About Newport, NC

The Town of Newport was granted a charter from the State of North Carolina on January 30, 1866, but its history begins almost 150 years before that time.    The Newport River which weaves through Carteret County and empties into the Beaufort Inlet, was the highway over which early settlers traveled to the "rich upland country". 

Around the landing at the upper part of the river, the Town of Newport sprang up.  Barges unloaded products destined for the port at Beaufort which included lumber, tobacco and naval stores which shipped from Beaufort to other colonial ports in the West Indies.

In the early part of the 18th century, the settlement was also called Shepardsville, named after a large landowner by the name of Shepard.   The origin of the name “Newport” can be traced to two prevalent theories:  1) the town was called New Port” to distinguish it from the “Old Port “ of Beaufort; and 2) the early influx of Quakers from Rhode Island called the town “Newport” in honor of their native Newport.  

Today, Newport is a close-knit community that maintains it small town charm with a population of about 4,500 residents.     Many of the residents are military families connected to the Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station just 7 miles away in Havelock.    Since Newport is a mere 5 mile drive to Morehead City along Highway 70, it is an attractive destination for those wanting seeking a family friendly community and easy driving distance to the beach.   Residents and visitors enjoy the annual Pig Cooking celebration in the spring and they can discover how soldiers lived during the Civil War at the Newport Historical Association.    

The Town is operated as a council-manager form of government, which includes a mayor, a five member town council and a town manager.    The Town provides police, fire, utilities and public works to its citizens.    There are two schools, operated by Carteret County, located within the Newport jurisdiction:  Newport Elementary School and Newport Middle School.    

Newport – The Town of Old-Fashioned Courtesy