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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Saturday, August 1, 2009

8.01- Rumble in Dog Town

A vehicle applies the brakes as it crosses the new rumble-strips on Midyette St.
(click image to enlarge)

The Town of Oriental laid down some "rumble strips" and put up more visible "Slow Children Playing" signage on Midyette St. last week.

The street leads down to the popular "Wildlife Ramp," a free public boat ramp anglers and recreational boaters use to put-in at Smith's Creek...

Because the street bears off at a slight angle from the main highway leading into town, many vehicles veer off onto Midyette without slowing down, causing understandable consternation and concern for children on the part of the street's residents.

Neighbors were particularly concerned with trucks hauling heavy fishing boats to the Wildlife Ramp... The ones pictured at right going over the rumble strips were not speeding, but Midyette residents report that similar vehicles often journey down this narrow asphalt at 30-50 mph.

Town officials are testing the rumble strips and sign placement to see if they help slow things down.

Dog Town History

This stretch of Midyette St. was first developed as a residential subdivision in 1916 by the Roper Lumber Co., which owned a large lumber mill on the site of the current Wildlife Ramp, a little over half a mile down the street.
(see Google map at bottom of this post for locations)

Roper Lumber Co. named it's subdivision "Dog Town." (see Roper Co. plat, below)

In 1919 Roper Lumber began selling the subdivision lots to African-American employees of the company...

I am guessing that it was at that time (and a long time thereafter,) the only place within town limits where blacks were allowed to live.

To this day the vast majority of African-Americans living within Oriental town limits live along this stretch of Midyette St.... Many of the homes are owned by descendants of Roper Lumber employees who moved their families into Dog Town during the 20's and 30's.

As early as 1954, property deeds for Dog Town lots additionally described the subdivision as being "known as White City."

According to local lore, the rather ironic "White City" moniker for the town's only black neighborhood came about because all of the houses in the subdivision were painted white.

Below is the Roper Lumber Co. subdivision plat... It was apparently filed in the County Register of Deeds office by G.P. Midyette (?grandson? of town founder Robert P. Midyette) who purchased Roper Lumber's mill property and its un-sold Dog Town lots in 1948. I say this because the filed plat (which notes that it is a 1942 copy of the original plat) bears some ghostly annotations of payment schedules and payments made by persons to whom G.P. Midyette is on record as having sold the annotated lots:

(click on image to enlarge)

Map showing Hwy.55, Dog Town, and Boat Ramp /Former Roper Lumber Mill:

View Dog Town and Roper Lumber in a larger map

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