Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ernul Brick Road Craven County

On my list of things I like to show our visitors is the Ernul Brick Road.

From New Bern going toward Washington on Hwy 17, its maybe 10 miles on your right just before you get to the railroad tracks.

I'm always surprised at how many people around here don't know about it.

A lot of the road is paved over but you can still see the bricks in many spots and it's one lane wide.

The road was built in 1919, 9 feet wide, over an earlier roadbed that came from the Virginia line.

It goes about a mile then you can just turn left and that road takes you back to Hwy 17 in a few miles.

US 17 replaced the brick road between 1930 and 1936 leaving only a few sections of the brick road remaining.

I've been trying to do some research on this and not finding much. But here is a quote I found on the NC Office of State Archaelogy website - "In the areas where they were located, brick roads probably contributed more to the economic and social lives of the citizens than to the advancement of highway technology.

While the highways would be improved in later years, brick roads bridged the nearly impassable swamplands of coastal North Carolina, opening the door for commercial development."

I suspect that this brick road was built over the First Post Road although I can't find it written anywhere. Mail was first carried regularly in North Carolina over the First Post Road.

The first post road in North Carolina was constructed in 1738-1739. The mail would be run on the 20th day of each month.

The road fell into disrepair during the 1750s. In the 1770s it was once again partially revived during Governor Tryons time in New Bern.

The sign I show here is located on East Front Street in New Bern near the corner of New Street.

There is a lot of interesting history around here, I have a lot more to learn.

1 comment:

  1. Just came across this post, and I want to note that a section of the brick road from New Bern to Pollocksville still exists at River Bend. If you turn into River Bend at the light and then you will see the brick road on the left. It runs behind River Bend Baptist Church and is still in use today.