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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Rowdy Town

Posted February 18, 2008 11:55 a.m. EST
Updated February 18, 2008 12:24 p.m. EST

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.