Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Rowdy Town

Posted February 18, 2008

Have you ever heard of Snatchette, NC? It used to be a town. Well, actually it still is but it’s not called Snatchette anymore.

Turn back the clock to the 1870’s in Duplin County. Lumbering and farming were two of the major industries. Turpentine was produced here as well but as local historians say it “wasn’t the only liquid being distilled” in Duplin County.

Corn liquor or moonshine was a thriving business. After a day of hard labor in the lumber mills and on the farms residents would partake of this primitive but powerful libation. Historians say corn liquor made people so rowdy they would “snatch at each other’s clothes” sometimes tearing and ripping the garments. As a result the area around present day Beulaville was nicknamed Snatchette and Tearshirt. When a post office was opened in 1873 Snatchette became the official name of the community.

But postmistress Ida Sandlin detested the name “Snachette.” She persuaded town leaders to rename the community after Beulah Baptist Church. Thus, Beulahville was born. It is still Duplin County’s youngest town.

What other interesting town stories are out there across North Carolina? Please share.


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  • maeveduir Feb 19, 2008

    Seems bootlegging might have a lot to do with nc names. Local example is catsburg (anyone remember the old general store?). It got is name from sheriff Belvin- nicknamed "Cat" for his ability to sneak up on bootleggers/moonshiners in the 20's.

  • baileysmom3 Feb 19, 2008

    i always enojy telling people I am driving through Middlesex. Or I just got passed Lizzard Lick.

  • baileysmom3 Feb 19, 2008

    duplin county is also the producer of duplin wine made from the scuppernog grape.

  • Celt Feb 18, 2008

    I love this blog! I think it is so fascinating to learn about the highways and byways of my home, and the comments by bloggers are always sure to give a laugh! Thank you all!

  • justmark Feb 18, 2008

    Or Middlesex????

  • 2thebeach Feb 18, 2008

    Using that logic, what did the Lizard Lick?

  • no more - no less Feb 18, 2008

    Legend had it that the town of Shallotte was named after the wild shallots that grew there when the town was settled.

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