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

The White Oak River

By F. L. Morris

Contemporary Photo by David Sobotta
White Oak River served as a highway of travel and transportation for two hundred years before railroads and the automobile came. It is not a great river—only covering 50 miles from its head in the center of White Oak Pocosin in northern Onslow County to Bogue Inlet, where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean.

Prior to the railroads it had been the camping ground of the Indians, and the deep beds of shells at Cedar Point indicate the Indians had opened oysters there for generations or even centuries. In old permanent homes of the Indians in the mention of old Indian fields, and Indian Creek in lower Jones County and Indian Camp Branch, a prong of Starkey's Creek, in Onslow County must have been their larger settlements.

But these Indians joined the Tuscaroras in the massacre of the settlers along the Neuse and Trent rivers in 1711 and had fled their White Oak homes when the white settlers began to arrive in 1713.

The whites came from further north in this state, from Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Carteret County was set up in 1722, and in 1723 the Carteret Court ordered a bridle road laid out from the court house (where Beaufort is now) to a plantation on White Oak River. Three years later the Carteret Court established a ferry over New River, farther west, for convenience of travelers to the settlements then beginning on the Cape Fear. MORE...

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