Reopening

The Morehead City Curb Market at 1211 Evans St. will reopen this weekend for the first time since sustaining heavy damage when Hurricane Florence made landfall last September. (Dylan Ray photo)

MOREHEAD CITY — Months after Hurricane Florence caused it to shut its doors, the Morehead City Curb Market is finally opening, just in time for this year’s market season.

The market will open for the year at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Much like other places in the county, when Hurricane Florence hit last September the Curb Market was badly damaged.

“The tables and chairs that were on the inside were damaged. We had one table that can be saved. Everything else had to be thrown out,” said Angela Davis with the Crab Point Women’s Extension Club, the group which runs the market. “The walls were buckled. The ceilings were buckled. Everything inside was damaged. We lost the fridge and the radio. We lost everything that was inside… ribbons for years past, plaques, pictures. Everything had mold on it and had to be thrown out. The mold was so bad.”

The women’s extension went before the county seeking help with money for the repairs.

The county fronted the bill, giving the Curb Market $83,000. The women’s extension also held fundraisers to replace the market’s tables.

The county hired Streamline Developers to work on the market facility, and it is nearly complete.

According to Ms. Davis, the buckled boards were taken out and replaced. The floors were sanded and refinished.

“We still hope to do fundraisers for the upgrades for the electrical work to put a hot water heater and heating and air conditioning,” Ms. Davis said. “We also want to put electrical outlets on the outside.”

Ms. Davis said the group will have to go back before county commissioners for more assistance.

“We would like to thank Gene Foxworth, Rodney Cahoon, Ray Farmum (and) all county workers who have been working with Streamline Developers to get the work done,” Ms. Davis said.

While the market will be open and ready for the season Saturday, the building still needs finishing touches. The market will be set up outside on the porch and under the building’s awning.

Ms. Davis said the inside of the building should be completely ready for the Memorial Day weekend market.

“As soon as we start putting tables in, we will be back inside and ready to roll,” she said.

Though Hurricane Florence caused significant damage to the market site, the market is still considered the longest-running curb market in the state since it was able to open in time for the market season in May.

“Opening this month still keeps us in line for being the longest-running curb market in the state of North Carolina,” Ms. Davis said.  “We are still keeping the tradition up.”

As for the market’s season, Ms. Davis said plans are underway.

“We are going to stay open through Christmas. We have activities planned and they will be announced,” she said.

“We will be doing every Saturday and one Friday night out of each month.”

She also said holiday weekends, such as Memorial Day and Fourth of July, will include special market hours Friday-Sunday.

The market will also open for an entire weekend during special events, such as the N.C. Seafood Festival.

The curb market has a long and colorful history in the county, according to a timeline provided by the women’s extension.

The original Morehead City Curb Market opened on 12th Street on the south side of Arendell Street May 16, 1931.

On Sept. 4, 1939, the Carteret County Board of Commissioners ordered the purchase of two lots for $500 from Duffy Wade for the construction of a curb market.

Then, Jan. 8, 1942, the commission agreed to endorse a bank note for $800, secured by the Carteret County Home Demonstration Clubs, to permit construction. Loan proceeds were combined with club funds to purchase materials. County or N.C. Cooperative Extension funds were not used for the construction project.

On March 2, 1942, county commissioners unanimously resolved two lots on the southeast corner of Evans Street and 13th Street “be dedicated to the exclusive use and control of the said Home Demonstration Club for the purpose of erecting a building or curb market… the said club shall have full use and enjoyment of said lots as fully as if the title to same were actually vested in same club.”

In the spring of 1942, Robert Laughton, Harvey Joslyn and other volunteers constructed the curb market facility.

On May 20, 1942, the curb market building opened for business under the management of volunteer members of the Home Demonstration Club.

In the spring of 1947, a bathroom and small kitchenette were added to the building.

On May 6, 1947, the Home Demonstration Club incorporated the Extension Homemaker Club, which included a name change. Then, Sept. 5, 2000, the Extension Homemaker Club became the Crab Point Extension and Community Association.

On Sept. 14, 2017, the Crab Point ECA assumed full and sole responsibility for operation of the curb market.

Contact Megan Soult at 252-726-7081, ext. 228; email megan.soult@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @meganCCNT.

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