
     In 1936, R.B. Wheatly sold the circa 1920 house at 709 Ann Street to C.G. Gaskill. The 1940 census noted Carl as a "feed and fertilizer dealer." In the home at the time were Carl 54, wife "Annie" 55, son Orville G. 30, book keeper at "feed and fertilizer house" and daughter-in-law Cleo 27.  In 1948, Carl was a North Carolina delegate to the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. The Gaskill family  lived in the Ann Street house from 1936 until Carl's death in 1968.
     Gaskill's Hardware, located at 900 Live Oak Street for decades, closed in February 2013; the building is now home to "Lennoxberry Commons" and "Hannah's Haus Tavern."

David Sabiston 1750-1811

Capt. David Sabiston House circa 1782 
124 Ann Street
David Sabiston is believed to be the first to bear the surname in Carteret County. On March 25, 1775, David married Nancy Piner, daughter of Joab Piner. They had five children: William married Love Dudley in 1799; David Simon married Nancy Piver in 1813; Robert married Rebecca Adams in 1806; John married Nancy Taylor 1812 and Sarah Owens in 1830; Ann married Peter M. Noe in 1827.

Portion of an 1857 Chart of Beaufort
Harbor showing the islands and
marshes off the west end of town
in the early part of 19th century
On July 4, 1811, Capt. David Sabiston was bludgeoned to death with an oar, in the presence of Sabiston's slave Sal, who testified at the trial. The brutal murder was committed by slave Jerry, property of Mary Marshall, widow of Dr. John Marshall, near what was then known as Gabriel's Island, most likely a small island off the west end of Ann Street. Found guilty at trial, the murderer was hanged at the Beaufort Court House on Sept. 13, 1811.

An excerpt from the court minutes as transcribed by Rebecca W. Sanders in Early Carteret Court Minutes, "The State vs Negro Jerry, Property of Mary Marshall. John Marshall, Executor of John Marshall decd. - Indictment of Murder on the Body of David Sabiston. Justices present of this trial were - Jacob Henry, Josiah Davis, John Roberts, Nathaniel Pinkham, Buckner Hill, Edmund Daily, David Wallace, and Richard Whitehurst. Jury impaneled and sworn were - James Johnson, David Russell Sr., Thomas Reese, Gilbert Rumley, William Temple, David Bell, James Chadwick, William Fisher Sr., Newel Bell Sr., Josiah Bell, and Soloman Ward. Find the Defendant guilty. The sentence and judgement of the court pronounced by Nathaniel Pinkham as Chairman of the Court is - That he be returned back to the Prison from where he was taken and from thence to the place of execution and that he be hung from the neck till he is dead." (Source: The Researcher, Vol.X (No. III), 12-18, Dr. Robert Glenn Lewis,1994)

Beaufort Laid Out & Named - October 2, 1713

1713 Map of Beaufort drafted by
deputy surveyor Richard Graves
Click image to enlarge and open photo viewer
The township of Beaufort was
laid out and named October 2, 1713.* After obtaining permission from the Lords Proprietors, Robert Turner, then owner of the 780-acre land patent, hired deputy surveyor Richard Graves to lay out a 100-acre town, with 106 lots for sale.

The following documentation of the establishment of the township of Beaufort is included in historian Charles L. Paul’s Colonial Beaufort: The History of a North Carolina Town, 1965. Images have been added.
 ▪ ▪ ▪
“The Indians who inhabited the Core Sound area before the white settlers arrived were of the Coree tribe. Little is definitely known about the tribe. It may be assumed that they were once a rather numerous group, but by the time of the arrival of settlers into their area, their number had been reduced by inter-tribal conflicts to the extent that John Lawson, surveyor-general of North Carolina, described them as having only twenty-five fighting men during the first decade of the eighteenth century.

“Before white settlers entered their 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 nor more than eight miles north of Cape Lookout. The other village was located on the west side of Newport River, but the exact spot cannot be given. 

Hondius-Mercator Map - 1609-1610
Cwareuuock, as noted on 17th century maps, indicated "land of" 
the Cware Indians. Cware evolved to Coree. In 1701, Lawson referred to 
the tribe as Coranine with two villages, Coranine and Raruta.
“Farnifold Green obtained the first patent for land in the Core Sound area. The patent was granted December 20, 1707, and although Green did not live in the Core Sound area, other settlers were soon making their homes there. In 1708 John Nelson was granted a patent for 260 acres 'in Core Sound on the north side of North River,' and, from that time on, was closely connected with that immediate area. MORE...

Old Burying Ground

National Register of Historic Places - 1972

Physical Appearance
Norcom Plot - Patch Company, Boston 1865
1970 Photo by Tony P. Wrenn
Introduction to Porchscapes
1972 Nomination File Photo
1972 Nomination File Photo
Contemporary Photo

The Old Burying Ground, where Beaufort’s citizens have been buried for well over two centuries, is, even for the quiet town of Beaufort, an unusually peaceful, shady place where a sense of the past is especially strong.

The cemetery is located in the block between Ann, Craven and Broad streets and measures at its greatest expanse 440 feet by 266 feet. It is roughly in the shape of a rectangle with an L-shaped extension to the north and a central square projection to the south. Three churches border the cemetery. It is surrounded by a concrete wall, which has recessed panels between posts topped by simple spheres. The burying ground is shaded throughout by many gnarled old trees, notable among which are live oaks whose branches are covered by resurrection ferns, which revive after each rain. Instead of the usual smooth grassy expanse, the ground is covered with fallen leaves, among which grow ivy and other vines. A profusion of azaleas and naturalized daffodils bloom in the spring.

The cemetery is rather crowded with markers, which follow a variety of designs, including table stones, obelisks and official military markers. The best know is that of Otway Burns, a naval hero in the War of 1812. His grave is marked by a large box-like stone, in the top of which is embedded the canon from his privateer Snap Dragon.

Many of the older graves have simple vertical cypress slabs—of some seventeen designs in all, each with a weathered, lichen-spotted texture. Another common grave treatment is the construction, in front of a stone marker, of a sort of grave cover of brick, usually about two feet in height, which protects the grave from being washed out in the sandy soil. Some are rounded and some are of a gabled configuration, but all run approximately the length of the coffin beneath—whether a tall man or a small child—providing a vivid and somber reminder of those who lie buried. These occur singly, but more frequently are lined up in family groups.

Many of the family plots are surrounded by handsome wrought and cast-iron fences. Probably the most outstanding is that enclosing the Norwood [Norcom] plot, which was manufactured by S. Patch of Boston in 1865. Round arches adorned with volutes support the narrow railing. Spiral posts with elaborate finials flank the gate, which features entwined scrolls, flowers and leaf motifs. MORE...

Beaufort Female Institute circa 1854

After 1945 and 
before early 1990s
Frances Severn Langdon Canaday had a building constructed on lot # 12 Old Town for her son Rev. William Isaac Langdon (1814-1859), where he conducted the Beaufort Female Institute—the upper two floors were used as living quarters for students, faculty and family; the 8-foot high English basement was used as classrooms. (Kell)

In The Story of the Methodist in Beaufort, Amy Muse wrote, "He conducted The Beaufort Female Institute in the house in which 'Miss Laura' Duncan lives. His mother 'Miss Frances' Canaday built the house for him—the upper part to be used as his home, the basement rooms for the school. Later she built another for him on the west side of Pollock Street just back of the Inlet Inn where he was conducting a school at the time of his death in 1859." 

Miss Henrietta Lea (1840-1929) was one of the young teachers at the school. Daughter of minister Solomon Lea, who became the first President of Greensboro Female College, Henrietta evidently came to Beaufort to teach in Rev. Langdon's school, then met and married minister Marcus Cicero Thomas Jr. (1831-1913) in 1858. 

NOTE: In a 1898 report compiled by the Superintendent of Public Instruction of North Carolina, the following were noted in Beaufort: Carteret Academy chartered in 1810 and Beaufort Male & Female Academy chartered 1842. In 1856 W.I. Langdon was principal of a female school at Beaufort; it was afterwards removed to High Point. The Atlantic Military Institute was located in Beaufort about 1860. 

What has been called the "Beaufort Academy" and is now plaqued "Carteret Academy" was actually the Beaufort Female Institute/Academy. When built, it looked nothing like it does today. On Gray's 1880 Map this lot is noted as the "Duncan Estate." The porches were added after 1898. (See Sanborn maps below) The house was one of the first plaqued in 1963. Purchased in 1989, it was elevated several step higher, supporting pillars replaced with brick and the basement bricked in. 
Thomas Isaac & Laura Duncan 1930s
Thomas Isaac Duncan
Laura Nelson Duncan
For close to 100 years, this was home to the family of Thomas Isaac Duncan (1860-1938) and Laura Closs Nelson (1861-1941), married December 15, 1881; Laura was the daughter of John Hancock Nelson and Mehetable N. Mason. The couple had eight surviving children, all born in the house: Thomas Isaac (1884-1931) was a physician and married Alha Naomi Funderburk, Laura Mae (1886-1990) married William Porter Sellers Jr., Grace Vernon (1889-1974) married Numa Fletcher Eure, Graham Washington (1891-1953) was a lawyer and married Myrtle Lytle and Olive Woodard, Sally Ramsey (1894-1967) married William Pendleton Kennedy, John Nelson (1896-1986) was a lawyer and married Dorothy Sloan Allen, Lena Nelson (1898-1990) never married, and Edward Ernest Duncan (1905-1980) was a lawyer and married Anne Elizabeth White.
1986 News-Times article
Laura Mae Duncan Sellers 1986
In 1900 Thomas I. Duncan was a "huckster - fish." From 1906 until 1907 he was in Charleston managing a canning factory. In 1910 Thomas was back in Beaufort and owned a canning factory. The 1940 Beaufort census noted value of home $5000. Thomas' death certificated noted that he worked for the US Weather Bureau.

Daughter Laura Mae Duncan Sellers (1886-1990) lived to be 104!

Lena Nelson Duncan (1898-1990)
Daughter Lena Nelson Duncan lived in the house until the late 1970s. Lena and her siblings were were grandchildren of William Benjamin Duncan (1836-1911) and great granddaughter of Thomas Duncan (1806-1880). When the Beaufort library was incorporated in 1943, Lena was one of the incorporators.  

Lena's brother John Nelson Duncan Sr. (1896-1986) was the grandfather of current Beaufort resident and realtor John N. Duncan III - Beaufort Realty on Front Street.

Jean B. Kell Photo circa 1992
1970 Tony P. Wrenn 
Archives & History
THE 1997 RUTH LITTLE SURVEY: The front porch of this vernacular Queen Anne-style house is its crowning feature; it is full width across the first story with a 2nd-story turreted balcony, all with turned
posts and railings as well as sawnwork brackets and drip courses. The off-center front door is also notable. The porch was probably added in the late 1800s.[between 1898 and 1904] (Tony P.
Laura and Grace  
circa 1900
Wrenn) A renovation in the early 1990s raised the already tall foundation up so high that most of its original architectural integrity has been lost. The now raised basement has been bricked in, which has also diminished its original integrity.

The setting of lot #12 Old Town: During the Revolutionary War, about 75 years before this structure was built, there was an unobstructed view of the Inlet and the Banks on either side, except for a small “bunch of bushes” on what was known as the Island of Marsh at the west end of town. (Kell)

1898 Sanborn Map
1904 Sanborn Map

The current structure, 505 Front Street, corner of Front and Craven Streets, 
 is one of the most photographed in Beaufort.
Contemporary Photo Courtesy Lisa Margolis 
Contemporary Photo Courtesy Jeff Pettitt