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 courtesy Jack Dudley . Swansboro - A Pictorial Tribute . North Carolina State Archives.
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Bartley House Privy

The James Bartley House circa 1893 is located at 202 Main Street, which backs up to Moore Street. The Bartley House Privy sits on the west side of Moore Street near the corner of Elm, on what may have been the edge of James Thomas Bartley's property--a stones throw away from his old "spring house."

According to the Swansboro Historical Association brochure, "Older residents suggest that the building once served as a post office and was located on Front Street. An architectual historian remarked on its similarity to milkhouses. Note the guilded-age 'vents.' Privy, post office or milkhouse, this building is a Swansboro conversation piece."

James Thomas Bartley, born in South Carolina on April 27, 1864 to Edward Bartley and Annie Keman, came to Swansboro by way of Wilmington about 1893. He built this home for his bride - Georgia A. Smith, born to George W. and Missouri Smith, of Silverdale, NC, on August 23, 1870.

Georgia Bartley was postmistress from 1907 to 1914--perhaps this is the connection to the "privy post office." Bartley was a prominent local businessman - a retail merchant on Front Street. His first store (left) was just east of the Old Brick Store. His early "party boat" was named Little Georgia. Bartley was a former mayor of Swansboro but an unsuccessful candidate for Congress. More on the Bartley House...

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