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:

Redding Daniels Home (1899) on Lola Road near Cedar Island Bay. This two-story home has eight rooms and features six over six windows, double chimneys and a large wraparound porch with gingerbread trim. It is nestled in a grove of maple trees. The home was built by Redding Daniels who is buried in the family cemetery across the highway from the house.

Foster Goodwin Home (1890) is one and a half stories and has six over six windows downstairs and four over four upstairs.

Harry Goodwin Home (1909) was built by Harry himself. The cost of building materials was $45. The first two rooms built were the kitchen and dining area on back. The home is two-story with a wraparound porch. Harry is 100 years old and lives in Atlantic. The home is owned by Vernon “Tom” Goodwin of Texas who visits every summer and Christmas. The family always gets together at the homeplace during these times.

Wright and Nora Ann Goodwin Home (1885) is a one and a half with four rooms down and two up. The ’33 storm leveled the original kitchen which was located on the left of the house. It was originally connected by a “dogtrot” or breezeway. It is presently owned by the grandson of the Goodwin’s, Swindell Jr. of New Bern who is restoring the home.

Cleveland Daniels Home (1910), a large two-story with its original siding. There is a lane of cedar trees ending with a cluster of maple trees. The trees served as air conditioning for houses back then by keeping the roofs shaded. Many times now you can see such a cluster of trees left in an open field even through the house is no longer standing.

Bernice and Julia Goodwin Home (1902) is presently being renovated by the Goodwin’s daughter, Ethel VanHorn. Its foundation has been raised five cement blocks to prevent water from going into it during a storm.

John Williams Goodwin Home (1882) is the oldest home on Cedar Island. Built by John Williams and wife Missouri Daniels Goodwin, the 108-year-old-house is one and half stories. The original plan included a detached kitchen to the left attached by a “dogtrot.”

William Harris Home (1894) has the original four rooms down and tow up. It has its original siding with diagonal beading (tongue and groove) on the wall of the front porch.
Wallace Goodwin Home (1890) has seen many changes in its 100 years. During the ’33 storm the roof came off and floated across the highway and lodged in the third oak tree in front of the Stephen Emory House. The tree still shows damage.

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

Down East Community Tour