Visit a potential capital city cursed to remain a small village

The tiny village of Bath on the Pamlico River was founded in the 1690s. As North Carolina’s first incorporated town, first port of entry and home to the state’s oldest church, it should have eventually become the state capital. Unfortunately, when the town’s founding fathers unceremoniously asked traveling evangelist George Whitefield to leave, he cursed the town, saying it would forever remain a small village. After its promising beginning, Bath was plagued by political rivalries, epidemics, Indian wars and natural disasters, and eventually a better port was opened farther up the river in Washington. To this day, Bath remains a small village. But this “curse” in many ways is a blessing as the town still has its historic charm and visitors can walk in the steps of Bath residents the famous pirate Blackbeard on part of Blackbeard’s Pirate Trail. The original town limits is now a National Historic District and the Bath Historic Site features presentations on the community’s history and Blackbeard’s time in Bath. Bath has other legends to explore, including Teach’s Light and the Mysterious Hoofprints, and also is the site that inspired the bestselling novel and musical Show Boat.

Bath, North Carolina

Bath, NC

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