1733 Moseley Map - Part of the Great Western Ocean
Around 1730, Swansboro started as a small settlement at the mouth of the White Oak River. Jonathan and Grace Green settled here from
Weeks then sold a portion of his land which, in 1783, which was
During the Revolutionary War, a number of patriot privateers operated from the harbor, and several saltworks were built nearby. By 1786, Swansboro had assumed such importance that it was declared a separate customs district.
Captain Otway Burns was the town's most famous ship builder. He was famous for building the first steamboat constructed in
Swansboro continued to prosper until the Civil War. Shipbuilding and the export of naval stores were the mainstays of the local economy. The Civil War brought an end to the port's boom days. Swansboro was twice occupied by Union forces, in 1862 and 1864. After the war, the naval stores trade fell off. Eventually, the town's sole industry was commercial fishing.