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Down East Carteret County NC: Commercial Fishing And Information on Communities

Down East Carteret County NC is an area of the Crystal Coast that is generally considered as all the communities east of Beaufort NC where people have their own dialect and slang, and commercial fishing, hunting, farming, decoy carving, boating, and family are important. Things are very much simple, and people raised in these communities like it that way. This article contains random information about down east, it’s people and way of life, but you are encouraged to give us more information by using the comment section at the end of this article. Be sure to subscribe to comments so that you can continue the conversation.

Readers are also encouraged to share this article on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook so that others considering visiting the down east communities can learn more about this area of Carteret County NC.

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Commercial fishing and communities: Bettie, Otway, Straits, Harkers Island, Gloucester, Marshallberg, Tusk, Smyrna, Williston, Davis, Stacy, Masontown, Sea Level, Atlantic and Cedar Island. The accent and dialect in the area is called a “High Tider” accent which is closely related to Elizabethan English that early settlers in coastal NC used.

All communities in the area are unincorporated and receive funding, maintenance, and law enforcement from the Carteret County NC.

Harkers Island NC is the largest community and is a census designated area with around 1,207 people.

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County Commissioner representation: Chris Chadwick. All communities are unincorporated, so there is no mayor or city council.

Down East NC And Carteret County Community Discussions

Carteret County Schools: All 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders attend East Carteret High School in Beaufort, NC. Atlantic Elementary and Smyrna Elementary serves children grades Pre-Kindergarten through 5th Grade. Children in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade attend Down East Middle School in Smyrna, NC.

Major Highways, roads, and streets: Highway 70 East/West travels from the westernmost community of Bettie to the easternmost community of Cedar Island, NC where there is a car ferry to take people to Ocracoke Island, NC and Cherry Branch. Harkers Island Road exits off Highway 70 to go to Harkers Island. Marshallberg Road takes travelers in to Marshallberg and Community Road takes travelers in to Davis, NC. Stacy Loop Rd takes travelers through residential areas of Stacy, NC. Highway 12 runs through Cedar Island, NC.

Area Information and Attractions
Medical Facilities and Hospital: PruittHealth is a small community hospital in Sea Level where locals are treated for very minor conditions or stabilized for transport to Carteret General Hospital in Morehead City, NC (70 miles away). Vidant Medical Center is the largest tertiary trauma center and is located in Greenville, NC.

Ferry System: The NC Ferry Division operates a car ferry service in Cedar Island NC and there are several private ferry service providers in Harkers Island that take people to Shackleford Banks and Cape Lookout. In Davis, there is ferry service that takes people over to Great Island on Cape Lookout National Seashore. Additionally, in Atlantic NC, there is a ferry that takes people to Portsmouth Island.

Largest Employer: The largest employer in Down East is commercial fishing, shrimping, shellfish harvesting, and crabbing. Commercial fishing is very much a culture and heritage in this community within Carteret County NC. Next to commercial fishing, being employed in Beaufort, Morehead City, or Havelock, NC (Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station) at private companies or government is the 2nd largest employer.

Law Enforcement: All law enforcement in Down East is handled by the Carteret County Sheriffs Department.

Farming: Open Ground Farms is partially located in this region and is likely a large employer of people in the area. Open Ground Farms is a large 45,000 acre farm focusing on agriculture.

Duck and Deer Hunting: Many people locally enjoy duck hunting and there are ample places to do so in various communities in the area.

Using the comment system below, what areas of vital information did we miss about Down East Carteret County NC? You are more than welcome to inform of us misinformation in this article, area events, and things to do.

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Michael Sharp

Native of Carteret County NC, Father to Makayla and Savannah. You can add me on Facebook. Interest include web development, encryption, and other technologies.

3 thoughts on “Down East Carteret County NC: Commercial Fishing And Information on Communities

  • January 5, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    sounds like my kind of place

  • December 10, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    I grew up in this area back in the 80s and miss it. A much simplier life.

  • December 10, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    Well if you ever want a taste of the local dialect and accent just go talk to Jonathan Robinson!


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