History Discovered, History Shared

Historical research and preservation is the vision, but sharing the information is the mission. Above, Havelock historian Eddie Ellis presents a program at a gathering of the Eastern Carolina Aviation Heritage Foundation. In the projection behind Ellis, the first jet squadron in the Marine Corps, FH-1 Phantoms at Cherry Point, performed in the late 1940s as a precision flying team, the Flying Leathernecks. Havelock News photo.

When Craven County native Edward Ellis was a child there was a single brief paragraph in the area’s phone directory about the history of Havelock and Cherry Point. The tiny article contained just two facts. It stated that the city was named for a British general and war hero, which turned out to be true. It further claimed that Cherry Point’s name derived from a grove of cherry trees that once grew along the Neuse River. This has never been confirmed as the original Cherry Point, where the state ferry docks today on the river’s south shore, washed away a long, long time ago. (Map on Havelock History page).

Besides the brief synopsis above, there was nothing else available, nothing else recorded. There were no books revealing local history, nothing in print and no reference material in the public library. And common beliefs, repeated tirelessly, claimed nothing existed in this small place before the coming of the Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station in the 1940s.

Many decades later we now know the true story. This area was settled before New Bern’s founding in 1710. It was inhabited by European settlers in the early days of American colonization and before that by aboriginal people for thousands of years. An impressive quantity of rare and important documents, artwork, artifacts and photographs have been collected and preserved teaching about families, farms, churches, schools, businesses, industry and war. Three books of local history chronicling these amazing tales have been written. And this website has been created to serve as a guide to available resources.

The area’s rich history is interwoven, of course, with that of the colonial capital of New Bern — a grand story unto itself — and the ancient port of Beaufort, just as the people and events of Craven County and Carteret County commingle with those of the entire Carolina coastal plain, the rest of the state and the nation. And all of it has been overlaid by the incredible, ground-shaking influx of the United States Marine Corps, which brought an international dimension to this quiet Carolina crossroads. Hopefully, information available here will be entertaining and useful to the professional, the student or the simply curious. And perhaps readers will be guided and motivated to research of their own.

Books of Local History

In This Small Place

Amazing Tales of the First 300 Years of Havelock and Craven County,
North Carolina

The first history of Havelock and Cherry Point lovingly written by the city’s gifted historian

Historic Images of Havelock & Cherry Point

contains more that 170 rare images, illustrations, and original details. The community heritage of Havelock and Cherry Point is unveiled in classic historical photographs, most seen for the first time.

New Bern History 101

The Essential Facts for the Native, Newcomer or Visitor to the Colonial Capital of North Carolina.

“Entertaining, funny, highly readable…
..a definitive portrait of the city.”
– Our State Magazine

Recent Blog

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  • A 1938 snapshot of Havelock and Craven County

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