|Aerial View 1940s . Image Courtesy North Carolina State Archives|
This page is a transcription from the application to nominate
Swansboro to the NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES
Prepared and written in 1989 by architectural historian Daniel Pezzoni
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
Swansboro, a tiny port established in 1770 on Bogue Sound at the mouth of the White Oak River in Onslow County, is a remarkably unaltered waterfront village of approximately 150 densely-clustered houses and commercial buildings. The historic district includes the town’s surviving antebellum building stock of five houses and two store buildings as well as several virtually intact blocks of frame houses dating to the period of the town’s lumber boom, between the years 1880 and 1925. These lumber boom houses display a distinctive local variation of typical late Victorian exterior and interior milled ornament.
Swansboro’s major commercial and industrial role as Onslow County’s foremost port from the eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries is documented in the Onslow County Multiple Property Documentation Form: Naval Stores and Lumber Production in Onslow County, 1754-1938. The town served as a center for fishing, boatbuilding, and naval stores processing and shipment before the Civil War. After the war, the town hosted a succession of large lumber mills. Unlike the coastal towns of Beaufort and Morehead City in adjacent Carteret County, which grew large owing to fine harborage and rail connections, Swansboro remained isolated and tied to its immediate hinterland. Consequently, Swansboro represents one of the smallest and most traditional maritime communities surviving on the North Carolina coast. MUCH MORE