Atlantic, NC Brief History


Atlantic is located about thirty miles east of Beaufort on Core Sound. It was originally called Hunting Quarters, named by the Tuscarora Indians, the Coree, from which Core Sound was named. In 1890 the name was changed to Atlantic. It was incorporated in 1905 but is not now active in municipal affairs. According to old land grants, about fifty acres were granted to Robert Wallace. The Wallace family cemetery is near the Willis Texaco Station.

Transportation was limited during the early days. Mail from Beaufort was received twice a week. Atlantic was isolated from other neighborhoods, except by water. In the early 1900's daily passenger and mail services began. The first permanent post office was established in 1880 with Thomas Chadwick as the postmaster.

Transportation was improved with the completion of a shell road in 1914-15 joining Haul’s Point to Annis’ Run, the two borders of Atlantic.


Atlantic Primitive Baptist Church — According to the records in “History of the Kehukee Association,” the Primitive Baptist Church was the first church established in this area about 1829. Their first church, on the waterfront, was destroyed by a storm. The present church was built on the Shell Road.

Atlantic United Methodist Church — The Methodists first met as classes in homes and their camp meetings were held in the Oak Grove that now holds the present church. This tract of land was about fifty acres and the first church, about 1897, was known as the “Church of Two Hundred Trees.” The oaks surrounding the church today are the same oaks that furnished a roof for the early camp meetings. In 1920 this church was remodeled by adding church school rooms. The present church was completed in May, 1965.

Atlantic Baptist Church — In November, 1896, a group of nine people met and organized a new church in Atlantic to be know as the Leary Memorial Baptist Church, in honor of Thomas A. Leary of Morehead City who was the first missionary to preach here. This organization was under the leadership of Walter N. Johnson, who was also the school teacher. The services were held in an old store building. Afterwards a Reverend Gaskill came and preached once every two months. Later the Reverend E. A. Paul was called as pastor and preached once a month for eleven years. Later the school house was purchased and converted into a church building. In 1923 the name was changed to Atlantic Missionary Baptist Church. The present church was completed in October, 1955.

God’s Missionary Church — Three persons from Atlantic attended a revival at Free Grace Church on Harkers Island: Delphia Nelson, Mary Willis, and Thelma Salter. They liked the service so much that they invited Ray Hembrick and Kermit Farlow to come to Atlantic to establish a church. Early meetings were held in tents, later a church was built at the intersection of Highways 70 and 12. The ladies laid the corner stone of the church in 1954. Donnie Salter became the fourth member.
In the beginning, the church was named Pilgrim Holiness, which was changed to John Wesley Chapel. While operating under these names, it was an independent church. About 1970, it joined the Penn View Conference in Kentucky, but the building is still owned by the members. The present name is God’s Missionary Church, with eight members. The present pastor is the Reverend Ricky Rose.


In the early 1900's, Atlantic had two schools, locally known as the “Hog” and the “Ram.” The “Ram” prepared students for the business world, while the “Hog” prepared them for college. They were both excellent schools for their day. Later in 1906, the two combined and were know as the Atlantic Academy. This became the first High School in Carteret County. It was consolidated with East Carteret High School in 1965, leaving only the Elementary School and Junior High in Atlantic.
In 1924-25 the Atlantic Teacher Training Course was established, which gave two-thirds of a year’s college credit. This was the only teacher training school of its kind in eastern North Carolina. This training course was offered for three terms.

Industries: Yesterday and Today

Farming — Not profitable–abandoned and became vegetable gardening

Windmills — one at White Point and one at Steep Point ground cornmeal as late as the early 1900's

Boat Building — Ambrose M. Fulcher operated a store and built boats “Over the Brook”

Coffins — Pine coffins were made by hand by Ambrose Fulcher

Net Making — Women (some men) tied nets in their homes for their family fishermen.

For 10-12 years, Sport Nets Inc. owned by Frank Exom of Bennetsville, SC operated in Adeline Fulcher’s two-room store and later moved to Sterling Robinson’s Apartments. Woodrow Daniels was the manager and Selma Willis was secretary. Women were paid by the piece for making basketball, volley ball and other nets used for recreational purposed. They could work at the factory or at home. Social Security began during this time.

In the early 1950's Gaston Smith started a net shop in his backyard. These nets were for commercial use only. Some were made by hand. This shop was operated for twenty years.

In 1970 Harris Net Shop was started by Roger Harris. From nylon webbing, sport and commercial nets are cut, sewn and shaped.

Ice Plant — Dr. Oscar Daniels from Oriental, NC was the owner. He hired his brother Cliff as manager. Blocks of ice were delivered by truck to homes, stores and fish businesses. It operated for several years and was sold to Clayton Fulcher Seafood Company.

Fish Factories — After 1900 M.T. (Melt) Lee’s factories made fish meal for sale. Jim and Daniels worked there as boys. It was located at Haul’s Point.

Tom Nelson and J. E. Nelson had a fish meal plant along the water front near Oscar Willis’ home.
Gaston Fulcher’s fish meal plant was located over the Brook along the waterfront near Morris Marina. It closed in about 1 ½ years.

John W. Smith operated a fish meal factory about 10 years or more across the road from his farm on Nelson’s Bay.

Oyster Factory — Located in front of what is today Winston Hill’s store. It was in operation for about 10-15 years, closing about 1923.

Seafood — Private fishermen sold their catches to buyers who sent “buy boats” which transported them to fish houses in nearby towns.

Clayton Fulcher Seafood Company, established about 1936, ships all types of seafood by refrigerated trucks.
Luther Smith and Son, established about 1940, shipped all types of seafood by refrigerated trucks.

Stores — During the years there have been ten different stores to carry on business in the community. At one time there were as many as six stores operating at the same time.

Source: Histories of Carteret County Communities. Compiled by the Carteret County Extension Homemakers Clubs. 1979; pp. 1-3.

Down East Community Tour
Core Sound Waterfowl Museum