Beaufort County, sitting on the Pamlico River, was founded in 1712 with Washington as the county seat. Beaufort County covers an area of 959 sq. miles. The US Navy had at one time thought about placing an Outlying Landing Field in Beaufort County, however the residents rejected the idea and protested about it strongly. Finally on January 22, 2008 an announcement was made that the Navy had abandoned the idea along with several other areas they had previously considered in NC. Two other sites in NC are being considered which are Sandbanks in Gates County and Hales Lake in Camden/Currituck counties.
Beaufort County was named in honor of Henry Somerset, Duke of Beaufort, and is one of the oldest of North Carolina’s counties. Beaufort was a much larger county, but in 1760, the western portion was re-established as Pitt County. The town of Bath, which was the old county seat, was left as a sleepy little area with not much progress, so the Court House was moved to its new location and that is when Washington became the county seat of Beaufort County.
Beaufort County is comprised of the following communities Aurora, Bath, Belhaven, Chocowinity, Pantego, Washington and Washington Park. The population growth of Beaufort County has been about 25% in the last three decades of the 1900’s. Most of the residents of Beaufort are of German and Irish descendants.