Dredge-spoil Islands - Town Marsh and Carrot Island

1850 - Beaufort Harbor- United States Coast Survey
1733 Moseley Map noted Carrot Island,
most likely named due to its shape.
Town Marsh is the island directly across Taylor's Creek as seen from the Beaufort waterfront docks. Carrot Island is across from the eastern part of the Taylor's Creek waterfront. The "cut" between the islands is located about half way down Front Street, near Carrot Island Lane. Together the two islands run the length of Front Street, parallel to the waterfront.

In 1854 Town Marsh was only three-eighths of a mile long. By 1885 Town Marsh had more than doubled in length and its northern shoreline moved even closer to the Beaufort waterfront. The growth of Town Marsh had made the Taylor's Creek channel almost unusable.
 

In 1893 the citizens of Beaufort asked the federal government to build a breakwater on Town Marsh to protect the channel along the town's waterfront. The request was denied, but in the early 1900s the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers began dredging the mouth of Taylor's Creek, using Carrot Island and Town Marsh as dredge material deposition areas. Before the dredging, these islands were essentially all tidal marsh with some elevated hammock land. By the 1930s the islands had been built up by the dredge material deposition to the point that they provided protection for the town from high winds, flooding and storm waves. The Corps of Engineers continued to utilize the islands as deposition sites for local dredging projects and maintain rights for this purpose even today.

Along with the map above, the viewer can more easily see the progression of these dredge-spoil islands. Click images for better views.

1857
1888
1944
Contemporary Map
Information gathered from various sources including Rachel Carson Reserve
and North Carolina Map Collection.
Click for more on these and other islands that make up Beaufort Harbor.