502 Church St. – Emmerton Unitarian School – 1928

Built in 1928, it was purchased by Swansboro United Methodist Church in 1931 and served the congregation until 1968. The auditorium was the town’s first movie cinema.  The building was purchased by the town and operated as Swansboro’s Town Hall from 1968 to 2014.

The Unitarian Woman’s Alliance began educational work in Swansboro in 1905 under the leadership of Miss Lucy Fessenden. In addition to graded school, the school offered kindergarten, a 1500 volume library, vocational training in carpentry and mechanics, music, business and home economics. There were plays, celebrations at holidays, and even the planting of a tree on Arbor Day.

There was much social welfare; a school nurse provided much needed services, and families received aid and assistance in many ways.  A few students were roomed and boarded by the school, and the needy were given scholarships.

Barrels of clothing, household items and books were shipped from Alliance sources in the North by train to Maysville, and then by vehicle to Swansboro.

The school term in 1925 was seven months, October through April. In 1928, out-of-town students also boarded in the Alex Moore house and the Tom Pritchard house on Walnut Street.

The town of Swansboro has leased part of the building to the Swansboro Historical Association for a museum and it is being renovated to present the history of “life along the waterways.” It will be opening for Memorial Day 2017.