Wednesday, October 2, 2019

A Church in the Country

An early view of Croatan Presbyterian Church

Croatan Presbyterian Church, Number Six Township, Craven County, photograph c. 1945.

by John B. Green III

About ten miles down U.S. 70 between New Bern and Havelock sits the small community of Croatan.  Once a stop on the Atlantic and North Carolina Rail Road and boasting its own post office until 1928, today Croatan is best known for two historic structures - Tom Haywood's Store, now closed, and Croatan Presbyterian Church.

The Presbyterian congregation at Croatan was organized in June 1882 and the church was dedicated in August 1883.  The frame, gable-roofed meeting house, though simple in plan, was ornamented with imaginative sawn-work decoration - scrolled cornice brackets, door and window hoods with scroll-work finials, and saw-tooth gable-end decoration.

The above photograph, taken about 1945, shows the church as it stood before later twentieth century remodeling added a porch, cupola, and rear additions.

Croatan Presbyterian Church, after 20th century alterations, from Peter B. Sandbeck, The Historic Architecture of New Bern and Craven County, North Carolina, New Bern: Tryon Palace Commission, 1988