Articles in regional publications that pertain to a wide range of North Carolina-related topics.
for Tar Heel Junior Historian Vol. 28 Issue 2, Spring 1989
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Cape Fear River connected communities in eastern Carolina's coastal plain. Transportation transformed from sail and rowboats to steamboats in the 19th-century. River traffic again evolved in the early 19th-century when motorized boat traffic replaced steamboats. Regardless of propulsion, river traffic promoted growth of two of the river's largest cities, Fayetteville and Wilmington.
Historically, defending the coast proved problematic for coastal Carolina. Early Spanish raids on coastal cities of Beaufort and Wilmington prompted the earliest fort construction in the 18th-century. A series of forts, especially focused on the southeast coast, had varying degrees of success protecting these cities from the American Revolution to the World Wars.
The state's fisheries remain an integral part of eastern North Carolina's history and culture. Whether for commercial or subsistence purposes, fishermen have been active from prehistoric eras to modern dredging and trawling operations. Numerous species of fish and shellfish also contributed to the importance of fishing off the coast.
The state's history of boatbuilding began with native population shaping log boats to a modern industry of shipbuilding for the commercial fishing industry. Log boats would develop into a tradition of sailing fishing craft called sharpies and finally a motorized shad boat.
Known as the 'Graveyard of the Atlantic', the state's Outer Banks hindered settlement and caused the loss of hundreds of ships throughout history. Inaccessible waterways deterred growth during the colonial period and slowed growth of shipping during the 19th- and early 20th-century. Recently, the Outer Banks have transformed from deterrent to economic boom, generating revenue from vacationers seeking beaches and fishing.