This small quaint seaport has roots back to April 7, 1730 when Isaac and Jonathan Green Sr. purchased from Ebenezer Harker "a certain plantation and track of land containing by estimation 441 acres situate lying and being in ye Carterett in ye county of province of aforsaid being ye west side of ye mouth off White Oak River." By 1771 Theophilus Weeks started a town on his plantation, laying out a plat and selling lots. Formerly known as Bogue, Week's Point, The Wharf and New Town, the town was officially designated by the North Carolina General Assembly on May 6, 1783. Above photo (from North Carolina State Archives) courtesy Jack Dudley, as included in Swansboro - A Pictorial Tribute

Swansboro Land and Lumber circa 1900

Swansboro Land and Lumber circa 1900 before the railroad and trestle were built.
Photo courtesy the North Carolina State Archives

Cedar Creek Trestle circa 1865 . 
Photo courtesy North Carolina State Archives
According to Jack Dudley, in Swansboro - A Pictorial Tribute, the Swansboro Land & Lumber Company "was originally Prittyman's Mill. It was constructed during the 1890s and located at the end of Broad Street and operated until about 1918.

"A locomotive pulled several cars of logs to the waterfront mill. Rail lines were narrow gauge tracks that extended to Piney Green and Silverdale.

Courtesy Dudley's Swansboro A Pictorial Tribute
"The locomotive pushed the log train out on the trestle and dropped logs into the log pound; in the water, the logs could be easily maneuvered. Logs were then lassoed with a windlass cable and dragged up the log deck into the mill. They were transferred to a carriage and cut into lumber with a giant bandsaw. The cut lumber was then transferred to the kiln. After being kiln dried, the lumber was stored on the yard awaiting shipment by tug and barge to Bogue Inlet or Morehead City.

"The locomotives were called 'lokeys' and the boilers were fired with lightwood knots. Sometimes sparks emitted from the smokestack would cause brush fires. Hay was carried out by train to feed the mule and horse teams that pulled logs from the woods to loading points. The mill commissary sold goods to mill employees." - Jack Dudley

W.L. Groom
Rocky Mount: Gateway of Eastern
North Carolina circa 1911

Information concerning W.L. Groom, recorded in Rocky Mount: The Gateway of Eastern North Carolina, published by the Rocky Mount Record in 1911:
"To further show the development of this staple concern, we will go back to 1904, when Mr. Groom decided to again enlarge his business and bought over a big lumber plant in Onslow county, carrying with it immense tracts of land and timber. Mr. Groom purchased this property as Trustee for himself and others, and incorporated it under the name of The Swansboro Land and Lumber Company, with a paid up capital of $150,000.00. The operation of this plant has been very successful, Mr. Thomas H. Pritchard being the local manager, but Mr. Groom exercising in his own way, a supervision that takes account of even the smallest details. The lumber is shipped from the Swansboro plant both by water and rail. Gasoline tugs are provided for towing purposes, and the plant owns and operates a standard-gauge railroad, fourteen miles long. The mill has every modern improvement and has a supply at present of seventy five million feet of timber."

NOTE:  William Lincoln Groom (born in 1861) moved from Chemung County New York in 1896 and established the Tar River Lumber Company in Rocky Mount, NC.

Public Sale of Valuable Timber Lands and Holdings
Published in The New York lumber trade journal, Volume 67 by John W. Long and Arthur R. Carr- 1919:

    We will offer at public sale in the town of Jacksonville, Onslow County, N.C., on Monday, Nov. 3, 1919, at 2:00 o'clock p.m., the following timbered lands in fee and also the following timber options, viz., lying and being in Onslow County. A full description can be had of same by reference to books in office of Register of Deeds of said county:
    Options--Ben Provow Tract, 125 acres; Gaston Smith Heirs, 500 acres; M.E. Kellum and others, 800 acres; Curtis Hobbs, 100 acres; I.N. Henderson, 1500 acres. The above lies in Swansboro Township between Bear Creek and Queen's Creek.
    Timbered Lands in Fee Simple. - Kellum Entry, 630 acres; State Board of Education, 990 acres; Bray Entry, 412 acres; Bear Garden Tract, 875 acres; Nat Smith, 33 acres; Frazier-Smith Land, 100 acres. The above lands lie in White Oak Township, beginning within 1 1/2 miles of the A.C.L.R.R.
    Cutover Lands in Fee Simple. - I.N. Henderson, cutover in 5 years ago, 198 acres; I.N. Henderson, cutover 4 years ago, 100 acres; Mitchel Swamp Tract, cutover 12 years ago, 354 acres; Ben Provow, cutover 6 years ago, 125 acres; Machine Tract, cutover 2 years ago, 250 acres; Ward Property, Swansboro,46 acres; Sanders & Koonce Land, situated in White Oak Township, Carteret County. This tract is owned in fee simple and is heavily timbered - 1,485 acres.
    Prospective buyers can be shown over these lands and timber by calling on W.T. Bray who lives within 8 miles of Maysville, N.C., and near most of the land; he also has maps and knows all line, etc. Terms of sale: One-third cash; balance one and two years.
    W.L. Groom
    Pres. Swansboro Land & Lumber Co.
    Address: Rocky Mount, N.C.

Report of the Corporation Commission, Board of State Tax Commissioners 1915
Swansboro Land and Lumber Company
Capital Stock $150,000, Value Capital Stock $75,000
Assessed Value Real and Person Property $55,530
Corporation Excess $19,464

from Swansboro Historical Association Brochure:
"Swansboro Land and Lumber Company started as Prittyman's Mill in the 1890s. Logs were floated down the White Oak River or brought to the mill on narrow gauge trains. Two steam boilers operated a huge band saw, various milling machines, and drying kilns. The lumber company shipped to many ports in New England and the Bahamas. Many local homes in the current historic district were constructed during this 'lumber-boom.' Interestingly, the lumber mill paid workers with 'wooden nickels' which local merchants accepted for payment."

Below is a view of Casper's Marina, formerly the site of Swansboro Land and Lumber Company, as taken from the intersection of W. Broad and Elm.


Unknown said...

The old rail bed for Swansboro Land and Lumber can be viewed from the gravel portion of the walking path in the Swansboro Municipal Park off Main Street Extension. The narrow gauge railbed can be identified by the two parallel ditches. Another portion can be viewed between the soccer field restrooms and the gravel parking area where it points toward Broad Street and the former Swansboro Land and Lumber location at Casper's Marina.

The company used Glover locomotives built in Marietta, Ga. It appears the first locomotive may have been narrow gauge (can't find record) but according to Glover records the second, delivered around 1907, was a standard gauge model.
Builder No. 10141 Swansboro Land & Lumber Co.
Date shipped: 3/23/1907
Gauge: Standard 2-6-0

The rail bed crosses Main Street Extension and on the other side of the street it is the driveway for Mrs. Shepard just west of the Deer Run development. Then the rail bed continues on on my property in the direction that takes it on a path toward the back of the current Middle School/Old High School. When I was a youngster I walked down the "Tram Road" and down the old dirt road that is now Main Street Extension to school in the old elementary school, now condos. On my property I find small narrow gauge spikes as well as standard gauge spikes.

Unknown said...

There is a cistern under the house at corner of broad and elm st up the hil from Caspers used to fill the train with water for steam
Dick kellum 221 elm street