Davis, NC Landmarks
History of Oyster Creek - Davis, NC
Since the 1700's, the area around Oyster Creek has been inhabited and has been home to several businesses. During the late 1800's, the north side of Oyster Creek was inhabited mostly by people who moved there from Portsmouth with names like Gilgo and Salter. Also, descendants of freed slaves lived there. On the south side were the residents of Davis.
During the 1920's, an oyster shucking business was started by James W. Salter and his wife, Georgia Salter. This oyster business was continued until the mod 1950's under the ownership of Mrs. Salter and her son, George Salter. A shrimp house and boats were owned by Luther Lewis.
In 1962, the Salter business property was purchased by Georgia Salter’s grandson, James Paul Lewis and he built Luther Lewis and Son, a crab processing plant. In the late 1960's and during the 1970's four shrimp trawlers and six smaller shrimp boats were built on the property. The trawlers shrimped as far south as Florida and the crab plant became known as producing the best crab meat in North Carolina. During the 1990's Mexicans were imported to pick crab meat and were housed at Oyster Creek. In 1990, Luther Lewis and Son began processing crab cakes and deviled crab cakes and today that is what the business does exclusively, shipping to many states in the eastern United States. In 1998, a tornado destroyed the original oyster house and old crab plant, a shrimp house, a shrimp trawler and several other buildings.
In 1935, a menhaden fish factory was built by Eddie Copeland on the south side of Oyster Creek. This plant employed many people and was operated by Mr. Copeland until about 1945 when the plant was sold to Lambert Morris. Mr. Morris operated the plant until about 1955 when it was dismantled and moved to Beaufort, later becoming Standard Products.
Another business that was located at Oyster Creek was a machine shop owned and operated by Dallas Salter from 1944 until (date unknown). He repaired and worked engines for almost all of the down east fishermen.
During the 1950's a hot dog and hamburger stand was operated by George and Celestine Salter near the foot of Oyster Creek Bridge. (Davis’ first fast food restaurant!!) Later George Salter operated Salter’s Diesel Repair on the south side of the bridge. This building was later converted into a seafood business, known as Oyster Creek Seafood, which operated for a few years and then burned. There is no building there today.
Source. Nancy Lewis
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