A photo a day from Oriental, NC, the surrounding Pamlico County area, and nearby rivers, creeks, bays and other waterways of coastal North Carolina.

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

9.07- Slow Sunday at the Deli

Umbrellas guard empty tables on the deck of the Oriental Harbor Deli & Bistro, as a thunderstorm darkens the western sky.
As the "alien season" in Oriental fades in the wake of Labor Day and worries about Hanna-Ike-Josephine storms, there are few visitors in town this weekend.

During the summer season, aliens (and a few locals) enjoy lunch and dinner on the deck at the Oriental Harbor Deli & Bistro, with a grand view of Smith's Creek and the Oriental Harbor Marina.

Though clearly open for business today, I did not see a single customer this afternoon. The whole town is extremely quiet and empty for an early September weekend, but no doubt Hanna prompted weekend travelers to stay home for this one.

The Oriental Harbor Deli & Bistro resides in the early 20th century passenger depot building of the Norfolk & Southern Railroad Co.

In addition to the Deli, the old depot is also now home to the Oriental Harbor Marina's heads and laundry room, and "The General Store," which offers Oriental souvenirs, a surprising collection of wines and $2.00 cans of coke (the wine is much more reasonable than the cokes).

The N&S RR ran regular passenger service from New Bern to Oriental into the 1940's. The N&S RR 's first lines to Oriental were built in the very early 20th century, and provided important transportation for local timber and produce (mostly cabbages), as well as passengers.

Before the N&S RR built its line into Oriental, the Old Dominion Steamship Company had been providing freight and passenger services from Oriental to New Bern, Elizabeth City, Portsmouth, VA (and available transfer service to as far away as New York City) from its pier on the Neuse River at the end of King Street.

The N&S RR line traveled along Midyette Street to service three lumber mills, including the giant John L. Roper Lumber Co. mills located along Camp Creek, before crossing Broad Street to the passenger depot on the harbor front at Water Street. While N&S RR acquired an easement to build a planned spur across the village to the former ODSS warehouses and Neuse River pier on King St., it was never built.

The depot building now stands about about 100 yards away from its original location.

Below is an old N&S RR Map I have enhanced to show the main properties, rail lines and proposed rail line discussed above...


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