Cedar Island, NC History
“A Little City by the Sea”
Cedar Island, Oct. 16, 1990
The Carteret County Historical Society Plaque Committee sponsored a bus tour to Cedar Island for plaqueing ceremonies and a survey of the community to view historic structures around the island on Oct. 16. The following are from notes prepared by Kay Slaughter Hewitt with research from these sources: Etta Daniels Mercer, Gloria Daniels Emory, Iris Jarvis Fulcher, Clayton Fulcher III and “Heritage of Carteret County, Vol. 1,” published in 1982.
After crossing the Cedar Island drawbridge on Highway 12, you will enter one of the county’s most scenic areas of marsh and water. This is called the thoroughfare by locals; they sometimes shorten that to “ther’fer.”
Highway 12 reaches Cedar Island and the state owned Cedar Island/Ocracoke Ferry operations, which can take passengers and cars across Pamlico Sound to Ocracoke and eventually Hatteras and the North Banks. Cedar Island is more than 4 0 miles from Beaufort allowing travelers the opportunity to enjoy the unique scenery of down east along the way.
You will now cross the smaller John Day Bridge as we enter the western end of the island. It is believed that the ditch (canal) was originally dug by a black man and his son from North River. It goes from the West Bay to Core Sound. Later you will view John Ireland’s ditch. Legend says that the man’s pay for digging this ditch was a mare and a colt.
Before 1729, a 5,000 acre grant was made to Lewis Conner who in turn sold the land to Samuel Smith. This was much of the land located in northeastern Carteret County today. With very little development by either Conner or Smith, the land returned to the state after the Revolutionary War. Soon families such names as Lupton and Daniels began to settle in the area of Carteret County facing Pamlico Sound.
This region was called Cedar Island until the 1950s when post offices were established on the island. The east end of the island became known as Lola while the west end became known as Roe. In 1960 the post offices ceased to function and the whole area became known as Cedar Island again.
Hog Island is a large island northeast of the mainland. At one time, it had a post officer (1892-1902). Known as Lupton, it had a school and a church, but for some reason the inhabitants of Hog Island moved to Cedar Island.
The following homes were included on the tour:
Other homes, buildings and sites included on the tour were: Lawrence Goodwin House, Cedar Island Indian Shell Mound, Cedar Island Pilgrim’s Rest Freewill Baptist Church (est. 1908), Lupton Cemetery, Driftwood Restaurant, Cedar Island Primitive Baptist Church (est. Dec. 8, 1832, now with one member of the church, Alton Goodwin), Goodwin Cemetery, Harris Cemetery (The tall tombstone marks the grave of Julian Harris who was killed in World War I. He had told his parents many times that he wanted to build his home on this piece of land. They buried him there saying, “this is home.”), Cedar Island United Methodist Church (est. 1935), Charitable Brotherhood Building (one of the last standing in Carteret County), George Daniels House, Herbert and Kathleen Styron’s Community Store and the Cedar Island Community Cemetery.
Reprinted from the Mailboat, Fall 1990 Vol. 1, No. 3
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