There are many places on or near the coast of North or South Carolina where there is lots of interesting history to be discovered, and one of those places is the little tiny town of Bath North Carolina, the very first town of any size in North Carolina, and certainly the first village of any importance in N.C. And both this town, and the plantation we will be viewing in the next post are connected with my Methodists– in particular Bath is connected with George Whitfield, and Hopsewee Plantation is a place Francis Asbury visited and stayed at. The famous story about Bath and Whitfield is that he came to town to discover a revival meeting was going on, and when he was not invited to preach at it, he literally shook the dust off of Bath off his feet and cursed the city, saying it would never prosper and remain tiny forever. Well. we can debate the prosperity issue, but certainly Bath has always been tiny, today with only about 300 permanent residents. It is a town on the Pamlico River and Sounds, east of Washington about 15 miles.
The history of Bath is colorful in various ways, so let’s start with a bit more about it’s religious history. Episcopalians and French Huguenots were the first settles, the latter arriving to escape from persecution in France. Here are some shots of the first church built here, St. Thomas (Episcopal or Anglican). Interestingly the first pastor was Hispanic, presumably from the Caribbean, like various of the pirates who lived here. As the first picture of the church shows there was a small graveyard, but Huguenots would not be buried here, and we will see another one in the next post.