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Beulaville, North Carolina
Dowtown Beulaville.jpg
Official seal of Beulaville, North Carolina
Seal
Motto(s): 
"A Place to Come Home To"
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Duplin
Area
 • Total 1.5 sq mi (3.9 km2)
 • Land 1.5 sq mi (3.9 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation
85 ft (26 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 1,296
 • Density 854/sq mi (329.6/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
28518
Area code(s) 910
FIPS code 37-05660
GNIS feature ID 1019119

Beulaville is a town located in Duplin County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 1,296 as of 2010, making it the fourth most populous town in the county. The community lies within Limestone Creek Township.

History

Native American presence

The earliest Native Americans thought to have roamed the area were the Joara (whose settlements date back to AD 1000), based out of present-day Burke County. The Joara were the chiefdom of the Mississippian culture. Immediately prior to European colonization in the early 18th century, the coastal plain of North Carolina was home to many distinct Native American tribes: the Coree, Coharie, several small Neusiok communities, and the Tuscarora. This latter tribe gradually became the most dominant in the region as smaller tribes were either exterminated by Europeans or peacefully assimilated into the Tuscarora for collective security. By the time of permanent European settlement, the Tuscarora were utilizing the heavily forested areas of eastern Duplin County as a hunting ground.

Native American burial mounds are numerous in Duplin County, in the rural areas surrounding Beulaville especially. There are four sizable mounds within a ten-mile radius of the town, the two largest being in the vicinity of Hallsville and Sarecta. Combined, these mounds contain roughly one hundred bodies.

European settlement

The arrival of the Palatines at New Bern and the ensuing wave of English and Welsh settlers sparked a conflict known as the Tuscarora War (1710–1715). With the elimination of the last Tuscarora stronghold at Fort Neoheroka and subsequent exodus of the remainder of the tribe to New York (they became the sixth nation of the Iroquois Confederacy), the interior of the coastal plain was made available for European settlement. Many of the original European settlers of what is now Beulaville arrived from Jones, Onslow, Beaufort, and Craven counties.

In 1736, Duplin County (then upper New Hanover County) was the destination of several hundred Ulster Scots (Scotch-Irish) and a handful of Swiss Protestants. They settled on a plot of land, 71,160 acres (28,800 ha) between the Northeast Cape Fear River and Black River, obtained from the Crown by Henry McCulloh of London. Their first settlements were Soracta (Sarecta) on the Northeast Cape Fear, an area at the lower end of Goshen Swamp (then called Woodward's Chase), and the grove where the Duplin County Courthouse now stands. According to census records, several families of Sarecta and the settlement at the south end of Goshen Swamp had gravitated to the crossroads of what would become Beulaville by the middle of the nineteenth century.

Beulaville proper was founded as "Snatchet" in 1873 out of necessity for a trading center for nearby farmers and those in the business of logging and turpentine production. Also colloquially referred to as "Tearshirt" by locals, the town was once notorious for alcoholism and frequent street brawls. Indeed, the manufacture and distribution of corn liquor remained a steady source of income for many families well into the 20th century. Upon demolition of a prominent downtown building (which had formerly served as a soda shop in the 1950s) to make way for a McDonald's, a moonshine still and several barrels of the drink were uncovered in the basement.

The Kinston Carolina Railroad and Lumber Company constructed a railway from Kinston to Pink Hill around 1900. In response, residents of Limestone Creek Township spent $15,000 to lobby for the creation of the "Duplin County Railroad" in 1916, extending the Kinston line through Beulaville and Chinquapin. The rail, which ran alongside present-day Railroad Street, has since been destroyed. The post office of Snatchet was officially re-designated "Beulaville" in 1910, and the town was incorporated five years later. The town's name is derived from the Beulah Baptist Church (now the Beulaville Baptist Church). Beulaville is the most recent town to be incorporated in Duplin County.

Archie Lanier's Store
Archie Lanier's Store

Recreation

Banks of the Northeast Cape Fear
On the banks of the Northeast Cape Fear River at Hallsville

Situated 4 miles (6 km) east of the meandering Northeast Cape Fear River, Beulaville offers much in the way of outdoor recreation. There are two boat landings on the Northeast Cape Fear River within a 7-mile (11 km) radius of town. The communal landing at Hallsville, which had, for centuries, been used by locals for activities ranging from baptisms to bonfires, has been closed off to the public. The other landing is located west of Beulaville, off Highway 24, half way to Kenansville. Several golf courses can also be found near Beulaville and in the greater Duplin area.

Within the town limits there are three public parks providing a variety of recreational needs, to include the William Ray Humphrey Athletic Park, a ballpark converted from the former elementary school's recreational fields. The park, located behind the Beulaville Municipal Complex, boasts three baseball fields, two tennis courts, two outdoor basketball courts, and the John Hargett indoor gymnasium.

5 miles (8 km) north of Beulaville on Highway 111, the 167-acre Cabin Lake County Park attracts many locals and visitors for year-round camping, canoeing, and hiking. Additionally, the Tarkil Branch Farm Museum at Cedar Fork, 7 miles (11 km) southeast of Beulaville, features a genuine 1830s homestead complete with over 850 artifacts; the operation is situated on a 375-acre working farm.

Geography

Beulaville is located on the coastal plain of North Carolina in Duplin County. It is situated at 85 feet (26 m) above sea level, with only minimal changes in topography. Limestone Creek, a small body of water that runs into the Northeast Cape Fear River at Hallsville, borders the western boundary of town. Beulaville is 90 miles (140 km) southeast of Raleigh and 312 miles (502 km) south of Washington, D.C. The town's coordinates are 34°55′25″N 77°46′27″W / 34.92361°N 77.77417°W / 34.92361; -77.77417 (34.923533, -77.774053).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2), all of it land.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 32
1890 51 59.4%
1920 354
1930 494 39.5%
1940 567 14.8%
1950 724 27.7%
1960 1,062 46.7%
1970 1,156 8.9%
1980 1,060 −8.3%
1990 933 −12.0%
2000 1,067 14.4%
2010 1,296 21.5%
2015 (est.) 1,330 2.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,067 people, 442 households, and 274 families residing in the town. The population density was 734.8 people per square mile (284.1/km²). There were 501 housing units at an average density of 345.0 per square mile (133.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 73.48% White, 20.81% African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 3.94% from other races, and 1.31% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.81% of the population.

There were 442 households out of which 26.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.7% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.0% were non-families. 35.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the town, the population was spread out with 23.1% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 21.3% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 23.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 76.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 69.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $32,059, and the median income for a family was $40,347. Males had a median income of $30,104 versus $24,583 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,571. About 15.4% of families and 18.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.0% of those under age 18 and 11.7% of those age 65 or over.

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