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

James Eldridge Parkin House circa 1873

NATIONAL REGISTER of Historical Places: 218 Water Street – Three-bay center-hall plan I-house, with decorative one-story front porch, two-story ell, front gable, elaborate interior tongue-and-groove sheathing, mantel and stair detail. Parkin was a steamship pilot, and after 1900 a Swansboro merchant. NR (House images to follow)

Sarah Jane Whitehurst
Thomas Parkin 1833-1906
Thomas Edmund Parkin 1833-1906 arrived in Beaufort, North Carolina in 1856 from Hull, Yorkshire, England. The next year blacksmith Parkin married Sarah Jane Whitehurst 1842-1917, daughter of Elijah Whitehurst and Lydia Piver of Beaufort. Their children: Lydia, Julia, Hannah Elizabeth, Edmund, James Eldridge, Mary Catherine (died at birth), Herbert Vernon, Ernest, Harry Mommoth, Cecil Warren, John Slade and George Wilbur Parkin.

James Eldridge Parkin 1867-1952 married Maryland Virginia Hill 1873-1945 daughter of Edward Moore Hill and Armecia Willis of New River, Onslow County on December 24, 1890. Their children: Mary, Nellie, James E., Neta, Bessie and Thomas Parkin. Son James E. Parkin 1901-1931 married Olivia Isabel Rouse.

In the 1900 census James Eldridge Parkin was noted as a marine engineer. In the 1920 census he was a retail merchant.

Family trees confuse James Eldridge Parkin and James Elijah Parkin, for whom the house is named. James Eldridge Parkin 1867-1952 death certificate, information provided by Neta Parkin Littleton, documented her father’s name. 85-year-old James Eldridge Parkin died from severe burns caused by an accident due to senility where his clothing ignited due to smoking in bed. James Eldridge Parkin was buried in Ward Cemetery, Swansboro.

Harry Monmouth Parkin built a house at 108 Gordon Street in Beaufort. Harry's brother, John Slade "Capt. Jack" Parkin, and family, also made their home in Beaufort at 1015 Ann Street. 

Built in 1923 by Jonah Howard Smith, father of Harvey Ward Smith, Parkins was named for "Capt. Jack" Parkin. On December 18, 1942, the heavily loaded 120-foot boat sank in a storm two or three miles off Fort Macon. Caught in a heavy sea, 18 men drowned. Beaufort residents who drowned were Earl Henry, William T. Davis, Alexander Merrill and Capt. David W. Davis. Survivors from Beaufort were George Garner, Herbert Davis, Herbert Baum, John Henry Pritchette, Rufus Beard and Isaac Simmons. Purse boats and mast were salvaged. The painted wooden "name board" Parkins is on display in the Maritime Museum in Beaufort. Capt. Davis' brother and survivor, Herbert Davis, later captain of Harvey Smith's Brigantine, was noted as one of the great singers of the chanteys or traditional work songs devised by the black menhaden fishermen to help with the hauling of the heavy nets. (Sandbeck)

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