503 Water Street

While not listed as “Contributing” in the National Register due to numerous changes, this house’s contribution to the early 20th century fabric of Swansboro is clear, due to the integration of one of the period’s largest fishing families with one of the most well known merchants. Its location is the colorfully known “Smokey” area of Water Street where James E. Parkins, merchant lived with his family including three daughters, Bessie, Nellie and Nita who married three sons of Ed and Branca Littleton living at the east end of Elm Street, Jim, Dick and John.

John ran his fishing business on the shore behind the house. John and Bessie had two children: Bessie (known as “Little Bessie”) married Louis Darmo, and John Jr., who never married. They all lived in this house, with “Little Bessie” and family taking care of her sick brother, her family consisting of Louis and two sons: Edward Samuel and Louis James. James (Jimmy) still lives in the house making this one of few older homes owned and occupied by an original owner’s heir