North Carolina's Ghost Towns



Ghost TownCountyDetails
AtlanticCarteret CountyAlthough there is a community by this name, the original site was destroyed by a hurricane in 1775 and is now underwater.
AverasboroHarnett CountyThis once-thriving port town was the third largest community in North Carolina at one time. John McAllister established a grist mill on a creek originally known as McAllister's Creek and now known as Bumpas Creek. John Matilinear operated a a ferry from the west site of the Cape Fear. In 1756, the King's Highway, later called Old Stage Road or Post Road, connected Hillsboro to Brunswick. The Avera family settled in this region by 1766. In 1791, the town named for William Avera was incorporated as Averasburg. The name was changed to Averasboro over time. In 1774, Avera bouth the grist mill and opened a tavern where the ferry dock intersected with the King's Highway. In 1791, he donated 120 acres to establish the town along the Cape Fear River. First commissioners were William Avera, Robert Draughon, Philemon Hodges, William Rand and David Smith. A post office began 1 Oct 1794. Averasboro narrowly missed becoming the state capital. This town was important to inland farmers transporting naval supplies, as well as corn and cotton on flat river rafts. An academy had been established, as well as a Masonic lodge and two churches. The town was a recruiting station for young Confederates at the start of the Civil War. The Battle of Averasboro occurred 16-17 Mar 1865, three miles south of town. Thirty thousand Union troops battled six thousand Confederates on a strip of land between Black River and Cape Fear River. Lieutenant General William J Hardee led the Confederates to successfully check and delay Union forces, allowing Confederate General Joseph E Johnston time to organize his troops to fight at Bentonville. Following the Civil War during Reconstruction, Ku Klux Klan activity where a secret government informant attended Klan meetings and reported the names and activities, caused many to flee the state before federal marshals arrived. In 1887, the Southern Railway line lured the remained residents away. Today, there is a cemetery and a civil war museum.
BrowntownDavidson CountyBrowntown was located where the Old Plank and Salisbury-Deep River Roads cross. Established in 1791, it was a thriving community with a population of 800 at one time. The last resident was a midwife named Ester Brown in 1895. The railroad locating elsewhere lured the residents elsewhere. Today a burial ground remains on private property.
Brunswick TownBrunswick CountyFounded in the early 1700s, this port town survived several hurricanes. However, in 1776, the British burned the town and it was never rebuilt. The port remained in use for another fifty years. Remains include a church and cemetery and foundations of assorted homes. Fort Anderson was built on the ruins during the Civil War.
BuffaloDare CountyThis lumber boom town once had a population of over 2000. The post office operated from 1889 to 1803 and 1908 to 1947. When the lumber business started to lessen, the remote location of this community was attractive for bootleggers. Today all that remains is the train beds and a few foundations.
BushnellSwain CountySee Judson
CataloocheeHaywood CountyLocated in the Cataloochee Valley on the eastern end of the Smoky Mountain National Park. This community began around 1814. In 1929, the establishment of the National Park absorbed the town and the remnants of it have been demolished.
FontanaSwain CountySee Judson
Forest HillCabarrus CountyForest Hill was a mill community located west of Buffalo Avenue in Concord. The community has been absorbed by the city of Concord.
ForneySwain CountySee Judson
GeorgevilleCabarrus CountyLocated on Dutch Buffalo Creek about fourteen miles southeast of Concord. Now simply a rural community.
Henry RiverBurke CountyAbandoned mill village located near exit 119 on I-40. Located in the village was a mill store, which also contained a post office and the second story was the village school. The mill overseer's home is still inhabited, but the mill owner's home no longer exists and many of the mill homes themselves have been torn down.
JudsonSwain CountyOn 11 Nov 1944, the Fontana Dam was closed, flooding, Bushnell, Fontana, Forney and Judson. This dam on the Tennessee River was created to provide more people with power. People were relocated. When the dam is in drawndown, foundations and graves can be seen. The remainder of the time these items are at the bottom of the lake. Fontana Village, originally Welch Cove, was created south of the dam to house the workers. The village is now a resort village and some of the original buildings are still there.
Kuykendall TavernHenderson CountyIdentified as part of Flat Rock, the original tavern is believed to have been located on Old State Road between Wilderness Epicopal Church and Mud Creek Baptist Church. In the late 1700s - early 1800s, a tavern was a stopping/resting point for travellers, where people would rest, refresh and renew. Small communities would spring up around these taverns.
MartinsvilleGuilford CountyNear Guilford County Courthouse, the original community is probably under a development.
MortimerCaldwell CountyA lumber town that was destroyed Jul 1916 by flooding caused by two hurricanes. At the time of its demise, it claimed a mill, a hotel, a store, railroad depot and numerous homes. Somewhat rebuilt after 1916, but flooding from a hurricane in 1940 finished most of it off. There are a few residents today, but not many.
Occaneechi TownOrange CountyOn bank of Eno River, north of Chapel Hill.
ParkewoodMoore CountyMill town near Carthage. Little remains.
PortsmouthCarteret CountyThis port town was thriving in mid 1800s, when cargo was transported from large ships to smaller vessels to traverse inland. Shoaling in the inlet prevented larger ships from using the port and by mid 1890s most inhabitants had moved elsewhere. This is now owned by the National Park Service, althouth they have not restored the buildings. There are about 20 homes, Methodist church, school, and lifesaving station. Can only be reached by ferry.
ProctorSwain CountyThe creation of Fontana Dam made this community inaccessible. Building foundations, overgrown streets and the bank safe are all that remains. Only accessible descending from Clingman's Dome on the Appalachian Trail.
Roanoke ColonyDare CountySee Roanoke
SmokemontSwain CountyToday it is a campground at the entrance to the Smokey Mountain National Park. Once a thriving lumber town, with a school, store, etc, now only Lufty Baptist Church remains. When the lumber panned out, the residents moved elsewhere.
WaynesboroughWayne CountyOnce the Wayne County seat, when the railroad bypassed the town in favor of nearby Goldsborough (Goldsboro), it merely hung on. When Sherman marched through North Carolina raiding towns and communities, they torched Waynesborough. Goldsboro became the county seat.




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