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

Emmerton School 1910/1928

Emmerton School circa 1912 - Image Courtesy Jack Dudley - Swansboro, A Pictorial Tribute
Salem Cottage & 
Emmerton circa 1908-1910
NATIONAL REGISTER of Historic Places: 502 Church Street – Brick building in the form of a “U” with decorative brickwork, belfry, auditorium and added front porches. Emmerton School replaced an earlier frame schoolhouse. The building served as the Methodist Church in the 1930s and the auditorium served as the town’s first cinema. Currently the building serves as the town hall. NR

From the American Unitarian Association: Unitarian Word and Work - 1910:
The Emmerton School at Swansboro opened with a large number in charge of Miss Sara H. Johnson and Mrs. Martha B. Cary. But within two weeks Mrs. Cary found her health unequal to the work, and most unfortunately, Miss Johnson was taken ill with malarial fever, so the school had to be closed for a time. Miss Johnson is making rapid recovery, and the school will doubtless reopen after Christmas.

Excerpts from Swansboro, A Pictorial Tribute, by Jack Dudley:
The Unitarian Woman’s Alliance began educational work in Swansboro in 1905 under the leadership of Miss Lucy Fessenden. In addition to graded school, the school offered kindergarten, a 1500 volume library, vocational training in carpentry and mechanics, music, business and home economics. There were plays, celebrations at holidays, and even the planting of a tree on Arbor Day.
There was much social welfare; a school nurse provided much needed services, and families received aid and assistance in many ways. A few students were roomed and boarded by the school, and the needy were given scholarships.
Barrels of clothing, household items and books were shipped from Alliance sources in the North by train to Maysville, and then by vehicle to Swansboro.
The school term in 1925 was seven months, October through April. In 1928, out-of-town students boarded in the Alex Moore house and the Tom Pritchard house on Walnut Street.

Emmerton School circa 1928 
Image Courtesy Jack Dudley - Swansboro, A Pictorial Tribute
Swansboro Town Hall 2010
The newly completed Emmerton School (circa 1928). No one knows the origin of the name Emmerton. In 1930, the church and Salem Cottage were burned by arsonists. In 1931, the brick building was purchased by the Methodists and it was their church until 1968. Also, in 1968, it became the Swansboro City Hall. --Jack Dudley

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