About Oriental & Pamlico County

Fun Tidbits About Oriental

  • No lines, no waiting, no beltways or interstates, just beautiful waterfront property on wide rivers, creeks and sounds.
  • Just two stoplights in the entire county (we used to have just one)
  • Home to both aspiring and world renowned artists, photographers, galleries, shops, marinas, boatyards, sailing regattas, fishing tournaments, paddle trails, and abundant wildlife
  • Home to the Croaker Festival … exciting small town originality in a Fourth of July Festival and parade.
  • Home to The Spirit of Christmas … all the warmth of a small town American celebration.
  • Home to the Dragon Walk, when, on every New Year’s Eve… the mysterious and hilariously scary dragon parades with pomp, circumstance and frivolity.
  • A place to sail, a place to retire, a place to start a business, a place to fish, a place to paddle, a place to play.
  • Oriental is known as the Sailing Capital of North Carolina: 2,700 – 3000 boats, mostly sailboats, can be found anchored or docked in the Oriental area most anytime, not to mentioned fishing trawlers who make their living up and down the Neuse River and Pamlico Sound.  With only about 875 residents in Oriental, boats outnumber residents three to one.
  • Oriental is a welcoming harbor for cruisers: Known by it’s location at Mile Marker 182 of the Intracoastal Waterway, Oriental is a favorite stopping point for cruisers heading north or south. More than a few of Oriental’s current residents first came to town by sea…and decided to stay awhile. Some come to work, some for retirement – all are drawn by a friendly coastal village called Oriental.
  • Widest river in America is here, where the Neuse River meets the Pamlico Sound
  • When you are not on the water get out on the course…Minnesott Golf & Country Club is a gem. A par 72 semi-private club with raised greens and water challenges to test your skills. Social and golfing activities for the entire family, not to mention the Live Oak Grill for a bite to eat after a fun round of golf.
    For more info visit www.minnesottgolf.com.
  • In 1917 the first motorized school bus in NC rolled down the streets of Oriental
  • Dawson’s Creek, the TV show was written by screenwriter ("Scream") Kevin Williamson, a native of Oriental.  Much of the show was filmed at our very own Dawson Creek, from which he got his inspiration for the show.

Fun Tidbits About Pamlico County

  • The county was formed in 1872 from Craven and Beaufort counties. It was named after the sound of the same name. It is in the eastern section of the State and is bounded by Pamlico Sound, Neuse River and Craven and Beaufort counties. 

Sunset at Pecan Grove

County Statistics


  • Average July temperature(high): 89 degrees
  • Average January temperature(low): 33 degrees
  • Average annual rainfall: 54.6" per year
  • Average snow: Rare


  • Countywide: 13,197
  • Oriental: 900
  • Bayboro (County seat): 900
  • Median Age: 60.3 (obviously a great place to retire)


  • Pamlico County is 41 percent water (235 of 576 square miles) and framed by many creeks and rivers.

Agriculture & Manufacturing

  • Farming (corn, soybeans, wheat, potatoes, cotton and forestry)
  • Seafood processing
  • Commercial Fishing  (Flounder, Grouper, King Mackerel, Sea Bass, Sea Trout, Spanish Mackerel, Striped Bass, Croaker, Blue Fish, Red Drums, Black Drum, Mullets, Catfish, Common Eel, Crabs (Blue hard and soft), Shrimp (Brown, Pink, White and Rock), Conchs, Octopus, Oysters, Sea Scallops and Squid)>
  • Boat building
  • Government manufacturing

The Shrimpboat Fleet at Rest

Communities of Pamlico County

Settled in 1890s and named for the Farmers Alliance Movement.

Arapahoe was first known as “Cross Roads”. The name was later changed to “Arapahoe” — some say it was named after the Indians and others after a racehorse of the same name. The Corsa Indians lived at Core Point near the mouth of the Pamlico River and blazed the trail that became the first road to Wilkerson’s Point. This community was settled early in the 18th century, not long after New Bern (which settled in 1710). Arapahoe’s post office was established in 1886. The town was incorporated in 1920.

Bayboro was named for the Bay River and settled long before it was incorporated in 1881. It’s the oldest incorporated town in the county and was the first to have town water. It became the county seat in 1876. The following year, the courthouse was relocated here from Stonewall. Although narrow, the Bay River is navigable all the way to the town.

Hobucken & Lowland
“Goose Creek Island” was formerly part of Beaufort County. In 1874, Hobucken and Lowland citizens voted to become part of Pamlico County. Around 1900, a post office was established for the area. The island is a magnet for fishermen and duck hunters and is home to a unit of the US Coast Guard, which is located on the Intracoastal Waterway.

Minnesott Beach
Developed as a resort area on Neuse River by the Hardison family after World War 1, the town’s name is derived from an Indian word said to mean, “land of sky and blue water”. Older visitors remember it as a resort community that flourished on the shores of the Neuse in the 1920’s. Today, younger visitors come to one of several summer camps established along the river.

Oriental is nestled amid five creeks along the Neuse River and connected to the Intracoastal Waterway via a 10-foot deep channel. Settled in 1870, residents wanted to establish a post office when they found the town first needed an official name. One resident recalled seeing the nameplate from the steamship “Oriental” at a friend’s house in Manteo; the steamer had wrecked off the coast of Cape Hatteras in 1862 while under the commission of the Union army. The Town of Oriental was officially incorporated in 1899. Today, with more power and sailboats in residence than people, it has earned its reputation as being “The Sailing Capital of North Carolina”.

No one seems to know how Reelsboro got its name, but it seems likely that it was named for the Reel families. Reelsboro is situated in a very sandy area. Before the hard surfaced roads were built, cars had to wind (or perhaps “reel”) around to keep from getting stuck in it! When the railroad came to Pamlico County, one of the stops was named “Reelsboro”. Its post office was established in 1891.

Stonewall was incorporated in 1870 when it was still part of Craven County. Citizens first wished to name the town “Jackson” for the owner of a local mill. But since there was already a town with that name in North Carolina, “Stonewall” was selected — presumably in honor of General T. J. “Stonewall” Jackson. It was home to Pamlico County’s first post office, which was established after the Civil War, and the original site of the county courthouse before it was moved to Bayboro.

At one time, the Indian village of "Secotan" was located here. Later, it was renamed by the wife of a former Union Army surgeon who settled here in the 1870s. Its new name was derived from the words “van” (the German word for “village”) and “De Mer” (French for “by the sea”). Vandemere is situated on a point where Vandemere Creek flows into the Bay River. It was incorporated in 1874 and was the county seat from 1872 (when Pamlico County was formed) to 1876.

Carol Wright • Oriental Buyers' Broker
Exclusive Buyer's Agent - Waterfront & Retirement Property

email carolwright@orientalbuyersbroker.com