Garbacon Plantation

Capt. John Nelson 1675-1759 owned large tracts of land north and south of the Neuse River including Garbacon Creek plantation, then in Craven County. Capt. John Nelson signed a petition in 1712 asking that the court be held in the area. He was on the first vestry of St. John’s Parish. Capt. Nelson’s great-great grandson John Hancock Nelson inherited Garbacon and also owned the 1790 Nelson House on Front Street.

When Union troops took over Fort Macon and the town of Beaufort in 1862, the Thomas Duncan family, refusing to take an oath of allegiance, was provided transportation "beyond the lines." According to family legend, the Duncans stashed some valuables, perhaps in the cistern, and went to Garbacon Creek Plantation in South River. 

The name “Garbacon” was derived from the fact that gar, a small variety of the bony fish, when hung out to dry, looked like strips of bacon.

This photograph of the original Nelson plantation was uploaded to in 2001 by Gail Swain.