Forgotten Brick Roads of Eastern North Carolina

Over one hundred years ago, many roads in Eastern North Carolina were paved in brick.  Due to the poor soil quality found throughout the state's coastal areas, a brick road was the preferred method for hard surface roads in the early 20th century.  Swamps, bogs, and poor soil made automobile - and even horse and wagon - travel in the early 1900s, costly, messy, and time-consuming.  Brick roads improved the comfort of travel and more importantly, significantly reduced the time to go from point A to point B or farm to market.

Many brick roads were nine feet in width and constructed in the 1910s.  As innovation in highway building improved, reforms to state highway funding, and increased automobile traffic occurred in the 1920s and 30s - many of these brick roads were quickly outdated.  Straighter alignments on wider and safer highways regulated many of these early roads to secondary and later long-forgotten status.  Over time, many of these brick roads were paved and widened themselves.  Other pieces were reclaimed by nature.

Fortunately, a few remaining pieces of these early highways are still navigable today. 


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