Today's rapidly growing Sneads Ferry Community is rich in history. Here's a brief overvue.
Way back in 1725, a fellow by the name of Edmund Ennett established the first ferry on the banks of the New River. Of course, back then everyone knew it as, "Ennett's Ferry". Ennett was granted the first license to operate a ferry in the area, an important link for postal delivery between Virginia and South Carolina, and for news of Revolutionary War battles in the 1770's.
The ferry quickly became a key element in the Post Road linking Suffolk, Virginia with the sprawling new city of Charleston South Carolina. By 1759, two ferries operated there, one from each bank of the New River. A somewhat creative fellow by the name of Robert Snead (an attorney) was the owner operator of the all wood flat bottom ferry on the north shore. As the community began to grow on the banks of the crossing site it gained the name of "Sneads Ferry." Originally known as Lower Ferry, Sneads Ferry was renamed in honor of attorney Robert Snead the ferry operator in 1760. Snead himself has an interesting history. He is recorded as having shot and killed Revolutionary War hero George W. Mitchell during a political argument.
After being tried and convicted, Snead received a full pardon from Governor Richard Dobbs Spaight. The pardon was never explained. There has been speculation through the generations that the pardon was achieved dishonestly.
The village is believed to have been first settled in 1775, making it the oldest settlement in Onslow County which is one of North Carolina's oldest counties, established in 1734.
The old ferry crossing survived will into the 20th century, eventually powered and much larger than the original wooden raft style. Caroline Pearson continued to operate the ferry until it was replaced with a bridge. In total, the ferry operated for more than 200 years. In 1939, it was replaced by a wooden bridge. Today, the bridge is a new high-rise span. The bridge is now restricted to military and authorized travel.
That bridge couldn’t have come soon enough. Shortly after the outbreak of World War II in 1941 Camp Lejeune was born. During the war many ships were sunk by German U-boats just of the Coast, while many smaller ships found safe port at Sneads Ferry. Sneads Ferry fisherman supplied seafood for the war effort, and many volunteered to serve both in the Marine Corps and the United States Navy. After the War, many returned to the trade of fishing and seafood production.
The village of Sneads Ferry has for many years been one of the most productive seafood ports of North Carolina. . The village annually catches over 385 tons of shrimp, 25 tons of flounder, and approximately 493 tons of other seafood like clams, scallops, oysters, mullet, spot, grouper, soft shell and hard shell crabs, sea bass, tuna, and much more. Most of all, Sneads Ferry is known for its Shrimp, which has a unique flavor that many chefs prefer.
Since 1971 Sneads Ferry has had an annual Shrimp Festival to honor the local seafood industry. Thousands come each year to taste the shrimp and enjoy the festival which includes displays, contests, a parade, and even a King and Queen.
Yopps Primitive Baptist Church, located in sneads Ferry has a significant role in both the history of North Carolina, and the village of Sneads Ferry. The current building was built around 1890, replacing the original Yopp's Meeting House believed to have been a log structure built as early as 1813. The 1890 Meeting House is a one-story, rectangular, frame building with a steep, gable-front roof and features Greek Revival style design elements.
Also on the property are two contributing cemeteries, one for white and one for African-American parishioners. Some of the plots are surrounded by iron fencing.
The Yopps Primitive Baptist Church, now known as the Yopps Meeting House was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in the year 1999. It is currently maintained by local volunteers.
William Parker for many years was well known in the Sneads Ferry community as both a businessman, and a friend. He believed in working hard, and that those who helped others helped themselves. William didn’t believe in giving handouts, but he did believe in giving opportunities. If a man was willing to work, William could find him a job. Many of those in business today can attribute their beginning to the push and the tug of William Parker. William loved the Sneads Ferry area. Once after a hurricane left a trail of destruction in the area, William said, “It was just a storm. It won’t keep Sneads Ferry down!” He was right.
Sneads Ferry is a thriving community today with many new businesses, homes, and a rich heritage. The development of Stone Bay by the United States Marine Corps has solidified a vibrant future for Sneads Ferry for many years. to come.
In the year 2014 friends of William Parker met with Kathy S. Parker his widow, and it was decided to establish a fund in his memory. That fund would be used to help others get a start to get on their feet to earn a living. This website was established to help raise finances for that fund by selling advertising and promoting local events. To learn more about the William Parker Fund, click on the "Access Sneads Ferry" tab on the "About Our Area" page.
Copyright 2016 Kathy S. Parker Real Estate