Thousands of images, texts, and audio/video from ECU's diverse collections and beyond.

New Bern, North Carolina industrially : a modern city with historic traditions

Date: 1940 | Identifier: F264.N5 C37 1940
New Bern, North Carolina industrially : a modern city with historic traditions / by Gertrude S. Carraway. New Bern, N.C. : City Board of Alderman, 1940. 69 p. : ill. ; 25 cm. An all-year coastal resort, unsurpassed natural advantages and industrial opportunities. Includes index. more...



Bear on Shield]

Water, Rail and Truck Transportation

Ocean Highway--"The Fastest and Safest Route from
Norther Pines to Southern Palms"



FROM THE AIR Showing its Advantageous Water Location at the Confluence of the Neuse and Trent Rivers, 35 Miles from the Atlantic Ocean.


















J. B. DAWSON, Mayor Protem



Neuse River Shore Along East Front Street. With Coast Guard Cutter “Pamlico” at Its Home Dock.]





A CITY OF CHARM and achievement, with illimitable resources and possibilities, New Bern is the metropolis of a fertile agricultural area second to no other section in mild climate, natural advantages and industrial opportunities.


Engraving illustration picture of a river waterfront with sailboat]

Full cooperation and aid to new industries and new citizens will be gladly rendered by the city, its organizations and residents, in securing local sites, housing, contracting and other services. The city is especially eager to draw new business developments here, and will gladly discuss agreements and concessions. A hearty welcome and kindly hospitality await industrialists and farmers, homeseekers and landowners, vacationists and tourists.

For information along any line, inquiries are invited. Address either the City of New Bern or the New Bern Chamber of Commerce.

As for inducements for capital to invest in local business enterprises, the town offers numerous suitable industrial sites, diversified raw materials, skilled and unskilled laborers, good housing conditions, excellent schools and churches, progressive civic organizations, splendid transportation facilities by water, rail and highway, and a geographical location on two rivers, only 35 miles from the ocean and 112 miles East of Raleigh, the State capital, 256 miles North of Charleston, S. C., and 310 miles directly South of Washington, the National capital.


New Bern is located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent Rivers, in the central part of Eastern North Carolina, at the center of the coastal area of the United States—halfway between New York and Florida. Latitude, 35 degrees; longitude, 77 degrees. Nearby are two deep sea ports: Morehead City, 35 miles Southeast; and Wilmington, 87 miles Southwest. Two important Federal Highways, 17 and 70, converge here. Norfolk is 176 miles Northeast; Richmond, 197 miles North. The main city of the lower Neuse River Basin, in the Southeast Coastal Plain, it is exceptionally well situated from standpoints of climate, rainfall, rich farming and timber producing areas, transportation facilities, available markets and industrial potentialities.


Eighteen feet above sea level.


The Gulf Stream only 75 miles away, a mild and healthful climate is enjoyed in this region. Snow seldom falls, there is little severe weather at any season, and extreme weather never lasts long. On a recent “Sunshine Map” of the United States the three places listed as having most sunshine are Florida, Southern California and Eastern North Carolina. Fishing, hunting and golfing are possible during the entire year. The average mean temperature is 62 degrees, as a rule warm in Winter and cool in Summer. The growing season lasts approximately 265 days. For about 50 years the average January temperature was 45.4 degrees. The prevailing wind is from the Southwest, from the ocean. Cooling breezes also blow from the rivers, to give a Summer temperature average of 79 degrees.


The normal annual rainfall is about 60 inches. Prolonged periods of drought are practically unknown.


City, 13,000. Greater New Bern, 15,000. Surrounding trade territory, 100,000. Craven County, 31,000. Density of County population, about 46 persons per square mile.


Almost all the citizens are 100 per cent Americans, native-born. The Anglo-Saxon percentage is unusually high. Original settlers were Swiss, German and English. The present foreign element is negligible. Most of the few foreign-born residents are naturalized citizens.


Engraving illustration picture of a church]


In the middle of one of the most fertile agricultural and timber areas of the South, New Bern as an important supply depot and marketing metropolis draws patrons from an extensive trade territory, with 100,000 population: 50 miles East, 40 miles South, 30 miles West and 30 miles North.

Because of its central location and trade advantages, New Bern is the largest town and virtual capital of a five-County area: Craven, Pamlico, Carteret, Onslow and Jones Counties. A large volume of business also comes from rural sections of neighboring Counties of Beaufort, Pitt, Lenoir and Greene.

Highways leading to New Bern from every direction bring shoppers from Atlantic, Beaufort, Morehead City, Newport and other towns to the Southeast; Oriental, Vandemere, Hobucken, Cash Corner, Bayboro, Stonewall, Arapahoe, Grantsboro and elsewhere to the East; Aurora, Vanceboro, Ernul and other communities to the North; Fort Barnwell, Jasper, Tuscarora, Cove City, Dover, Clarks, Hymans, Spring Garden, Bellair and Asbury sections to the West; and Rhem, Pollocksville, Trenton, Maysville, Jacksonville, Richlands, Hubert, Swansboro and numerous other places to the South and Southwest.


“The Fastest and Safest Route from Northern Pines to Southern Palms.”
Map shows location of New Bern just halfway between New York and Jacksonville.]


Besides the markets through Eastern North Carolina and other parts of the State, New Bern has excellent connections to outside markets, being linked by highway, bus, rail, and water to almost everywhere. It is less than five hours by motor to Richmond, nine hours to Baltimore; only an overnight trip to New York or to Jacksonville, Fla. The Morehead City port offers an accessible water outlet to the entire world.


County seat of Craven County, New Bern has County Recorder's Court weekly and Superior Court for eight regular terms of 13 weeks a year. Federal Court is held here twice annually.

Headquarters of the 13-County State Forestry Division and Game Protector are located here, as are headquarters of the Croatan National Forest in three Counties, the five-County State Highway and Public Works Commission district, with its local prison camp and farm, the three-County district of the State Highway Patrol, the five-County branch of the Carolina Motor Club, the three-County office of the State Employment Service, the 21-County district of the Postal Inspector, the three-County area of the Crop Production Credit Association, and the seven-County district of the National Farm Loan Association.

Many business firms keep district offices here. In the city, too, is an official government weather observer. Both the 1939-40 District Congressman and State Speaker of the House are New Bernians.

Sudan Shrine Temple, with 1,600 members in the Eastern part of the State, including Durham, has its home here and holds three business meetings and the winter ceremonial here annually. Also held here each year are two reunions of the 600 Scottish Rite Masons in the Valley of New Bern.


Surrounded by rich farm and timber regions, dotted with small settlements, New Bern is backed by the thriving industries and resources of Piedmont North Carolina. Towards the coast are many sites of scenic, historical, industrial, recreational and resort interest. Many of the coastal inhabitants have to pass through New Bern to go upstate.

Eventually it is hoped that the city will be designated a gateway for the first National Seashore, which has been authorized as far South as Ocracoke and which later may be extended to include Fort Macon, century-old fortress on a State Park near Atlantic Beach resort, and Cape Lookout, one of the best natural harbors in the country.




In a healthful climate and section, New Bern and Craven County have as good health conditions as any part of the State. No serious epidemic has been reported for the past century except influenza during the World War and yellow fever during the War Between the States. The birth and death rates are on a par with the State averages. Drainage work through the region is accomplishing notable results for health and sanitation.

A City and County Health Department is maintained, financed by City, County, State and Nation, with a physician as a full-time Health Officer, one white and one colored whole-time public health nurse, an office clerk, a sanitary inspector, and a meat and milk inspector. Two WPA special nurses assist at the health clinics. The County Board of Health has six members. In addition, there is a County Physician. A dentist works in the schools of the County 12 weeks a year.

A chapter of the American Red Cross is in the County, with complete organization ready in case of any possible disaster or emergency.


Three hospitals. All modern equipment.

St. Luke's Hospital. 35 beds. Staff of 14, including superintendent, assistant superintendent and five other graduate nurses and a laboratory technician. For general public.

Good Shepherd Hospital. 40 beds. Staff of 11, including superintendent and three other graduate nurses. Only hospital for Colored patients in an 80-mile radius.

County Hospital-Home. 36 beds. Staff of nine, including superintendent, matron and practical nurses. For relief patients. Maintained by Craven County, under the Superintendent of Welfare. Built 1937-38 by the WPA and the County. First of the kind in North Carolina, and still the only one in a wide area. Recognized as one of the best County homes and hospitals in the South.





Aldermanic form. Mayor, Clerk, Tax Collector and Chief of Police are elected biennially by vote of the people, as are also two aldermen from each of the five wards. The Mayor is ineligible for a third consecutive term.

City departments are supervised by committees of aldermen appointed by the Mayor.

Finances are operated economically, with a budget kept below income. A full-time auditor is employed. The services of the city are being constantly improved.


Craven County, with four incorporated towns and 22 communities in its 660 square miles, is governed by a Board of Commissioners elected for four years, two from New Bern and one from each of three other districts. The members name their Chairman, and a number of County appointive officers.




Property valuation is listed on the tax books at $7,003,570 for the City of New Bern, and $13,296,919 for the County. These figures represent only half of the property valuation prior to 1933, when a horizontal reduction of 50 per cent was made in real estate values through Craven County, by Act of the North Carolina General Assembly.


The tax rate for New Bern, 1939-40, is $1.75 per $100 property valuation; that for Craven County, $1.85.


The City Hall, built in 1897 and used until 1935 as a Federal building, is one of the finest for any town of the size in the country. The adjoining lot is also owned by the municipality, as are the old City Hall, Central Fire Station, Armory, schools, parks, playgrounds and two cemeteries.

Craven County owns its courthouse and jail and other sites in the City and County.

The Federal Government owns the handsome Federal building, and the National Cemetery, opened in 1867 outside the city limits, where in the seven-and-a-half acres are buried 3,600 soldiers from 20 States. New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts have erected monuments to their dead there. The cemetery is the largest in acreage of the four National Cemeteries in North Carolina.


Fire protection is unusually good. The fire loss keeps comparatively low. A Central Fire Station is maintained, with modern motorized equipment. Of the five fire trucks, all pumpers, three have a capacity of 1,000 gallons, one of 750 gallons and one of 500.

Six men are paid for full-time duty. Two volunteer fire companies, with about 130 members, subject to call at any time of day or night, serve ably without pay. In past years they have broken several world records. There are 112 fire hydrants and 27 alarm boxes in the city.




In cooperation with the North Carolina State Forest Fire Control organization, Craven County protects all its forest lands that do not come under Federal protection in the Croatan National Forest. These 259,509 acres of forests under State supervision are manned by a County Warden and two tower men as permanent employes. In addition to two Federal fire towers, there are two State towers in the County. During fire seasons there are three extra fire crews of three men each.

District headquarters for 13 Counties of the State Forestry Service is located here, in the Federal building, with a District Forester, a Ranger and an office clerk.


The Chief of the City Fire Department, alternating between the two volunteer fire companies, acts as Building Inspector during his year's term, enforcing building laws, preventing fire hazards, condemning dangerous structures and issuing building permits. During 1939 the 63 building permits authorized construction work totalling $128,710.


Fire insurance rates here are the same as for other towns of the State in the Second classification, based on a partly-volunteer fire department. A 50 per cent reduction of all exposure charges on city and suburban dwellings has just been made effective all over North Carolina. Just previously there was a ten per cent reduction for mercantile establishment rates.


The City Police Department is efficiently and effectively managed, with a Chief, nine uniformed patrolmen and two sergeants. Speed is obtained by means of two fast cruising cars, a motorcycle and a police call system. The town has the reputation of being quiet, orderly and well-behaved.


The City owns and operates its own waterworks. Drawn from 12 deep drilled wells at Glenburnie, on a 97-acre tract owned by the city, two and a half miles up Neuse River, with a capacity of 2,000,000 gallons a day, the water supply is not only sufficient for the needs of the city, with its average daily consumption of 1,300,000 gallons, but also ample for considerable industrial expansion. There are 11 other drilled wells elsewhere, with extra capacity of 1,000,000 gallons, for reserve in case of fire or other unusual calls. Through the city are 13¼ miles of water mains.

Water rates are lower than those of any other city through a wide region.

By continuous economical management, the water department for the fiscal year from July 1, 1938, to July 1, 1939, from its revenue of $38,712.63 showed a net profit of $26,903.92.

A fine quality of drinking water is furnished, remarkably pure and palatable. Tests are made regularly. They show no sediment, odor or acid-producing bacteria, with chlorides exceptionally low. Hardness runs only four grains per gallon, well under the average.


Twelve miles of sewers through the city dispose of sewage and waste, both domestic and industrial, in the channels of the Neuse and Trent Rivers.


Of more than 50 miles of streets, about half are hard-surfaced. Practically all the 35 miles of side-walks are paved. The Street Department has a Street Commissioner and 36 employes. Its equipment includes six trucks, six wagons, a tractor and a scraper. During the past fiscal year more than $40,000 was spent for street maintenance and improvement. Trash collections are taken daily, in the effort to keep the streets neat and clean.


New Bern is one of the best lighted towns of its size in the United States. On seven main business blocks are 58 ornamental steel double standards with incandescent lamps for an attractive white way. Residential streets have more than 200 street lights.


Photograph of a New Bern street]


The municipally-owned power plant is operated by steam and furnishes homes and factories with cheap electricity for lights and power. It is designed so that it can be easily expanded. With a present capacity of 4,500 K. W., plans call for the early addition of 3,500 K. W. An engineer has been engaged to conduct a power plant survey here to determine its future needs.

Power for any industrial development is available. Rates compare favorably with those of other steam plants in the State.

With municipal equipment, wires and lights, the plant is valued at $1,635,226. During the 1938-39 fiscal year, the sum of $132,243.96 was cleared, due to economies and natural growth.

Besides 26 miles of electric lines within the city limits, serving 3,000 customers, the municipality owns 110 miles of rural electric lines that serve 800 rural residents. Total—3,800 customers.

In addition, current is supplied for 200 miles of transmission lines outside the corporate limits of the city that are owned by the Tide Water Power Company, which services other parts of the region. This company has a district office here, with supervision over four Counties.

New Bern was one of the first towns of its size in the nation to own its electric plant and start rural electrification.




Both the Western Union Telegraph Company and the Postal Telegraph Company have offices here and render efficient service. The former serves three Counties in this area, the latter six Counties. Both have telaprinter service, the Postal relaying direct to Raleigh and the Western Union to Richmond and thence transferring by automatic system to other main points. Messages reach New York in from five to 20 minutes.




District headquarters for the Carolina Telephone and Telegraph Company. Inc., the local office has supervision over ten Counties. For the New Bern Exchange proper there were 2,001 stations January 1, 1940, an increase of 118 for the year. Thirty-eight persons are employed at the exchange. World-wide telephone connections are available.


An adequate supply of manufactured gas is available here for all domestic and commercial uses. This modern fuel is supplied and distributed by the Tide Water Power Company. Rates are as low as those for any other town of the size in the State. Gas stoves, heaters, water heaters and refrigerators are also sold. There are 18 miles of gas mains in the city. Seventeen persons are employed at the gas plant and office. The plant is pictured below.

Butane Gas. The Eastern Butane Gas Company, which opened here June 1, 1939, markets Butane gas and sells ranges, house heaters, water heaters, lights and refrigerators through a 100-mile belt of East Carolina from Virginia to South Carolina.


An industrial building in New Bern]


Traffic through the city is regulated by police officers, who have charge of the enforcement of speed, parking and other traffic regulations. There are seven suspended traffic signal lights.

Working in full cooperation with the city officers are three State Highway Patrolmen stationed here. District headquarters is maintained here at the City Hall, under direction of a Patrol Sergeant. Five other patrolmen are on duty in other parts of the three-County district.

Despite heavy street traffic continuously, with two Federal highways bringing increasing numbers of motorists, only one fatal accident was reported for the city during 1939, and only one other occurred in the entire County.

A Safety Patrol of students has been organized for the City schools, under the State Highway Safety Division. There has been no school fatality on local streets for years. For visiting tourists, a local slogan is, “Drive Slowly—See Our Town.”



A highway street road by New Bern]

At the junction of Highway 17, “The Ocean Highway,” from North to South, and Highway 70, “The Main Street of North Carolina,” from East to West, New Bern is also located near Highways 55 through Dover to Kinston; 302 from Bridgeton, across Neuse River, to Bayboro and Oriental; 306 through Grantsboro to Aurora and Minnesott Beach; 307 from Bayboro to Vandemere; 12 from Pollocksville through Trenton to Kinston; 43 from Vanceboro through Greenville to Rocky Mount; 24 from Mansfield through Swansboro and Jacksonville to Fayetteville; and other important highways.

A total of 358.1 miles of hard-surfaced roads is reported for this five-county area: Craven—108.2 miles; Pamlico—44.9; Jones—47.5; Carteret—77; and Onslow—80.5 miles.


Truck transportation is becoming heavier every year through the city and section, as motor shipments of tobacco, cotton, potatoes, fish, vegetables, fruits, wholesale and retail supplies increase. Improvement of roads is bringing more and more trucks through here, not only those owned by local firms but others sent by companies throughout the Eastern part of the country. The city is becoming an important distributing center, sending out by truck merchandise that arrives by water or rail.


Four local companies and four out-of-town companies carry freight by motor truck in and through New Bern. Their rates are reasonable.


The Seashore Transportation Company, oldest bus company in the State still under its original management, having been started here in 1925, has its headquarters in New Bern.

Its 18 buses, including seven new super-steeliners purchased during the past year, cover 2,672 miles a day. During 1939 they carried 250,000 passengers. The company has 54 employes.

Because of its non-accident record, the company received the lowest insurance rating for any bus concern in the United States. No fatality had ever been reported for a Seashore bus. One bus driver traveled more than 1,000,000 miles without an accident of any kind.

One route runs from Wilmington through New Bern to Washington, N. C.; another goes from Atlantic to Warsaw via Beaufort, Swansboro and Jacksonville. A third extends from Atlantic to Rocky Mount, with three alternate routes between New Bern and Kinston: by Pollocksville and Trenton, by Cove City and Dover, and by Jasper and Fort Barnwell.

Connections are available to all the principal cities of the United States and Canada. Through tickets may be bought here.




A Railway Express Company agency has its main offices at the railroad station, with a branch office at the Western Union Telegraph Company office. Six persons are employed by the agency.

Fast daily express service in all directions is maintained, with daily pick-up and delivery service. Air express is operated from Raleigh.

Express money orders, travelers cheques and travel service information are also available.

One of the first towns in the South to have express, New Bern still has a right to be proud of its quick and dependable service.

Several motor express companies also operate through the city.


The Norfolk-Baltimore and Carolina Boat Line, Inc., operates a regular water freight schedule, twice a week in each direction, between New Bern and Norfolk, with company boat connections to Baltimore. Many local business firms receive barge shipments direct to their own docks, as fertilizer and gasoline; while lumber mills ship out much lumber by water.




Situated on two rivers, in the middle of a great amphitheatre of protected seaways, an inland ocean of 3,000 square miles rimmed with a chain of coastal resorts and resort possibilities, New Bern is only 35 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, a location that might be used advantageously as at London, Paris, Rome, Philadelphia and other river cities.

A 12-foot channel in Neuse River allows large vessels to come to New Bern from the Inland Waterway and the ocean. Ample docking facilities are found here. Dockage is permitted free at various city docks; and other private docks are available at little or no cost.

Numerous improvements in channels, harbors and inlets of the region have been made during the past few years, and other projects are under way.

The new $2,000,000 modern port terminal development at Morehead City makes that the most accessible port along the Atlantic seaboard. These terminals, with a berthing space of 1,350 feet and turning basin of 1,200 feet, are reached from the ocean in a maximum run of 30 minutes in a 400-foot-wide channel maintained at a mean low water depth of 30 feet. Wilmington is 87 miles away.


Two shipyards and marine railways are located here. The Meadows Marine Railway does a general boat repair business. The Barbour Boat Works not only repairs and rebuilds boats but is the only boat construction plant in a radius of 100 miles. Fine runabouts, sea skiffs and cruisers, in fact anything in wooden sea craft, are designed and built.

The city makes an ideal stop for North-South water traffic. Unlimited natural possibilities are available for yacht harborage, boat works, seaplane landings and river recreations.




New Bern is served by three railroads—the Norfolk Southern Railroad, the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, and the Atlantic and East Carolina Railroad. Daily passenger, freight and express service is offered, with fine connections in all directions.

The Norfolk Southern has a 26-mile line to Oriental, a 174-mile line to Norfolk and a 295-mile line to Charlotte. The Atlantic Coast Line operates 87.4 miles between New Bern and Wilmington. The Atlantic and East Carolina Railway Company operates “The Tobacco Belt Line,” formerly known as “The Old Mullet Road,” 97 miles from Goldsboro through New Bern to the coast.

Due to the location on Neuse River, near the Intra-Coastal Waterway, providing easy access to water transportation. New Bern enjoys many favorable water competitive freight rates. Proximity to the Morehead City port terminals is another great shipping advantage. Freight rates are also kept low on account of the fact that the Goldsboro Gateway has been opened. Milling-in-Transit rates are available.

Passenger and express schedules are coordinated for prompt connections without delays. There is fast service for perishable products. Overnight express deliveries are made to and from Richmond, Norfolk and Raleigh; less than three days for Philadelphia, New York and Boston.

Six freight trains are in and out of New Bern daily, two over each of the three railroads. Switch engines are operated daily, serving all industries. Schedules are arranged for splendid service to and from the major terminals and principal markets.

A traffic office for the Norfolk Southern Railroad is kept open in the Elks Temple. The A. C. L. Railroad has offices in a large freight warehouse.

Headquarters of the Atlantic and East Carolina Railway Company are at New Bern, ten office rooms being equipped on the second floor of the Union Station. This permits the shippers to keep in close contact with the management. Here, too, are the A. and E. C. Railroad shops, employing 80 men.

In view of the intense competition that exists today all manufacturers are constantly seeking to lower costs, and as transportation is an important factor. New Bern offers transportation advantages that excel any other city or town in the entire State of North Carolina. This is the only place in North Carolina that has three railroads and in addition has water transportation. This means that raw materials can be brought into New Bern at very low transportation costs, and the same facilities enable the finished products to be delivered to the consumer at the lowest possible transportation costs.




Probably the most magnificent postoffice for any town of the size in the United States is at New Bern. This handsome Federal building was erected 1933-35 from appropriations of $325,000.

The lobby is open all day and all night. Stamp and General Delivery windows, 8 a. m. to 6 p. m.

For postal service, there are a postmaster, assistant postmaster, nine regular clerks, two substitute clerks, seven city carriers, one substitute city carrier, four rural carriers, three substitute rural carriers, and a custodian force of seven men.

Besides transacting a substantial money order business, the local postoffice has an average of $350,000 in postal savings.

Stamp sales have increased steadily for the past seven fiscal years.



New Bern Post Office]


Ten incoming mails and ten outgoing mails are scheduled daily. There are two city deliveries and one rural delivery a day except on Sundays. Seven-day service a week is afforded for the 932 lockboxes in the postoffice. Mail is collected from 67 boxes in the city three times a day, except on Sundays and holidays when it is taken up once.


Airmail is handled quickly through. Raleigh and Greensboro. A letter mailed here at 4:20 p. m. at the postoffice reaches New York the next morning at 6:30; the Central Belt by noon; the Pacific Coast by afternoon.

Increase of 300 per cent in airmail is reported for the past year and a half.

An airport, large and suitable for a landing field, is located across Trent River; and the rivers provide excellent natural advantages for landing of seaplanes. At present there is no regular service, but it is hoped to have New Bern put soon on a regular airmail route. Prospects of early success are indicated for the proposed selection of the city on North-South. East-West pick-up airmail lines.


Few sections anywhere are more blessed by a bountiful Nature than this region. Mild climate, fertile soil and plentiful rainfall bring abundant crops. Forest lands rank among the most productive of the South. The woods teem with game, the waters with fish and other seafood. Waterways are also advantageous for transportation, yachting, scenery, recreation and varied industries.


Raw materials of many kinds are found through the area. Farming, lumbering and commercial fishing constitute the three main industries. Conditions are favorable for all.

Agricultural products, wood and wood products, seafood and seafood products offer practically illimitable development.

The chief minerals are marl and brick clay, both of which may also be utilized to excellent advantage.

Industries here in past years have included cotton, silk, paper, rice and grist mills, turpentine and rosin distilleries, castor oil factory, abattoir, overall sewing rooms, baseball bat and axe handle manufactory, bucket factory, plate factory, and shipbuilding plants. The city years ago traded with practically the entire world.


New Bern is thus fortunately situated in a land of great promise, climatic and soil conditions being exceedingly favorable for agriculture, natural resources and transportation facilities for many industrial activities.




IN THE HEART OF A RICH FARM REGION, favored by moderate climate, long growing season, fertile soils and progressive farmers, New Bern draws about 90 per cent of its income, directly or indirectly, from agricultural products.

FIVE COUNTIES, all agricultural, surround New Bern as a commercial capital of great agricultural opportunity. This is the chief marketing and shopping center for the 100,000 persons in the farm territory, bringing here sound and stable yearround business.

PROGRESSIVE AND SCIENTIFIC are the modern farm methods. Though retaining the simple virtues, independence and self-reliance of their farmer ancestors, the enterprising farmers have not been satisfied to follow the old production methods. Many of the younger men are graduates of agricultural colleges. The old-timers, too, attend farm demonstrations and visit other sections to learn newer and better ways of making the most of their land. Much advance is being made in truck farming, livestock, poultry, and cooperative marketing.


Corn field crop with farmer by New Bern]

DIVERSIFICATION AND ROTATION are the order of the day. Fast disappearing is the old habit of relying solely on one or two cash crops. This means that the farmers—and consequently New Bern—have steady incomes throughout the year. Live-at-home principles are fostered.

SOIL CONSERVATION is emphasized. Cooperation with the Agricultural Adjustment Administration and the Soil Conservation programs of the Federal Government was pledged by a large majority of the farmers in the area. Soil Conservation payments to Craven County farmers in 1939 totalled $101,556.89.

WATERWAYS AND HIGHWAYS provide splendid means of transporting products to markets, and truck shipments are often made to the Piedmont parts of the State as well as to Northern States. Rail and express facilities are also excellent.

VALUES OF FARMS in the section may be seen from the following government figures released January 1, 1935:

CountyNo. FarmsAcreageValue


tobacco field crop and farmers fieldhands]


Carteret1,870925 lbs.1,729,750$ 414,000
Totals33,180947 av.30,878,534$7,538,700

Carteret5,03522 bu.108,490$ 80,061
Totals90,46321 av.1,818,401$1,231,253

Carteret1,679128 bu.214,590$ 128,754
Totals10,931119 av.1,356,780$ 831,701

Carteret1,584107 bu.170,051$ 105,183
Totals5,18598 av.528,304$ 346,270

Carteret2,9301,580 lbs.2,314 tons$ 33,597
Totals31,3101,556 av.23,619$ 334,828

Carteret1,5131,062 lbs.1,606,210$ 53,310
Totals9,8091,022 av.9,847,350$ 332,690

Carteret57513 bu.7,475$ 7,100
Totals13,72012 av.160,295$ 136,150


ALMOST IDEAL GROWING CONDITIONS for a number of field and truck crops, as well as for livestock and poultry, are found along the lower portions of the Neuse River Basin, recognized as one of the most fertile regions of the Southland.

“ALL PRODUCE except macaroni and succotash” can be raised here successfully, observed one farmer.

FOUR CROPS A YEAR may be produced. The growing season is about the same as that around Savannah, Ga., due to the nearness of the Gulf Stream. Spring season is early. Winter crops are successful, as onions, spinach, carrots, lettuce.

TOBACCO, CORN AND POTATOES are the chief crops, but many truck farms are located in New Bern's trade area and fresh produce is shipped to all parts of the country. The crops include cotton, beans, soybeans, peas, cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, turnips, collards, radish, peppers, asparagus, beets, broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupes and watermelons.


VARIETY OF SOIL is one of the section's many claims to agricultural priority. Here may be seen almost every soil of the South Atlantic States.

NORFOLK SAND LOAM is the predominating soil. There are also some light sandy soils and some that are sandy with a clay sub-soil. Found, too, are silt, light loam, black loam, clay and black “bay” or “hummock” soils, making possible the growing at a profit of practically all crops raised in the Temperate Zone.

LAND RANGES from flat to gently rolling, and permits wide application of power farming. The sandy soil readily absorbs the rainfall, and there is little damage from erosion. Rivers and sounds are in close proximity, and low sections may be easily drained at small cost. These low lands are surprisingly fertile and produce heavy yields.

HIGH PRODUCTION FIGURES have been reported from many parts of the section. Among the per acre yields are cotton, one bale; beets, 200 crates; and celery, 15,000 plants. One farmer some years ago reported making $2,000 an acre from cauliflower, with $4,000 from a double crop; and a firm previously cleared $100,000 in one year's truck farming.


field crop with farmers fieldhands]


field crop with farmers fieldhands]


With marked increase in hog production throughout the area, New Bern having long been the center of shipments, a five-county Cooperative Livestock Market Association was formed here early in 1937. So successful did it prove from the outset that within three months the hog shipments passed the million-pound mark, raised the prices for the porkers here, and substantially improved the quality of the meat.

Before organization of the five-county cooperative, hogs were shipped at varying intervals from here. The first cooperative shipment of one carload was sent by nine Craven County farmers in 1922. The first trainload of demonstration-fed hogs ever shipped out of the State went from this city April 20, 1926, the 11 carloads bringing the net sum of $15,643.59.

Hogs are now shipped every Tuesday from New Bern, farmers from a number of counties cooperating in the movement. Livestock pens to accommodate the increasing numbers of hogs have been built along the Atlantic and East Carolina Railroad tracks.

An educational campaign has been stressed among the farmers, so that better grades of meat are now being brought to the market. It is estimated that the tops in the shipments have increased from 50 per cent to 80 per cent.

Under the cooperative shipment plan, the farmers receive the highest market prices for their hogs. This provides a substantial source of income during the entire year.

For the year from December, 1938, through November, 1939, at the cooperative market, 818 Craven County farmers sold 4,209 hogs, weighing 770,962 pounds, for $49,496.71. All hogs shipped through the market during the calendar year of 1939 brought the farmers $154,000.


pig hog pens]


Such an abundance of feeding grounds for bees is in the section that bees are brought here from New York State for early Spring. Bee raising is so easy that a six-year-old boy reports success.


child with beehive]


Practically every farm has poultry. A great opportunity lies in this channel, because the climate permits all-year green grazing.


Conditions are also extremely favorable for dairying, and the number of cattle has greatly increased in the past decade. The stock is being improved by introduction of registered animals.

Pasture conditions are excellent, grazing 12 months in the year. By demonstration, 18 cattle and 80 pigs were grazed on five acres of lespedeza and carpet grass.

In Craven County there are 16 dairies, with high-grade milk. Each has an average of 25 cows. About 1,000 cows are in the County. A pasteurized milk and ice cream plant uses most of the milk.


Acres upon acres of reeds grow wild in the area, furnishing year-round grazing for beef cattle. Several herds are proving successful.


man with two horses]


A number of horses and mules are in the territory. Last Fall 30 brood mares were purchased by Craven farmers. The land is well adapted for pasturage, and fine colts are raised. About 100 sheep and a few goats are on County farms. In a first cooperative rail shipment, 54 lambs and sheep recently brought $277.


Much good farm land is available in the region at very reasonable prices—$3 to $15 an acre for undeveloped land, $40 to $125 for developed property. Many choice farms or undeveloped acres may also be rented. Detailed descriptions and prices may be obtained from the City of New Bern or the New Bern Chamber of Commerce.


Extension Work is carried on in the County by a Farm Agent, Assistant Agent, Home Demonstration Agent and nine helpers. Their five offices are on the third floor of the Federal Building.

Craven County Farmers Club, organized 1924, has been active, with regular meetings, frequent demonstrations, and discussion groups. The Farm Bureau is also active, with 68 members.

Home Demonstration Clubs, with 474 members in 18 groups, accomplish much, including canning 36,485 quarts of food valued at $5,473 during the past year. Home Beautification was adopted as the main project for 1939 and 1940. Organized in 1917, the women now have six clubhouses and four club rooms.

4-H Clubs. 10 Junior Clubs, four Senior Clubs, two Service Clubs. Meetings are held monthly, under supervision of Extension Service agents.

County Fairs have been held many years, and Craven farmers also win State Fair premiums.

A Curb Market has been operated here since 1922. It is on George Street, near Cedar. Farm produce is brought every Saturday from a wide radius.

The Craven Mutual Exchange, Inc., started 1928, has 350 members for cooperative buying and selling. Business in 1939 amounted to $42,000.

Craven Savings and Loan Association lends money for short periods to its 103 members.

New Bern Production Credit Association, 477 members in Craven, Carteret and Pamlico Counties, makes general agricultural loans. Its collection record is outstanding: 99 per cent for 1939, and 100 per cent for the two previous years.

National Farm Loan Association, through its district office here serving seven Counties, is a subsidiary of the Federal Land Bank of Columbia. Its business represents $1,250,000. It is still soliciting business, desiring to make loans to farmers.

Farm Security Administration also enables farmers to improve farming operations. It also reports high collections on loans.

Federal Surplus Commodities Corporation, buying surplus cabbage, beans and other produce here, has boosted prices at various seasons.


Opportunities abound for far greater agricultural wealth and income through this section, with its 218 frost-free days a year.

SOYBEANS, now being used here for hay and hog feed and also being crushed at one mill, offer important new uses for flour, cereals, canned milk, plastics, and the manufacture of paint, laminated boards with a highly lustrous finish, leather finishes, shoeshop dressings and glassine-type paper.

SWEET POTATOES may be utilized for extracting commercial alcohol and starch. Such starch is usable in sizing cotton textile, paper and glue manufacture. IRISH POTATOES, besides their food values, are becoming known for alcohol and cellulose, and may even be used for paper making. With such developments, over-production problems would be eliminated.

A PACKING HOUSE, for killing and curing meat, is among the other needs and promising potentialities; as are also a PEANUT FACTORY and various other types of CANNING PLANTS for fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products. BULB, SHRUB and FLOWER RAISING also promise well for the future.


Seafoods bring one of the most sizable, year-round incomes of the city. From the first settlements, commercial fishing in the numerous fresh-water streams and salt-water bodies has formed a chief occupation of the region. As the sphere of operations is enlarged, with improved transportation facilities, the fishing industry is growing more important.

All through the area are fish, shrimp, clam, scallops, crab, oyster and other seafood dealers. And many persons fish for a living. Mackerel, mullet, rock, shad, flounder, gray trout, spotted trout, bluefish, spot, croakers and other species are caught. Many fish and oyster restaurants do a thriving business, drawing customers from long distances.

In New Bern the Lupton Fish and Oyster Company, a wholesale concern, has seven large trucks and 40 employes for shipments of seafood not only as far west as Greensboro in North Carolina but also to many other States in both the North and the South. The Nelson Seafood Company, wholesale as well as retail, also ships to New York and Western North Carolina.

The Cultivated Oyster Farms, Inc., have headquarters here, and much planting of oyster beds through the section is also reported by governmental agencies.

The Menhaden, or Fat-Back fish, accounts for one of the largest branches of the fishing industry along the coast, eight menhaden factories being located at Morehead City.

There, too, is located the North Carolina Fisheries, Inc., a cooperative organization for fishermen of the region, providing cold storage to await better markets and prices during heavy fish runs. Sales have been made in New York, Cincinnati, Chicago and other distant cities. Carolina Coast Fillets have proved a popular specialty, the fish being honed carefully and packaged attractively.


The only oyster cannery in North Carolina is operated here, by the Lupton Fish and Oyster Company. Canning is done at a plant across Trent River; labeling and packing are completed at the New Bern office. The mountains of oyster shells are sold for streets and roads, and ground shell lime for chicken feed and fertilizer. About 120 persons are employed at the plant during the operating seasons. Beans, tomatoes and herring roe are also canned, the products being called, “Lupton's Supreme-Pac Canned Foods.”


oyster cannery Lupton Fish and Oyster Company]


lumber mill sawmill]


Lumbering has always been one of the primary industries of this city. A total of 4,045,500 acres of productive forests is listed for extensive regions of this Southern territory, or 60.8 of the total area. Of these, loblolly pine constitutes 47.3 per cent; pond pine, 22 per cent; and hardwoods and cypress, 30.7 per cent. In sawlog size, second growth forms 49.3 per cent, and old growth, 13.4 per cent.

Forest areas of Craven County cover approximately 158,000 acres, or more than 37 per cent of the total 422,400 acres in the County. Of these, more than 88,000 acres are in farm woodlands. Programs of systematic thinning and selective cutting are stressed. The principal merchantable species, by standing board feet, are pine, 12,000,000; and mixed, 28,000,000. Loblolly pine ranks first; hardwoods and cypress, second; long leaf pine, third; pond pine, fourth. Saw timber is accessible by road, water and rail.

Seven sawmills are located here, and four planing mills, including one of the largest lumber mills in the Southeast. They are said to be worth around $100,000 a month to the city. Some of these own and operate their own railroads, bringing logs direct to the mills from their logging camps. A wholesale lumber dealer is also here.


Besides operating a hardwood sawmill, J. W. Hunnings makes dimension stock for use as furniture stock billets, baseball bats, axe handles, grabnet, hoe, rake and other implement handles.


Two veneer mills are operated here. The North Carolina Veneer Company manufactures three-ply veneer, making box shooks and furniture panels. The Neuse Veneer and Box Company manufactures hardwood lumber, squares and box shooks, specializing in plywood packing cases and plywood panels for furniture. These are shipped to many places.


veneer mill]


fertilizer factory mill works]


Five fertilizer firms here sell fertilizers over a wide territory. A division sales office of Baugh & Sons Company covers half the State. Newberry's branch of Armour's Fertilizer Works distributes through four Counties. The Virginia-Carolina Chemical Corporation has a manufacturing and mixing plant here, selling to seven Counties. The Dixie Chemical Corporation owns manufacturing plants here and at Kinston. The New Bern Oil and Fertilizer Company also makes fertilizer. All these firms have waterfront locations, bringing in materials by barge. There is also a wholesale fertilizer dealer, S. M. Jones and Company, handling several brands.


The only milk pasteurization plant, as well as the only creamery and ice cream plant, in a 35-mile radius, the Maola Milk and Ice Cream Company, uses almost all of the milk produced within 15 miles of the city. During the Winter 33 persons are employed; in the Summer, 40; with 16 pieces of transportation equipment.


A tobacco redrying plant and stemmery of A. C. Monk and Company, Inc., occupy two brick buildings here. The weed is stemmed by six machines, each with capacity of 700 pounds per hour. During the operating season a day shift and a night shift of 200 workers each are employed.


The New Bern Oil and Fertilizer Company has the only cotton gin in Craven County and sells cotton seed products as follows: linters, for use in making rayon and mattresses, stuffing automobile seats and backs; hulls, for feeding cattle and insulating water pipes; cotton seed meal, for feed and fertilizer; and oil, for use in compound lards, cooking and table oils, and numerous other purposes.


industrial building]


Four bottling plants here bottle 14 different beverages: Coca-Cola, by the New Bern Coca-Cola Bottling Works, Inc.; milk, Chocolate Milk and Green Spot, by the Maola Milk and Ice Cream Company; Nehi, Royal Crown Cola and Par-T-Pak gingerale, by the Nehi Bottling Company; and Orange Crush, Nu-Grape, Party Punch, Natural Setup, Gingerale, Beauty Spot Orange and Beauty Spot Grape, by the Orange Crush Bottling Company.

Dr. Pepper, Seven-Up, Sun Crest Orange and Roberson's Beverages are distributed by the Dr. Pepper Bottling Company, a local concern, with five employes, soon to open a new bottling plant.

Al-Cola, a locally-invented soft drink, has a beverage syrup plant here for wide distribution. Local patents are held for the Beauty Spot drinks.

Pepsi Cola, originally manufactured here some years ago from a formula originating in New Bern, is now distributed by the Orange Crush Company, which also handles Budweiser beer, Boar's beer and Krueger's beer. Atlantic ale and beer are distributed by the New Bern Ice Plant (Atlantic Company). Many other beers and soft drinks may be bought here, and there are many soda fountains.

Packaged whiskey, champagne, wine and other spirituous liquors are sold at two legal liquor stores in Craven County, one at New Bern and the other at Vanceboro, under the management of the Craven County Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, with State supervision.


A number of patent medicines are made here by seven local companies: F. S. Duffy Medicine Company—Duffy's Pills, Cough-Lasses, Duffy's (Prescription) Rx for Colds, and many other locally-known preparations; A. and O. Company—A. and O.; Savodine Company—Savodine; Bradham Drug Company—Anways and Pine-Ivy; Q-A Remedy Company—Q-A Nose Drops, Kidney Pills, Emulsion, and Anti-Acid Powder; R. and S. Pain Ease Company—R. and S. Pain Ease; and Daugherty Chemical Company—Cranol, for dandruff, Wood's Fut Fix, Sure-Shot Ring-Worm Remedy, and Marvelous Hand Lotion.


The only pickle plant in a 100-mile radius, the Orringer Pickle Company, makes “Carolina Maid” pickles and pickle products from cucumbers, onions and peppers. The management contracts with farmers of the region for many acres of these vegetables, averaging about 70,000 bushels of cucumbers a year. Fifty persons are employed.


Many small home industries are building up trade, as sugared pecans, salted peanuts, peanut brittle, candy, plum pudding, sandwiches and wines.


One of the production units of Cohen, Goldman and Company, one of America's largest manufacturers of high-grade clothing for men, has been located in New Bern for 15 years, their only plant South of Baltimore. In these local sewing rooms 250 white men and women are employed. Only men's trousers are now being made. Formerly coats were made in another unit here, doubling the employes. It is hoped to reopen that unit later.


Basic raw materials, electric energy, labor and transportation facilities permit wide expansion of industrial life here. Every natural resource and present industry suggest many potentialities. Others follow.

PULP MILLS. New Bern is an ideal location for a rayon, paper or pulp plant. It has an abundant supply of raw material in an area where natural reproduction is rapid. Transportation costs for raw materials are low. As there are three railroads here, pulp wood can be shipped in from the entire Eastern half of North Carolina with a one-line railway haul. Water transportation from here reaches 20 Counties. Pulp wood can, therefore, be brought in by barge from a very wide area. Transportation costs are also low for the finished products. The three railroads reach the principal consuming markets of the country. Outbound water transportation is available through the Inland Waterway to Norfolk, Richmond, Washington, Baltimore and New York. Very low rates will also be given any New Bern plant for exporting through the nearby Morehead City port with its modern docks and wharves for vessels drawing 30 feet of water. Pulp plant sites may be obtained here with both rail and water facilities. There is ample electric power at cheap rates, and there is an abundance of competent labor.

FURNITURE FACTORIES. Timber supplies, especially with the local lumber mills and the annual cut in the Croatan National Forest and Hoffman State Forest, as well as the fact that the two veneer mills here are equipped for manufacturing furniture panels, provide an exceptionally favorable setting for furniture making.

CERAMICS. Excellent clay for ceramic purposes is found throughout the region.

CEMENT PLANTS. Marl lime, already being used for fertilizer, could be adapted for cement.

TEXTILES. Textile plants and allied industries could be successfully established here.

HOSIERY MILLS. With so many hosiery mills flourishing in the South, especially in North Carolina, they should thrive well in New Bern.

TOBACCO. In the midst of about 75,000.000 pounds of tobacco a year, this city should be an important center for tobacco marketing, stemming, redrying and manufacturing.

FOOD PROCESSING. Promising lines lie in this field for this productive area.

SEAFOODS. The fish and oyster industry could be much further exploited, with cold storage, processing. Fish products might also be utilized.




Many ideal industrial sites, conveniently located for railroad track facilities, paved highways, water transportation, power connections and local residences, are available at reasonable prices for almost any type of business. A number already have buildings that could be easily adapted for practically any desired purpose. Detailed information on certain sites and structures may be obtained from the City of New Bern or the New Bern Chamber of Commerce.


Labor conditions in New Bern are considered excellent, largely due to the unusually high class of workers. Almost all are American born. Physically and mentally they rate exceptionally well, and their production capacity is very satisfactory.

An experienced executive who has hired laborers in all parts of the United States recently declared that in his opinion local workers rank highest in physical and mental ability and that on the whole they are the most honest, sober, orderly, industrious, thrifty, loyal and good-natured employes with whom he was ever come in contact.

If new industries want office or factory help, they are invited to file their needs at the local branch of the North Carolina State Employment Service, a division of the Unemployment Compensation Commission. The force of three serves three Counties: Craven, Pamlico and Carteret. They report a large surplus of labor—men and women, white and colored—with education, training and eagerness to meet any and all requirements. Under the Clearance System in use, if certain helpers are not available in these three Counties, they are procured through other similar offices elsewhere in the State, at no cost to the employer.

Skilled as well as unskilled laborers are numerous through the section. There are contractors, carpenters, masons and painters for construction work; and many other persons for machine jobs or menial tasks. With several well-equipped construction firms here, prospective builders are assured reliable work. Labor troubles and strikes have been non-existent.

Many highly intelligent young men and women are available for jobs. Most of them are high school graduates, and a number have had trade experience. Some have college educations, and are competent for clerical or secretarial positions. Practically all have personal ambition and civic pride.

Because of the wide surrounding territory from which New Bern may draw from a 40-mile radius or more, within an hour's driving distance of the city, the labor supply is almost illimitable.




New Bern has long been acclaimed for its fine retail stores. Although only a medium-sized town, it has establishments that compare well with those in much larger cities, as to building exteriors and interiors, equipment and displays, quantity, variety and quality of merchandise, and progressive management. The town's “Little Broadway” is one of the most attractive and enterprising business sections for any town of the size anywhere.

Store locations can be provided for prospective new firms.

There were 300 retail establishments reported for New Bern in 1936, with net sales of $3,232,000. There were then listed 1,000 electric refrigerators and 2,000 radios.

For the entire County in 1937 were reported 397 retail establishments, with net sales of $5,147,000. The 75 service establishments were said to have total annual receipts of $178,000.

A new summary for the City of New Bern, as of January 1, 1940, follows.

Adding Machines2Fruit and Vegetables10
Agricultural Equipment3Fuel Oil8
Auto Accessories14Gasoline and Oil30
Auto Dealers7Glass3
Baby Goods1Groceries72
Bait for Fishing4Hardware6
Bakery1Heating Equipment7
Building Supplies3Meat Markets35
Cafes37Mill Supplies1
Clothing, men's9Mimeographs2
Clothing, women's10Musical Instruments2
Coal6Office Supplies1
Department Stores11Refrigerators12
Draperies1Refrigerator Equipment8
Drugs8Rubber Goods1
Dry Goods7Sewing Machines1
Electric Supplies4Slip Covers1
Feed4Sporting Goods6
Fish and Oysters12Stationery1
Five and Ten Cent Stores2Tires15
Five to $1 Stores2Typewriters2
Total (including different departments at some stores)434

Ambulance Service4Mattress1
Barber Shops15Meat Curing1
Beauty Parlors7Metal Work6
Dancing School1Plumbing6
Dry Cleaners8Shoe Repairing4
Garages20Taxi Companies6
Laundries3Tire Retreading1

Brick Yards2Ice Plants2
Chicken Hatchery1Machine Shops3
Dredging Companies2Monument Works1
Feed Mills2Nurseries2
Foundries2Paper Distributors1
Grain Mills2Storage Warehouse1




Wholesale dealers have a large volume of business, not only through the surrounding trade area but also through a far wider territory. Being in the central part of Eastern North Carolina, the city has a splendid location for wholesale distribution; and its water situation, rail facilities, paved highways and efficient personnels give additional advantages for serving extensive regions.

Craven County was reported in 1937 to have 33 wholesale establishments, with sales of $4,489,000.

Four wholesale grocers in New Bern—Lucas and Lewis, Inc., S. G. Roberts, Armstrong Grocery Company and Maxwell Company—have customers through the city and section. The Maxwell Company deals in hardware, steel, building supplies and other merchandise as well as groceries and has truck deliveries for a 125-mile radius.

Handling seed, fertilizer and farm produce, S. M. Jones and Company operates from Maine to Florida, especially working all through Eastern North Carolina and Virginia. Florida fruits and vegetables are particularly featured, and in season local produce is packed and sold. The 1939 business amounted to the equivalent of 1,594 carloads. Packing sheds are at New Bern, Beaufort and Faison. Two potato grading sheds are used in Pamlico County.

Two automobile companies have agencies here for two Counties; eight, for five Counties; and one for 16 Counties. A wholesale automobile accessory firm serves nine Counties.

Five sugar refinery distributing warehouses for different concerns are located here, shipping to all parts of East Carolina.

Dry Goods1Oil9


collage of photographs of buildings housing commercial and industrial activities trades in New Bern]




Architects1Nurses, Graduate32
Cabinet Makers3Nurses, Practical6
Engineers2Painters, Sign1
Eye-Ear-Throat Spec.3Pharmacists11
Funeral Directors6Photographers4
Furniture Rebuilders4Physicians18
Genealogists2Piano Tuners2
Golf Instructor1Printers, Job4
Insurance Agencies30Real Estate Firms2
Interior Decorator1Rental Agencies2
Justices of the Peace6Tailors1
Ministers47U. S. Commissioners1
Music Teachers7Veterinarian1
Notaries Public47Watch Repairers1

Office Space is available here for all purposes, at reasonable rent and with good service.




Three banks are in New Bern, with total resources of $48,406,926.56, as of Dec. 30, 1939; a total capital structure of $1,320,000; total surplus and undivided profits of $2,043,298.13; and total deposits of $43,841,465.38. All are members of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

New Bern Morris Plan Company. Local institution, conducted under the Morris Plan system.

Branch Banking and Trust Company. 14 other units in Eastern North Carolina.

First-Citizens Bank and Trust Company. 19 other units in the Eastern part of the State.

There are also private credit and finance concerns doing business in the city and through the section.


The New Bern Building and Loan Association is a locally owned and operated institution which finances the building and modernizing of homes in New Bern and the suburbs. Organized in 1887, it is one of the oldest firms of the kind in the State. It has total resources of $514.002.69, as of Dec. 30, 1939, an increase over 1938 of $53,422.


Personal returns from New Bern for taxable year, 1938:



City automobile license tags sold for year, July 1, 1938, through June 30, 1939____________________ 1,569

State license tags sold here through five-County branch of the Carolina Motor Club for year December 1, 1938, through November 29, 1939____________________ 9,001

Automobiles—6,276; Trucks—1,633; Trailers—1,092.


One of the largest printing establishments in Eastern North Carolina, Owen G. Dunn, manufacturing stationer, printer, ruler and blank book maker, draws business from all over the State. More than half of the printing contracts for the State Departments have been awarded this firm since 1928. There is a weekly payroll of approximately $1,000 for the 35 employes.




photograph collage of bank fronts in New Bern]


Four hotels, with modern equipment and home-like atmosphere, are operated here, on the European plan. All have dining room or coffee shop service.

Gaston Hotel. 100 rooms.

New Bernian Hotel. 50 rooms.

Queen Anne Hotel. 85 rooms.

Tryon Hotel. 40 rooms.


There are 37 cafes in New Bern, with eight elsewhere in the County; also fine boarding houses.


A number of the residences of the city and section are now open to overnight guests, and within the city are tourist cabins and trailer parking spaces.


The city would make an excellent winter quarters for baseball clubs and other training organizations. The Kaus Shows maintain winter quarters here.


New Bern is popular as a Convention City. Because of its water attractions, mild climate and hospitable spirit, it draws a number of meetings.


three women and a baby behind a fountain]


In cooperation with the North Carolina Garden Club pilgrimage each Spring, New Bern opens a number of its finest old homes and gardens to the public for two days during the first part of April.

1940 Open House Dates—April 2 and 3.


door front]











view of river from porch]

Not only as a convenient stopping-over place on the Ocean Highway for the North-South winter tourists and North Carolina's “Main Street” for the West-East summer vacationists but also as a resort city for its own advantages and appeals, New Bern holds a distinctive place as a potential year-round mecca.

During the past few years many travelers have learned about New Bern, and the tourist trade is growing steadily as one of the city's chief sources of income. At the beginning of the 1939-40 winter season, long before the peak of traffic, a careful check showed that a tourist car entered New Bern on an average of every five minutes, with an average of three and a half passengers. A later early season traffic count indicated a 35 per cent increase over the previous year.

The future outlook as a tourist resort seems bright. The climate is pleasant and healthful; the scenery, magnificent. Broad rivers and sounds along the coast provide thousands of miles of navigable waters. These teem with fish and fowl. There is varied game in the forests. Hard-surfaced highways radiating in all directions encourage motor drives to innumerable points of interest. The town itself has many sites of historic, architectural, scenic and recreational interest.

Neuse River here is a mile and a quarter wide, and its width increases until it is five miles wide where it flows into Pamlico Sound. The water is clear and fresh, and the only tides are wind tides. Trent River and its lovely tributary, Brice's Creek, also help make this an ideal place for speed boat racing, yachting, swimming, bathing, fishing, crabbing and other water sports. Many yacht owners find it helpful and enjoyable to come to New Bern from the Inland Waterway as a half-way point to and from Florida. Not far distant from here is the ocean, with its many resort attractions.

Former Senator Furnifold M. Simmons, of New Bern, who represented North Carolina for 30 years in the United States Senate, longer than any other North Carolinian, wrote:

“In the mild winter climate, within practically a night's ride of the great centers of population as far as New York; on the main line of yachts plying North and South and connected by a 12-foot channel with over 3,000 miles of inland waterways, affording exceptional fishing and hunting and within a few miles of one of the best hunting preserves in America; on a beautiful water course; a picturesque old city surrounded by magnificent forests of virgin evergreens, where golf may be played almost every day of the year, New Bern would seem to furnish an ideal location for a great winter resort.”


Recreation is varied in New Bern and the vicinity, changing with the changing seasons. It is possible to play outdoors the year-around. There are appeals for those desiring healthful rest and relaxation in Carolina sunshine; or for those preferring water sports, motoring, golf, tennis, skeet, hunting or fishing; or for those revelling in the historic background and architectural charm of the town, as quaint and novel as that in many of the ancient cities of the Old World.

Much enjoyment of living through social and recreational pleasure is found by visitors amid the kindly hospitality of the residents of the section. There are many local social clubs. Proximity to the ocean provides many seashore recreations.

The town is small enough to have the pleasures of rural life but not too small to have good motion picture theatres and cultural advantages of metropolitan centers. Easily reached, too, are larger cities and college towns that have frequent outstanding programs by famous personages.


view of river dock boat]


Waters through this region provide not only much commercial fishing, but also splendid sports fishing. In the many creeks, rivers, sounds and nearby ocean there are fish of many different species, both salt and fresh water varieties.

All around New Bern there are excellent fishing grounds. Game fresh water fish include striped bass, black bass and many others. Speckled perch are plentiful from March through the Autumn.

Salt water fishing is only a short distance away. There is great sport in angling for hog fish, drum, gray trout, sheephead, bluefish, mackerel, king fish, black fish and others.

Boats may be chartered to take followers of Izaac Walton out to the Gulf Stream, there to try for cero, dolphin, amberjack, tarpon and other large types.

Sailfish measuring up to seven feet and more in length were caught last summer in the Gulf Stream about 30 miles from Beaufort Inlet.

The Morehead City, Beaufort, Swansboro, Ocracoke and other coastal areas are noted for fine fishing. Bass and perch are caught at Lake Matta-muskeet. Other popular fishing haunts are at South Creek, Blount Creek and Chocowinity Creek.

From the fish hatcheries, several million bass and many perch are being released in streams of this section every year, and with other conservation principles in vogue, the fishing in Eastern North Carolina is said to be better now than ever before—“where fishing is more than wishing.”


For fishing or hunting information or guide service, contact the City of New Bern or the Chamber of Commerce. Information may also be obtained from the Croatan National Forest or North Carolina Forest Service officials at the Federal Building, or the local Game Protectors.





A—Cero from off Morehead City. B—Dolphin and Amberjack.
Gulf Stream. C—49-lb. Rock, Inland Waterway, Hobucken. D—
D—73-lb. Tarpon, Neuse River. E—48-lb. Drum, Pamlico Sound.
F—Rock, Little Swift Creek.



East Carolina is one of the best known hunting grounds in America. A number of hunting lodges are maintained in the section by sportsmen from far and near. Among the most popular hunting places are Lake Mattamuskeet, Davis Shores, Ocracoke, Hobucken, Sneads Ferry and South Creek. There is also good hunting nearer to New Bern.

Babe Ruth, Bud Fisher, Rex Beach, John Kieran, Christy Matthewson and Irvin S. Cobb are among the famous men who have highly praised the hunting here.

Everything from birds to bears may be bagged in this vicinity. Babe Ruth, the mighty King of Swat, is shown in the top picture on the opposite page with birds he killed; and in the bottom picture he is shown with a deer at Camp Bryan near here. With him are Frank Stevens, “concessions king,” and John Kieran, noted sports writer and radio program information authority (center).

Matthewson wrote: “Any sportsman ought to be satisfied where he has an opportunity to shoot white tail deer, bear, wild turkey, quail, Canada goose, all variety of duck, and all in the same section. I had the opportunity of so doing when I visited the New Bern section.”

Just as enthusiastically wrote Cobb: “So far as I know—and my knowledge on this subject is fairly complete—there is no locality in the United States east of the Mississippi River where hunting and fishing may be enjoyed with such satisfactory and successful results as in Northeastern North Carolina, and notably in the section of it bordering on and adjacent to the Trent River. For climate, for the variety and abundance of game, for its accessibility from points both North and South of it, this district is unique. To my way of thinking, it offers practically everything that an outdoor man could ask for.”

Mattamuskeet Lake. About 60 or 70 per cent of the country's waterfowl winter off the coast of North Carolina, and one of the finest of all shooting grounds anywhere is Lake Mattamuskeet, a 50,000-acre Federal migratory bird refuge, in Hyde County, about 90 miles from here.

Public Lands. Permits to hunt in the Croatan National Forest may be obtained, free of charge, from forest officials here. Upon payment of small fees hunters will be allowed the privilege of shooting in the Hoffman State Forest.


The State of North Carolina has its own game laws, in conformity with Federal statutes. Much progress has been made during the past four years in law enforcement, largely due to educational campaigns. A great many conservation and development projects are carried on to protect the game.

In New Bern a District Game Protector has headquarters for the 25 game protectors in 13 Counties. A County game protector and two special protectors reside and work in Craven County. Two patrol boats are used to enforce the laws through the district.

Among restocking projects, 600 quail and 75 turkeys have been released recently in the district. An increase in game, especially deer, is reported for recent years. The number of waterfowl in this State during the 1940 season was officially reported to be 35 per cent greater than the previous year.


photo collage of hunters and hunting activities]



hand drawing of a golfer]

A nine-hole golf course is open daily at the Country Club. Golf has been played there every day in the year.

Its fine natural location has been highly praised by Donald Ross, nationally known as a designer of fine golf courses: “It would be difficult to find as large an area in one solid piece that combines to a greater degree all the important features of land for golf purposes than was found on this property.”


Football, basketball, baseball and softball are sponsored by the schools; and there are usually other local, competitive teams for these sports in their respective seasons. The townspeople have the reputation of being good sports spectators.

New Bern is a member of the eight-city Coastal Plain Baseball League for Summer baseball, the club being managed by the New Bern Athletic Association, sponsored by the New Bern Steam Fire Engine Company. This Class D professional baseball loop provides some of the fastest ball games in the South.


The Country Club is situated in a picturesque spot, on a bluff overlooking the placid Trent River, three miles southwest of town. The clubhouse is in a grove of stately pines. Cypress trees grow to the edge of the water and are festooned with garlands of Spanish moss. The Club facilities are always open to visitors.





hand drawing of a sailboat]

For all who love the water, boats of all kinds are used in the waters of the region, from tiny canoes and rowboats to palatial yachts. Many crafts come here from time to time, for visits, supplies, repairs or harborage. The city has every natural advantage for a fine yacht basin.



two women running through the surf at the beach]

Besides innumerable river and creek bathing beaches in this vicinity, there are sound and ocean beaches nearby.

Minnesott Beach, on Neuse River where it is five miles wide, has a number of cabins and cottages for vacationists, offering fine river bathing, boating and fishing, besides beach and pavilion amusements.

Atlantic Beach, 35 miles away, is one of only two resorts along the seaboard with the decided advantage of extending East and West, for greater protection, safety and breeze. There are a hotel, dance casino, bath houses, midway attractions and unexcelled water sports.

Fort Macon State Park, with its century-old fortress of much interest to visitors, will have public bathing beaches and picnic grounds.




East Front Street Parkway, Union Point, Spencer Avenue Parkway and Rhem Avenue Parkway are maintained by the City as public parks.

Cooperating with the municipality in the landscaping and planting of these public sites is the Garden Club of the Woman's Club. Also planted semi-annually with grass and blooming flowers is the lot adjoining the City Hall.

At the confluence of the Neuse and Trent Rivers, Union Point during the past few years has been miraculously beautified, with trees, shrubs, flowers, lily pond, flag staff and Woman's Clubhouse, under the cooperative direction of the City and the Woman's Club.




On the city's western edge between Highways 17 and 70 are the high breastworks of Fort Totten, Federal fortification built in 1862 after the capture of New Bern during the War Between the States. This seven-acre tract is owned by the City. About two acres are being extensively arranged as a park and playground. Eventually it is hoped to restore the old fortress, and keep the grounds open at all times to visitors.


A full-time supervisor has charge of all the public parks and playgrounds in the city. Assisting are 18 WPA aides, as recreation leaders, Junior leaders and maintenance workers. The parks are thus kept continually in good condition, and children's play is supervised at the playgrounds.





hand drawing of man playing badmitten]

Eleven playgrounds are used publicly in New Bern. Besides the four public school campus grounds, where children play almost continuously, and Kafer Park, where High School athletic contests and professional baseball games take place, there are six supervised and equipped outdoor playgrounds. Indoor recreation centers are also here.

Children of varying ages use the Hancock and South Front Street playgrounds. The George Street playground is arranged for softball and tennis, and attracts many adults. There are five cement tennis courts, always popular drawing cards in good weather. An indoor basketball court is also equipped for girls and boys during the Winter.

For Colored residents, there are a ball park, a community center, and a playground outdoors; as well as a recreation hall, community building and basketball court indoors.


Evidencing further widespread interest in work among young people, exclusive of schools, playgrounds and religious groups, are such organizations as the National Youth Administration, Boys’ Hi-Y Club, Senior Girls’ Hi-Y, Junior Girls’ Hi-Y, three troops of Girl Scouts, three troops of Boy Scouts and one Colored troop besides three other troops elsewhere in the County, “Crabby's” Union Point recreational club, and a Red Shield Club, with game room for boys and girls at the Salvation Army Hall. Civic clubs take an active interest in youths. The Junior Woman's Club is planning a community and recreation center for them.


house door front]



Croatan National Forest picnic area]

THE CROATAN NATIONAL FOREST in Craven, Jones and Carteret Counties, under the supervision of the Forest Supervisor and staff of the Pisgah-Croatan National Forests, is administered by the District Forest Ranger and seven forest fire guards, with headquarters in the Federal Building here.

This is the only National Forest in Eastern North Carolina. Of the 306,000 acres within the authorized purchase unit boundary, 126,000 had been or were in process of being acquired Jan. 1, 1940.

Since 1934, when Federal land purchases were initiated, CCC camps have completed many worthwhile improvements for the Croatan unit, and have assisted materially in its administration and protection. Six fire lookout towers have been erected, 80 miles of road have been built, two major recreation areas have been completed and a third is under construction; rehabilitation of farm buildings on the 1,000 acres of farmland is progressing.

A stand of merchantable pine and hardwoods estimated to contain 60,000,000 board feet occupies government-owned land today, with a probable annual growth increase of 1,000,000 board feet. The amount of this increase is authorized for sale, and it is estimated that within 20 years, under adequate fire protection and sound forest management cutting practices, a sustained yield amounting to 20,000,000 board feet annually will be possible. As this volume is offered for sale it should prove a strong incentive to the local establishment of wood-using industries.

CROATAN BEACH, one of the attractive camp and picnic areas developed and maintained by the Forest Service for free public use, is an exceptionally beautiful ten-acre recreation area overlooking Neuse River 12 miles below New Bern. Shelters, fireplaces, tables and benches are provided for picnickers, along with bath house, sanitary facilities and water supply. The site has been artistically landscaped, and nature trails have been built.

PINECLIFF is another camp and picnic area, similarly arranged, for Negro use in the Harlowe section, 25 miles from New Bern. A large organization camp providing all facilities for community camping is being built on Neuse River. Other roadside picnic spots will be developed in the forest.


A Demonstration Forest, called “Hoffman State Forest,” on 83,560 acres in Jones and Onslow Counties, 25 miles Southwest of New Bern, is under scientific management of the North Carolina State College Forestry Department. In cooperation with the State Forest Service, much is done there for forest conservation and fire protection. The forest is a great asset to New Bern, because of the many hunters who have headquarters here while hunting there and the large amount of its timber sold.


Three motion picture theatres are here, including one for Colored persons. The Masonic Theatre, completed in 1808, ranks as the oldest in America still in regular use. Handcarved woodwork in the upstairs Masonic Lodge Room is considered among the finest in the country. The Show Shop was the first motion picture theatre built from the ground up in North Carolina.

A New Bern Little Theatre sponsors home-talent productions and drama appreciation. The Craven County Dramatic Association has member groups in each consolidated school of the County, the first County to be thus organized in North Carolina. The first of an annual series of County Dramatic Festivals was scheduled for 1940. The community and schools have cooperated in the successful presentation of two mammoth historical pageants during the past decade. Others are planned.




A High School band was started here this year, following a three-day campaign for funds to purchase musical instruments. The Royal Arcanum also has a band. New Bernians belong to Sudan Shrine Temple's band, which has headquarters in Raleigh. Arab Patrol, of Sudan Temple, composed of 42 uniformed members and three officers, is located here. Also here have been for some time an American Legion drum corps and a Sons of the Legion drum corps. There are six piano teachers, and a music director has charge of a High School Glee Club. Outstanding records have been made in past years by the Glee Club entries in Statewide music contests. The St. Cecilia Music Club, with both men and women members, meets monthly, as a department of the Woman's Club, and sponsors musical programs. All the churches have choirs.


engraving illustration picture of a church]




City Schools. Three public graded schools and a High School for white children and two graded schools and a High School for Colored children are in the city. All are on State accredited lists, and the white High School is on the accredited list of the Southern Association of High Schools.

The 75 teachers have “A” certificates, except a few due that rating after one more Summer Session. There are 2,900 pupils, including 780 High School students. Besides college credits, there are Business and Home Economics classes, and a postgraduate Commercial course. School property is valued at $275,000. The nine-member School Board is appointed by the City Aldermen.

Also in the city are two private Kindergartens and a Nursery School for underprivileged.



Catholic Schools. St. Paul's Parochial School has 90 pupils in nine grades, taught by four teachers, Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, of the Mother House at Marywood College, Scranton, Pa. St. Joseph's Parochial School is attended by 160 Negro boys and girls in grades up through first-year High School. Operated in conjunction with St. Joseph's Catholic Church, the priest serving as school superintendent, the institution has six buildings, including a convent for the five teachers.

County Schools. Outside of New Bern, 16 consolidated schools are in Craven County. All six High Schools are accredited. Of the 142 teachers, all but six hold “A” certificates. There are nine Vocational teachers: five for Home Economics; three, Agriculture; and one, Business. A County Superintendent and School Board of seven members direct County education. First County in North Carolina to start a school bus transportation system, Craven County now has 37 buses to transport its 5,000 school children.


Two dailies and one weekly. The Sun-Journal has afternoon and morning editions, six times a week each, with Associated Press leased wire service. The Tribune is a morning daily, six editions weekly, served by the United Press. The Times is published weekly, on Fridays. Also printed in New Bern is The Pamlico County Herald.




The New Bern Public Library, open to the public daily except Sundays, has 9,000 volumes for free circulation, besides numerous bound and current magazines and periodicals. Its reference rooms contain much data of local and State importance. A museum has been started. There is a special department for children's books.

Hours: 10 a. m. to noon and 3 p. m. to 8 p. m. in Winter; 10 to noon and 4 to 9 p. m. in Summer.

Six branches are maintained in different parts of the County. Both the County and the City aid with maintenance funds.

The local library is in the historic John Wright Stanly home, purchased and restored by the New Bern Library Association. More than a century and a half old, its architectural beauty, inside and out, attracts many visitors. President George Washington was entertained there in 1791. In the rear yard is a renovated ancient slave house.

A public library for Colored citizens is now open at the West Street Graded School, with WPA aid, and more space is planned. It has 1,850 books.

Local schools have their own libraries, and a number of churches and Sunday Schools have libraries. The Library Reading Room of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, adjoining the church, is open to public, 3 to 5 p. m. except Sunday.






Churches of almost all denominations are represented here, with some extraordinarily fine church buildings. There are 38 churches in the city.

New Bern is regarded as a church-going and church-loving town, and church members have long played important roles in the religious and social welfare of the community.

Many of the churches rank as the oldest of their respective denominations in wide areas, and numerous local officers take active parts in regional leadership. Union services are frequently held here.

Architecturally, the church edifices are outstanding. The First Presbyterian Church was completed in 1822 from a design by Sir Christopher Wren, noted English architect. Its original high-box pulpit has recently been restored. The church is open daily to visitors.






Religious organizations are numerous in the city. Besides the church congregations, some of the churches have groups organized for the men, and practically every one has a Woman's Auxiliary. Many have young people's societies, in addition to the regular Sunday Schools. These undertake many community projects.

Benevolent Society. The New Bern Benevolent Society, dating back to 1837, one of the oldest in the country still in continuous service, has representatives from the various churches, to assist in many worthy projects among the city's underprivileged classes. The Enoch Wadsworth Memorial Home, for elderly women, is under its sponsorship.

Salvation Army. The Salvation Army Post is managed by two officers, assisted by several local officers. Many religious activities are fostered, including Sunday church services and Sunday School at the Army Hall. Street meetings are also held. Much work is done for relief and charity. At the Army Hall there is a game room for boys and girls. There, too, free beds are kept for men transients.






A City and County Welfare Department is maintained, with additional State and Federal aid, to handle relief and general welfare.

Expenditures during the 1938-39 fiscal year aggregated $75,389.58, including old age assistance, help for dependent children and the blind, the County Hospital-Home, clinics, home aid, sewing rooms, furniture mending and other projects.

The Department supervises Civilian Conservation Corps enrollments for County youths and sponsors the National Youth Administration. It long handled the FERA and ERA work, and now certifies for the WPA, which for some time has had a separate organization.

Headed by a Superintendent, the Department has a personnel of nine. A slogan is, “Courtesy and Cheerfulness.” In a recent State survey, the local staff submitted the best-balanced of all the reports. Repeatedly State welfare officials have warmly complimented the high efficiency of the Department.

The Salvation Army, Benevolent Society and many other local organizations also work for the welfare of underprivileged residents.


Citizens take pride in working together for the common good, their spirit of cooperation being demonstrated in many civic organizations and community objectives.




The New Bern Chamber of Commerce and Merchants Association, formed to serve the city and community in every worthwhile and progressive way possible, will gladly cooperate with newcomers and prospective residents. A cordial invitation to visit New Bern is extended by the organization officials, who will give or mail free guidebooks on sites of historical interest and other data about the town and section. For years these affiliated associations have been vitally interested and actively helpful in the industrial development of the entire section and seek to help locate industries which will be assets to New Bern. The office is in the old City Hall building.


The Coast Guard Cutter Pamlico has been stationed in New Bern for 32 years. During this period the ship has been engaged in patrolling the bays and sounds of the Inland Waterway between Norfolk and Morehead City; rendering assistance to vessels in distress, enforcing the various Federal laws pertaining to the customs, smuggling, safe navigation, etc. At the present time there is a complement of 35 men, with three warrant officers and one commissioned officer, attached to the ship, bringing a salary income averaging $2,200 monthly to the city. In addition, the cutter purchases on an average of $1,500 in supplies each month from New Bern, this including provisions, coal, water, repairs and the like.




Battery D, 113th Field Artillery, North Carolina National Guard, is located here, with four officers and 80 enlisted men. There are also here three Battalion staff officers and one Regimental staff officer. The total pay brings $12,000 to $15,000 per year from the Federal Government. The Armory, together with the Battery equipment and guns, is valued at $250,000. Owned by the City, it is available for community programs.


Many fine civic organizations are active in the city, exemplifying the prevalent spirit of fraternalism and Americanism. Members are proud of their parts, individually and collectively, in the upbuilding and bettering of the community. In addition to the groups listed below, a number of New Bernians belong to other fraternal and patriotic groups that have no organized branches here. There are also other study and social clubs here.

A. F. & A. M. (2 Lodges)Medical Association
American Legion (2 Posts)Merchants Association
American Legion AuxiliaryMinisterial Association
Atlantic Steam Fire Engine Co.Modern Woodmen of the World
Bar AssociationNew Bern Athletic Association
Benevolent SocietyNew Bern Steam Fire Engine Co.
Berne Athletic AssociationNurses Association
Boy Scouts (4 troops)Parent-Teacher Associations (3)
CaravaneersRed Cross
Chamber of CommerceRotary
Colonial Dames of AmericaRoyal Arcanum
Daughters of American RevolutionSalvation Army
Scottish Rite Masons
Eastern StarSons of the Legion
Elks (2 Lodges)Sudan Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S.
Forty and EightUnited Daughters of the Confederacy (2 Chapters)
Girl Scouts
Hi-Y Clubs (3)Woman's Club
Improved Order of Red Men(11 Departments—6 Literary, 1 Citizenship, 1 Home, 1 Garden, 1 Music, 1 Art)
Junior Order, U. A. M.
Junior Woman's Club
Kiwanis ClubYork Rite Masons
Ladies Lebanon AidYoung Business Men's Club
LionsZulus Cotillion Club





home corner block]

Home ownership is high in New Bern, and the home owners take pride in their property and its appearance. More than 50 per cent of the families live in their own dwellings. A number of other houses and apartments are offered for rent.

In addition to the homes in the main parts of the city, there are two residential areas near the edge of the city limits—Ghent to the West and Riverside to the North. Just outside the Western corporate limits is deGraffenried Park, with a number of beautiful residences.

Besides the houses already erected, a number of fine building sites are still available in good residential sections. Across both rivers and out the main highways are other splendid residential sites for those preferring the quiet isolation of rural surroundings within a ten-minute drive of the city.


brick house]


A number of attractive homes are in New Bern. Besides some of the most modern in design and furnishings, there are many that still have the indefinable atmosphere of their Colonial heritage, hallowed from an illustrious past. The dwellings along East Front rivershore are regarded as having one of the most scenic street locations to be found anywhere. In several of the old dwellings there are now occupants of the fourth and fifth generations of the builders and former owners. A local architectural feature is the “Captain's Walk,” or “Widow's Walk,” found only in coastal towns. They were built by sea captains, so that ships might be sighted coming up the River.


photo collage of houses]


door front]


Living conditions here have long been regarded as excellent, not only because of the scenic location on two rivers and the beauty of the old and new homes, but especially because of the friendly and hospitable spirit of the citizens. With all the advantages of a small town, surrounded by rural attractions, it also boasts cultural and recreational advantages of many larger cities. And there is a unique charm of historical background blended with the activity and progress of the modern spirit.


engraving of door front]


Due to the low prevailing prices on foodstuffs, produced in abundance from the soil and waters of the region, and the lower shipping charges, as well as the moderate cost of house construction and repair, living expenses are comparatively low. The city could take care of considerable industrial expansion without materially raising its living costs.


A New Bern Federal Housing Authority of five members, appointed by the City Aldermen, has charge of a proposed project for slum clearance and erection of 460 model homes for low-income families, Federal funds of $1,500,000 having been especially ear-marked for the purpose in this city.


door front]


door front]


photo collage of houses]




“The most prolific in good architecture of all the little cities of the South,” two leading American architects wrote of New Bern. Nina Wilcox Putnam referred to the town as “A Miniature Charleston.” Mildred Seydell, Atlanta novelist, compared it to “the quaint, historic seaports in New England . . . prim and precise, bristling with efficiency.”

DOORWAYS of old homes are especially attractive, as is their interior woodcarving. The rich architectural beauty of these ancient dwellings, mellowed in their charm and grace, forms one of the town's greatest appeals to visitors and claims to fame. Among the 125 buildings a century or more old are English Colonial and Georgian, Dutch Colonial, New England, Cape Cod, Louisiana and other architectural types. Colonial and Georgian architecture here is similar to that in New England, due to the extensive early water trade with Northern ports. A number of local old homes have recently been restored to their original appearance.


photograph of a house]




Second oldest town in North Carolina, New Bern is one of the most important and interesting cities in America from the standpoint of history and historic sites. It has been called, “The City of Five Flags.”

Namesake of Bern, Switzerland, the village was settled in 1710 by Swiss and German colonists, under Baron Christopher deGraffenried, aided financially by Queen Anne of England. In 1723 it was incorporated and became the center of provincial business, culture and political activity, long known as “The Athens of North Carolina.”

Before the founding of New Bern, French Huguenots under Pastor Claude Philippe de Richebourg settled two miles up Trent River in 1707.

As seat of English government in the province, the town played a prominent role in Colonial and Revolutionary affairs. The first two provincial conventions were held at Tryon Palace, in defiance of Royal orders. British rule in the province was ended with the driving out of Royal Governor Josiah Martin from the city May 31, 1775.

Craven County and Craven Street are named for the Earl of Craven, one of the original Lords Proprietors of Carolina; Queen Street for Queen Anne; King Street, for King George I; and George Street, for King George III.


More than 50 sites of historical or public interest have been marked by number, and it is possible to drive by all within half an hour if they are followed consecutively with aid of a special map, printed in historical guidebooks given free to visitors. Outstanding is the original site of Tryon's Palace, of which only one wing now remains. Excavations are planned there, in the hope of eventual restoration of this Colonial capitol and first State capitol, generally recognized as “the finest building in Colonial America.”


New Bern, North Carolina.



FIRST in America to record officially the legal principle that a legislature is limited in power by a Constitution.

FIRST in America for a provincial convention called and held in defiance of British orders.

FIRST revolving gun made here.

FIRST death sentence by a Federal Court in the United States.

FIRST Federal hanging.

FIRST in America to celebrate George Washington's birthday.

FIRST in North Carolina and THIRD in America, next to Boston and Philadelphia, in celebrating Independence Day.

FIRST incorporated school in North Carolina and SECOND private secondary school in English America to receive a charter.

FIRST town to get bequest and start free trade school for orphan girls.

FIRST free school for white children in North Carolina.

FIRST public schools for Negroes in North Carolina.

FIRST printing press, FIRST pamphlet, FIRST newspaper and FIRST book published in North Carolina.

FIRST ship in State constructed and launched here.

FIRST road and FIRST ferry in North Carolina led from New Bern to Bath, oldest town of State.

FIRST postal service in North Carolina.

FIRST postoffice in State under the Republic.

FIRST capital of Independent State of North Carolina, following 34 years at different times as provincial capital; and later capital of the Federal Department of North Carolina during the War Between the States.

FIRST State officials inaugurated here in Tryon Palace, the FIRST State capitol building.

FIRST State Legislature met here.

FIRST large four-faced clock on a public building in State, if not in the world.

FIRST in North Carolina to decorate streets with vari-colored electric lights during the Christmas season.

FIRST motion picture theatre built from ground up in the State.

FIRST in State to organize County Dramatic Association, with branches in all high schools.

FIRST in State to sponsor programs and offer essay prizes on highway safety in all County schools.

FIRST steam sawmill in area.

FIRST macadamized road in region.

FIRST in North Carolina and SECOND in Country to organize Girls’ Hi-Y Club.

FIRST in North Carolina to observe Local History Month, mark historic spots, issue free guidebooks, and offer guide service.



OLDEST theatre in America still in regular operation here.

OLDEST benevolent society still in existence in State and perhaps SECOND in the United States.

OLDEST school building still in use in North Carolina and one of the oldest in America.

OLDEST Catholic parish in North Carolina.

OLDEST Christian Science Church in East Carolina.

OLDEST Presbyterian church organization and building in Presbytery.

OLDEST fire company in State with the earliest charter still in existence. Several World records have been broken by local firemen.

OLDEST bus company in State still under original management.

OLDEST instances of paternity on official medical records.

ORIGINAL Self-Kicking Machine.

SMALLEST city in the United States to confer all Masonic degrees except the 33rd. and have a Shrine Temple.

MOST magnificent Postoffice and City Hall for town of its size.


silver communion set]

MOST historic communion equipment in the country—silver communion service, Bible and prayer book presented to Episcopal Church in 1752 by King George II of England; and one of three sets of communion cloths in America made of memorial laces from all over world.

MORE fine original examples of early American architecture than any other town of size.

MORE genuine antiques and local relics than any town of region.

ONE OF FIRST towns of its size in the nation to own its electric light plant and start rural electrification.

ONE OF FIRST cities anywhere to organize a modern Community Council to aid unemployed and needy.

ONE OF FIRST places in North Carolina to start a public library.

ONE OF FIRST ten Coast Guard Cutters of the United States was constructed here.

ONE OF FIRST mutual fire insurance companies.

ONE OF OLDEST gasoline buggy-automobiles that still runs was made here.

ONE OF OLDEST Episcopal parishes in the South.

ONE OF OLDEST hotels, the Gaston, in the South.

ONE OF LARGEST collections of ancient weapons.

ONE OF TWENTY most historic trees of America.

ONLY town probably to have had a founder with title of nobility bestowed for America.

ONLY town in State and perhaps in America to adopt and own a City flag presented by the European capital for which it was named.

ONLY town also perhaps to have distinguished namesake, settled and named by its aborigines—Tuscarora Indians from here giving the Indian name of their local village, “Chattawka,” to the now-famous Chautauqua, N. Y.


(Numbers in parentheses indicate numbers on “Bear” signs erected at points of historic interest here.)

1(1)—Union Point. 2(6)—Shrine Home. 3(21)—Court House. 4(22)—City Hall. 5—Chamber of Commerce. 6(25)—Gaston Hotel. 7—New Bernian Hotel. 8(26)—First Baptist Church. 9(27)—Christ Episcopal Church. 10—Queen Anne Hotel. 11(30)—Christian Scientist Church. 12(31)—Federal Building. 13(32)—Centenary Methodist Church. 14(33)—St. Paul's Catholic Church and School. 15(34)—Jewish Synagogue. 16(36)—Library. 17(37)—First Presbyterian Church. 18(38)—Central Public School and High School. 19(39)—Masonic Temple. 20—Tryon Hotel. 21—Union Railway Station. 22(41)—Cedar Grove Cemetery. 23—Municipal Tennis Courts. 24(42)—Kafer Park. 25—Tabernacle Baptist Church. 26—St. Luke's Hospital. 27—St. Joseph's Catholic Church and School. 28(45)—Broad Street Christian Church. 29—Bus Station. 30—Good Shepherd Hospital. 31—St. Mary's Free Will Baptist Church. 32(50)—Remaining Wing of Tryon's Palace.


New Bern 1940


Further information on any subject relating to New Bern or the vicinity will be gladly furnished upon request to the City of New Bern or the Chamber of Commerce.


Agricultural Opportunities26Labor32
Agriculture5, 6, 8, 20-23, 26, 36, 72Libraries55
Air Service17, 19Livestock24
Aldermen3, 10Living Conditions64
Architecture42, 43, 56, 63, 66Lumbering16, 20, 28, 31, 52
Atlantic Ocean2, 17, 44, 49Mail19
Auto Registrations38Manufacturing Possibilities31
Barge Shipments16, 29, 31Marl20, 31
Beaches49, 52Monuments8, 34
Bee Raising25Morehead City Port7, 17, 18
Beverages30Municipal Government10
Boarding Houses40Music53
Boating49National Cemetery10
Boat Lines16National Guard Armory10, 60
Boat Works17National Seashore8
Brick20, 34Natural Resources5, 20
Building and Loan38New Bern Firsts68, 69
Building Permits11Newspapers55
Bus Lines7, 16Oysters27
Butane Gas14Pants Factory30, 31
Cafes34, 40Paper20, 31, 34
Carolina Motor Club8, 38Parks10, 50
Cemeteries10, 20Patent Medicines30
Chamber-Commerce32, 44, 60, 61, 70Patrol8, 15
Churches5, 56-59Pickle Factory30, 36
Citizenship6Playgrounds10, 50, 51
City Hall3, 10Police11
Civic Organizations5, 50, 57, 61Population6
Climate5, 6, 20, 42Postoffice8, 19
Coast Guard4, 60Poultry25, 31
Community Center8Printing38
Community Cooperation59Professional Services37
Conventions40Property Valuation10
Cotton Seed29Public Property10, 47
Country Club48
County Fairs26Railroads1, 5, 7, 18, 21, 31, 72
Courts8Rainfall6, 20
Craven County6, 7, 8, 10, 21, 24, 28, 32, 34, 36, 67Raw Materials20, 31
Recreation5, 17, 20, 42, 43
Croatan National Forest8, 31, 44, 52Red Cross9, 61
Curb Market26Retail Establishments34
Dairying25, 29Rivers2, 4, 6, 12, 17, 18, 23, 27, 42, 50
Docks17Salvation Army51, 57
Scenery20, 42
Electricity13, 31Schools10, 54, 55
Employment Service8, 32Scottish Rite Masons8, 61
Express16, 18, 21Seafood20, 27, 31, 42, 44, 45
Farm Organizations8, 26Service Establishments34
Federal Building10, 19Sewerage12
Fertilizer16, 29, 36Shipyards17
Fire Protection10, 11Shrine Temple8, 61
Fishing20, 27, 42, 44, 45Soils20, 21, 23
Forests20, 28Sports, Miscellaneous48
Fort Macon8, 49State Forestry8, 11, 31, 44, 52
Fort Totten50Street Lights12
Freight15, 18, 31Streets12, 33, 35, 70
Game20, 42, 46, 47Tax Rate10
Game Protection8, 44, 47Telegraph13
Garden Club40, 50Telephone14
Gas14Tennis43, 50, 51
Golf6, 43, 48Theatres43, 53
Gulf Stream6, 23, 44Timber6, 7, 8, 28, 31, 52
Health9Tobacco22, 23, 29, 31, 36
Highways5, 7, 8, 15, 21, 42Tourist Homes and Camps40
Highway 171, 6, 7, 15, 42, 72Tourist Resort42
Highway 701, 6, 15, 42, 72Trade Area7, 72
History42, 43, 67Traffic15
Home Industries30Truck Transportation1, 15
Homes40, 62-66Tryon Palace67
Hospitals9Veneer Mills28, 31
Hotels40, 41Water System12, 13
Housing Authority64Water Transportation5, 7, 20, 72
Ice Cream Plant29Waterways17, 18, 20, 21, 42
Income Tax38Weather Observer8
Inducements to Capital5Welfare59
Industrial Opportunities5, 26, 31Wholesale Distribution36
Industrial Sites32Wood Handle Plant28
Industries5, 20, 27, 31, 36Yachts17, 20, 42
Insurance Rates11Youth Work51


Printed byOWEN G. DUNN


Hub of a Great Wheel of Promise and Progress

Center of Rich Agricultural Trading Area.

Indicated on map by dotted line, towns by tiny circles.

40-Mile Radius; 100,000 Population.


scale drawing of North Carolina with water and rail transportation servicing New Bern]


Water Transportation—Three Railroads

On Federal Highways 17 and 70

Raleigh112 mi. n.w.Norfolk176 mi. n.e.
Richmond197 mi. n.Wilmington87 mi. s.w.
Washington301 mi. n.Charleston256 mi. s.w.

“The Heart of Eastern North Carolina”

Un-cataloged item icon

The details for this item have not yet been reviewed by cataloging.

To request review of this item, click here.