“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Ocracoke in Carteret County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

Exploring Portsmouth

Cape Lookout National Seashore

Exploring Portsmouth Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Sean C Bath, July 13, 2021
1. Exploring Portsmouth Marker
Inscription.  Believe it or not, Portsmouth, the small, now-deserted village on this remote island, was once a bustling seaport. North Carolina's colonial legislature chartered Portsmouth in 1733 to serve coastal trade, and for more than two years it was one of the most important ports on the East Coast. But the Civil War and the opening of other inlets on the Carolina coast reduced Portsmouth's importance. The town evolved into a small fishing port but finally died when the last two villagers left in 1971.

Welcome to our village The people pictured below all lived in Portsmouth. As you tour the village, imagine them working, playing, and living together here.

From the late 1700s until the Civil War, Portsmouth was one of the most important lightering ports on the eastern seaboard. Because the sound was too shallow for larger vessels, goods from Europe arrived here first and were then transferred to smaller, lighter boats, called "lighters," for the last leg of their journey to the mainland.

Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior

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Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraSettlements & SettlersWar, US CivilWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1733.
Location. 35° 4.359′ N, 76° 3.893′ W. Marker is near Ocracoke, North Carolina, in Carteret County. Portsmouth Island is accessible only by boat. The island is managed by the National Park Service as part of Cape Lookout National Sea Shore. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ocracoke NC 27960, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Through These Doors (approx. 0.2 miles away); Methodist Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); A Light for Ocracoke Inlet (approx. 5.1 miles away); Journey to the original Down East… (approx. 5.3 miles away); Welcome to picturesque Ocracoke Island… (approx. 5.3 miles away); Harboring Change (approx. 5.4 miles away); Lt. Robert Maynard (approx. 5.4 miles away); USRC Mercury (approx. 5.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ocracoke.
More about this marker. Boats chartered from Ocracoke drop visitors off at 'Haulover Point' to the north of Portsmouth Village. The marker is to the right along the trail leading to the village.
Also see . . .
1. Portsmouth Village. Cape Lookout National Seashore. National Park Service (Submitted on July 14, 2021.) 

2. Visiting Portsmouth Village. Cape Lookout National Seashore. National Park Service. (Submitted on July 14, 2021.) 

3. Portsmouth, North Carolina. Wikipedia (Submitted on July 14, 2021.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 13, 2021, by Sean C Bath of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 123 times since then and 8 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on July 13, 2021, by Sean C Bath of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 31, 2023