Bettie, NC Bridges
The Ward’s Creek Bridge between Bettie and Otway, was built around the turn of the century. The North River Bridge was built in the early 1920's so with these two bridges (even though years passed between their erection) the people east of Beaufort—for the first time, could comfortable travel. But not yet by automobile—or should we say very little auto traffic as there were so few of them in the county. Before then, even to have a doctor, one had to travel to Marshallberg—as the only doctor (Dr. George) lived there and he was a hunter of wild duck and geese also, therefore, every chance he had, that’s where he could be found. That meant one had to pole across Core Sound to the Outer Banks to find him. Those living in Otway and Bettie (a distance of about eight or nine miles to Marshallberg), when in need of the doctor had to go to Marshallberg, and many, many times had to pole on over to the Outer Banks. After locating him, he would advise them as to what to look for (in the patient) and if such and such was the case, then a trip to Beaufort (for medicine) was next. So back to Bettie, pole across North River and walk (if no horse and buggy or cart came along) on into “town,” a distance of about another seven miles. But the good doctor would always say, “And by the time you get back from ‘town’ with the medicine, I’ll be there.” And he would be! Many lives have been lost on account of the time.
It was not until the very late 20's or early 30's that the first bridge, linking Beaufort and Morehead City was completed and after that the bridge to Atlantic Beach. So you can readily see what hardships the people endured. About 1936, phase one of the Tennessee Valley Authority (it could have been a bit earlier too) was completed and put into operation. This was the first electricity the people east of Beaufort had ever had (only those who were able to have a Delco system installed). Of course it took some time to get ready for the installations in the home but it mean many things for the people—too many to mention here. But a few: lights, water and indoor plumbing. How thankful they were for the TVA!
For moment–back to the Ward’s Creek Bridge. Before the bridge, Mr. V. B. Salter, Sr. gathered a crew of men (in the neighborhood) together and made a road on Bettie and that road ws to link with the bridge and did. Now for something you may not know! We have, running the length of our “ good ‘ole North State” US Highway 70–the longest US highway in the United States—from California to Atlantic, NC. This highway in Bettie is laid on the exact road bed that Mr. Salter, with his friends, laid so many years ago. So we have a “first and only” in our county.
Source: Thumbnail History of Carteret County; compiled by Reba Hellen Salter Singer. Dedicated to The Morehead City Chapter of The Daughters of the American Revolution; 1976. Pp. 3-4.
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