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Oriental

Oriental is one of nine incorporated municipalities in Pamlico County, North Carolina, USA. The population was 900, according to the 2010 census. It is part of the New Bern, North Carolina Micropolitan Statistical Area.HistoryThe area was settled by Native Americans, who fished and farmed in the creeks and river long before Europeans arrived. Today, fewer than 1 percent of the town's residents are Native American. Land records date grants from the King of England to colonial farmers, and several current residents of the area can trace their family’s genealogy to these times. The area was the haunt of pirates in the early days of European dominance. The famous pirate Edward Teach or Blackbeard made his home in Bath to the North of Oriental. The Midgettes (also Midyettes) and other old families that still have descendants in the town came much later, in the late 19th century.The town of Oriental was named after the Sailing Steamer Oriental. Built in Philadelphia in 1861, the ship was used as a Federal transport ship in the Civil War. She met her fate a year after being launched, run aground in May 1862, when she was wrecked off Bodie Island, 33 miles north of Cape Hatteras. Her passengers and crew were saved.The United States Post Office Department established a post office in 1886 in what had been called Smith's Creek. Lou Midyette was named postmaster. Postmaster Midyette's wife, Rebecca, thought the village needed a better name. One story says that she had found the nameplate from the wrecked sailing steamer Oriental on the beaches of the Outer Banks and thought that name was more suitable. Another version of the story says she just saw the nameplate in a Manteo home. Either way the name “Oriental” made an impression on her. The village became known as Oriental a few years after the post office was established and was incorporated in 1899.
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