Oak City, NC
With the establishment of the "Goose Nest" post
office in 1888, this community - which began in the early 1880s as a
small, rural trading center around a collection of farmhouses - received
its first official name. In 1905 the town's name was changed to Oak City
because a town citizen visiting Raleigh saw "Oak City Laundry" on a
delivery wagon and liked the name enough to urge the General Assembly to
effect the change.
With farmers and traders attracted by the new Wilmington and Weldon
Railroad service, Oak City enjoyed dramatic and steady growth during the
early 20th century. By 1910 the population had more than doubled to 251
residents, and the town's educational and religious offerings expanded
to meet the growing needs of this area. While commercial activity
included a number of general stores and boarding houses, the industrial
activity consisted of saw and planing mills, as well as a grist mill.
The proliferation of the automobile after the 1910s, accompanied by
improvements in the county's roads, brought significant changes to Oak
City. Residents were now able to visit larger towns, so merchants
gradually reduced their offerings to cover the basic needs of locals.
The end of passenger rail service in 1939 brought about an end to that
chapter of town history. Today, the town remains a strong community in
northwestern Martin County, with NC 125, NC 11 and NC 42 converging to
bring visitors through town. St. Mark's Missionary Baptist Church,
organized in 1883 as the 1st church for African-Americans in Goose Nest
Township, is also located in the Oak City area but underwent
considerable remodeling in 1968.
In addition to a number of local convenience shops and businesses, Oak
City is proud to have a Senior Center which draws seniors from the
surrounding communities to come together to eat daily and enjoy a
variety of other social activities. Oak City has also recently acquired
two full EMTs who partner with the Hamilton community to provide local
Oak City's two community events that occur annually include a 4th July
gathering at the Towns Commons and a Christmas parade which has a large