This photo was taken about 1912 on
Ann Street. My friend Nancy McKee Smith’s mother, Louise Gordon Thomas, born in Beaufort in 1906, is about 8 years old. ’s mother went to Nancy ’s School until 1918. The small boys are Louise's twin brothers - Thomas Thomas and Edward Gordon Thomas - born in 1910. The Thomas family lived in the second block of St. Paul Front Street, referred to in a letter from Nancy's mother as “…a wide road made of oyster shell between the house and the wharves.” Click the photo and notice the "ribboned" goat hooked up to the interestingly-designed cart.
The Forward, a 89-foot topsail schooner that displaced 139 tons, was built by William Easby of
for $3,786.75. She was in service from 1842 until she was sold in 1865. She was home ported in Washington and later Baltimore, MD and saw service during the Mexican War, including the assault on Wilmington, DE in 1846. She was transferred briefly to the Coast Survey in 1847. During the Civil War she was stationed in Tabasco . Beaufort, NC
Prior to bridge and road construction in the eastern part of the Carteret County, mail boats were a lifeline for folks - used to deliver passengers, cargo as well as mail to points east of Beaufort - all the way to Ocracoke Island. The photo to your right is an example of a typical US Mail Boat.
The Beaufort mail boat was in service until the 1957. At one time Matt Marshal ran the mail boat from Beaufort. Originally named Deep Hole Point, the Down East community of Marshallberg was named for him. (It is said that clay dug from the area was used to fill ramparts and cover easements at
One of the murals in the Beaufort Post Office depicts Orville G, the supply and mail boat on its way to nearby Cape Lookout Lighthouse. In conveying the boat with a stormy sky and rough sea, the artist* shows the hardships incurred the crew of the boat and by the keeper of the light.
Mr. Kelly Willis was mail carrier for Harkers Island when the bridge was completed in 1941, when he began transporting the mail by car.
*This and four other murals painted in 1940 by a Russian immigrant, Simka Simkhovitch, are now considered by the US Post Office and historians as a national treasure.
Simkhovitch was engaged by then-postmaster Wiley Higgins Taylor Sr. and was paid $1,900 for his work. Simkovitch's fee was funded by the Fine Arts Program, a federal project that provided work for artists during the Great Depression.