Beaufort & Atlantic Beach, NC | 8.28.10

Carteret Academy, 1854, a 3-story house where classrooms were on the first level and living quarters were on the upper levels. House foundation is built up, so it has had protection against flooding from the nearby river.
Riverfront in Beaufort, NC

We had some fun today. We left about 10 a.m. and headed to the coast. In about an hour we were in Beaufort, the third incorporated town in N.C. (1722). It was named after the Duke of Beaufort and all of the main streets laid out in 1713 by the town’s founder remain the same today. There were some absolutely beautiful homes along the riverfront (Newport River), big and small, and we enjoyed walking around downtown. Remy wanted to jump off the dock into the river!

Old Burial Ground, Beaufort, NC

We always seem to always find a cemetery on our trips and today was no exception. Beaufort’s Old Burying Ground includes Civil War and Revolutionary War graves; some of the earliest graves were marked with cedar slabs and seashells; there are still many cedar slabs sticking up from the ground.

There are multiple graves that are elevated and covered by brick to protect them from flooding and wild animals who might start digging. One British officer’s last request was that he be buried standing up saluting his commanding officer and despite the low water table, his wish was granted. We saw his grave marker today.  This cemetery is a “must see” in North Carolina, in my opinion.

“Little Girl”

One of the most curious gravesites was a large cedar plank with the carving “little girl in a barrel of rum.” It was quite weathered, but I was able to make out the last few words by feeling the indentations with my finger. An English family in the 1700’s who had come to Beaufort had a little girl who wanted to go back and visit England as she started growing up. Her father finally agreed and took her to London. On the journey home, the little girl died; however, her father did not want her buried at sea. He had promised his apprehensive wife he would return their daughter safely from the voyage. Most unfortunately, the distraught father was not able to return the girl alive and well, but he was able to return her body in a barrel of rum purchased from the ship’s captain so he and his wife could give her a proper burial in Beaufort. To this day, visitors to the Old Burial Ground leave pennies, seashells, and trinkets on the child’s grave, as you can see in the photograph.

“Little Laura”

The old churches have done a pretty good job of documenting graves, but supposedly some old church records were stolen and taken back to England. The variety of grave markers, monuments, and headstones were vast. I’m always interested in the expressions of affection and devotion so beautifully engraved without the use of the high-tech tools. Many of the very early headstones are weathered and hard to read, of course — unfortunate because some have what we would consider an obituary engraved on headstones and monuments. Infant/childhood mortality was high so there are always many small graves. An example is “Little Laura.”

Atlantic Ocean in NC

After lunch in Moorehead City a few miles away (barbecue, of course), we headed to Atlantic Beach, just two miles away. We were hoping to find a public beach out of town a ways where we could dip our feet in the water. We kept on driving past condos, apartments, surf shops, and homes and saw a sign for “public beach.” We parked the van, walked across a wooden bridge and there it was – the Atlantic Ocean with a great beach, relatively few people, a nice breeze, and lots of waves. And, the water was lukewarm! Earlier in the day Remy wanted to jump in the river. We had to coax her in the ocean! The waves and the noise of the waves freaked her out. Anyway, this beach will be somewhere we’ll visit again and we can’t wait to show it to Hanna when she moves here.

Big waves are definitely a new experience for Remy!
Reassuring Remy that we are leaving soon!
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