"... The largest and most distinctive of the (pre-1900) downeast communities was
Whaling was seasonal and limited almost entirely to the months of February, March, and April.
To the people of
According to the story, the spring whaling season of one year in the 1870's had passed without the sighting of a single whale. Finally, in mid-June, a whale was spotted far off the Beaufort Inlet and Billie Hancock's crew set out to bring it in.
They floated the boat out until they put a lance into the whale. They started shooting it, but the whale was so big that shooting it didn't do any good. The moon was shining bright, so they hung with the whale until after the night had fallen. Then the whale headed out toward
They were so tired when they got home that my grandfather went right to sleep and had a dream. His dream was so real that he got out of bed and went and called two more men from the crew and told them what he had dreamed. He had dreamed that the whale had died and had grounded at Cape Point. After telling the others, he began to run to the Point (approximately six miles) to see for himself if the whale had, in fact, washed ashore. The other crewmen must have accepted what their Captain had told them for they soon followed him to the Point.
Grandfather ran straight along down the beach because there were so many trees back then. He said that when he got to Cape Point the tide was so low and the moon was shining so bright that he could see something out on the reef. He said to himself, “That's got to be that whale! We need it so bad!” So he waded off and soon saw that it was the whale.
Now came the big problem. On high tide the water would get so high that the whale would float off the Point and they would lose it. He thought that if only he had enough rope to run off and tie it to the whale they then would be able to hold onto it even after the tide came in. Fortunately, his crew had followed him and together they were able to save the whale from drifting off . . . I don't remember what they got for the bones, but they got forty barrels of oil and they made $40.00 a share. I was told that after it was all over they came back to
Diamond City was just off the coast of Beaufort until the late 1800's when a coastal storm swept away it's large dune and caused residents to build make-shift barges and relocate their houses to Harkers Island, Morehead City and Salter Path. I hope to write more later on this interesting history.