ATLANTIC BEACH and Fort Macon
Across Bogue Sound from mainland Carteret County lies Bogue Banks and thereon, Atlantic Beach.
Atlantic Beach began as a fledgling resort in the 1920s has continued to increase in popularity, complete with amusement parks and beach clubs mingling with hotels and condominiums. Thousands of sun-seekers flock to the area each summer.
Historic Fort Macon, now one of the most popular state parks in the United States, guards Beaufort Inlet. The Fort is within walking distance via the beach from SeaSpray.
Beaufort Inlet has always been strategic to coastal North Carolina. On the Atlantic side of Bogue Banks lie many wrecks such as the Confederate blockade runner Prevensey, a side-wheel steamer, with its rusting axle and boiler still visible below the surface. Other portions of the vessel can be seen at low-tide.
Fort Macon which had been built in 1826-1834, fell to the Northern forces in 1862. This was a major strategic victory, eventually leading to complete Union control of the entire North Carolina coast.
Built in 1826-1834 on the east end of Bogue Banks in Carteret County, Fort Macon replaced Fort Dobbs, a wooden structure built in 1756 and Fort Hampton, a similar structure which eventually washed away.
Today the fort looks much the same as when it was built. The pentagon-shaped fortress is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. General Robert E. Lee was stationed at Fort Macon as a young Army officer. The scene of an significant Civil War Battle while occupied by Confederate troops, the fort was under a Union artillery siege from March 23 - April 26, 1862. Its fall into Union hands gave the Northern forces complete control of the entire North Carolina coast. It was re-garrisoned during the Spanish-American War and again during World War II.
Now Fort Macon is a 398 acre state park, one of the most poplar in the United States. Swimming, fishing, nature programs and trails, guided tours of the fort, a museum with numerous exhibits and audio-visual displays are some of the activities available. The old Fort Macon Life Boat Station, where history was made again as late as 1990 when the U. S. Coast Guard named a woman to its command, is adjacent to the state park.
Last modified: 11/03/2008-mat