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The Crystal Coast

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By Compiled by Lynn Salsi and Frances Eubanks

Modern-day conveniences and luxuries appeared like the inventions of science fiction in a place where electricity seemed, at first, unnecessary and short-sighted to many of the coastal inhabitants, who were simply comfortable living in the ways and manners of their ancestors. However, the progress offered by the twentieth century would not be denied even in rural Carteret County. Though fishing remained the industrial backbone, as it had for generations of Down Easterners, Carteret County began a remarkable transition from a coastal outpost community to a tourist destination, attracting thousands of seasonal and year-round tourists. The Crystal Coast documents this time through a collection of firsthand accounts that touch upon the many elements of everyday living, including childhood games, early schooling (from both the students' and teachers' perspectives), daily chores, the toils of fishing, the intricacies of home remedies (such as the ubiquitous cure-alls castor-oil and corn liquor), a variety of cooking techniques, courtship and marriage, and life around town. Not just a simple time, these years were marked by major cultural events, and the people of Carteret County were not immune, experiencing intimately the hardships of Depression-era America and the challenges and fears of a world war at their doorstep. Sharing both the black and white experience, this volume, with over 100 images, celebrates a special place and people in the Southern landscape. A unique visual history, The Crystal Coast allows readers a rare opportunity to venture into the Morehead City, Beaufort, and Portsmouth Island of a bygone era, viewing not only the region's vivid past, but breathing its true essence.