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Oriental Town

Oriental Town Hall is located at 507 Church Street, Oriental, NC 28571; phone: 252-249-0555.

Beginnings [1]

Oriental, the Sailing Capital of North Carolina, is a friendly and welcoming waterfront community nestled among several creeks and the Neuse River in southeastern Pamlico County. From the beginning, the natural harbor attracted commercial interests and Oriental was incorporated as a town in 1899. In the early decades of the town, key industries were farming, fishing, logging and sawmills. Railroad and steamship services transported goods to markets. After the Second World War railroads to small towns virtually disappeared causing Oriental's economy and population to shrink in vitality and size. Commercial fishing and packing helped fill the void, providing employment for many.

As the last sawmill was closing, boaters cruising the new Intracoastal Waterway along with recreational boaters from central North Carolina "discovered" Oriental. In 1960 only a few sailboats called Oriental home, now there are thousands in the area. Eventually recreational boating joined commercial fishing as an important aspect of economic opportunity.

In the 1970's the farmland on Ragan Road, Link Lane and Lupton Drive was subdivided into single family lots as was the land along Whitaker and Pierce Creeks where marinas and boat yards already existed. Many cruising sailors stopping on their travels ultimately bought or built homes in those areas. Boating, water vistas and small-town charm continue to attract newcomers.

  1. Comprehensive Plan for Oriental, NC, Draft,, accessed May, 2012
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