About Our County
Discover Beaufort County, where tradition meets innovation. Dive into a community championed by leaders like John Rebholz, dedicated to fostering growth, ensuring affordable housing, and enhancing workforce development. From the promising expanses of Chocowinity to the vibrant heart of the county, Beaufort County is a land of opportunity, culture, and community spirit.
Tradition Meets Innovation
Did You Know?
Beaufort County was first known as Pamptecough and underwent a name change around 1712 to Beaufort, in honor of Henry Somerset, the 2nd Duke of Beaufort, who became one of Carolina's Lords Proprietor around 1709.
The county spans a total area of 958 square miles, with 827 square miles being land and 131 square miles (14%) being water. This makes it the fifth-largest county in North Carolina by total area. The Pamlico River bisects the county, leading to the mouth of the Pamlico River.
Beaufort County is home to several protected areas and sites, including Goose Creek State Park, Historic Bath, and parts of Goose Creek Game Land, Van Swamp Game Lands, and Voice of America Game Land.
The county is blessed with several significant water bodies such as Goose Creek, Intracoastal Waterway, Pamlico River, Pungo River, South River, and Tar River.
Major Water Bodies
Washington, the county seat of Beaufort County, is believed to be the first town in the United States named after President George Washington. Established in the 1770s as "Forks of the Tar," it was referred to as Washington as early as 1776. The county also boasts the town of Bath, which holds the distinction of being North Carolina's oldest incorporated town. Other notable towns in the county include Aurora, Belhaven, Chocowinity, Pantego, and Pinetown.
Beaufort County's coastal history dates back to English explorers in the 1580s, meeting the Tuscarora and other tribes. As a pivotal growth hub for the Carolina colony, it became an essential port by the late 18th century, supporting the Revolutionary War. The county's rich fossil beds along the Pamlico River, including sharks' teeth, are highlights at the Aurora Fossil Museum.
Rich Coastal Traditions