HISTORY: Our “Thousand Acres” – Part 3

By: Sue Engelhardt
Custom Map Creator: Janet Benton

The previous two parts of this History of Our “Thousand Acres” provided historical context regarding our community, but what exactly did the field research uncover in working with the developer of Albemarle Plantation?

All exposed ground surfaces within the fairways and Clubhouse area were inspected for evidence of human occupation, and one site was extensively tested because of its proximity to Yeopim Creek. The researchers concluded that the absence of archaeological sites on the landforms adjacent to the Albemarle Sound and Yeopim Creek is probably due to extreme erosion. Secondary causes may include the lack of easily tillable soils and good drainage, since both prehistoric and historic inhabitants generally preferred to occupy sandy loam soils in similar environments.

Recent developments on this property include a hog farm operated by C. Walton Lane. Additionally, two structures stood on this site, both of which were razed in the early 1980s. There was also a farmstead here that appeared to have been inhabited from the early nineteenth century through the early twentieth (see map). But the researchers found that destruction of surface and subsurface occupational features by natural erosion and human intervention made it impossible for this site to yield significant research information about prehistoric or early historic settlement. The study concluded that construction on the surveyed acres of the proposed Albemarle Plantation tract would have no effect on significant historic properties in the study area.

The completion of the study provided the final approval to start developing our community. The owners/developer, HPB Enterprises, Inc. included Messrs. Hurdle, Perry, and Bosher. The golf course, Clubhouse, and other amenities were finished in 1992 and 1993, while the first homes were built in 1993 and 1994. To-day we have roughly 500 homes and 1153 lots.
The study does not include information on why the tract was called Albemarle Plantation, but it is clear that there is no historical significance to the name. Elwood H. Perry Jr., one of the developers at the time, said there was nothing magic about selecting the name. He wanted to use Albemarle, because of the Sound, and Plantation because it helped identify the community as being in the South and connoted a large tract of land in a farmland area.

Along with exploring the history of our community, it seemed relevant to research other communities that are called plantations, some of which have historical significance. When there is no historical significance, such as with our community, some of those communities have deleted “plantation” from their name. Others have focused on marketing without using the “plantation” part of their name, and still others are not pursuing any change.

History is important. I hope these articles will further our ability as a community to communicate to those who live here now, as well as those who may be considering living here, what our history is all about.