Today, my mother and I paid a visit to The History Place, which is Morehead City's museum and cultural center. An old friend of mine — we grew together as playmates, neighbors, and distant cousins — does genealogy research there on a volunteer basis. We talked about old times and the old families of the town.
Morehead was founded as a municipality only in the mid-1850s, but Europeans have lived here on the spit of land where the town is located, known earlier as Shepard's Point, since the mid- to late 1600s. In fact, the first English colony in the New World was established just a few miles north (or east — there is some question about which coastal island it was located on) in 1585, but it was a failure. The colonists all disappeared within a couple of years and were never heard from again. The first English child ever born in America was born there, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in England.
As for the town gate mentioned on the sign on the left, a few decades later it was moved to 14th street. That's where my family lived starting in the late 1800s or earlier. It's where I lived from 1949 until about 1970, and where my mother lived, in the same house, from 1951 until 2005. I was born in a neighborhood called "the promise land" (the land of promise). We were part of the local clan of people named Willis, who came here from England.
This wall painting on a downtown building is much more recent. The story is that it was painted by a group of high school students, maybe in the 1980s. By then, I had been making trips to France, and living there off and on in, for more than a decade.