CARROT ISLAND ... Did you know that Carrot Island was noted and spelled "Carrot" on Moseley's 1733 map? Pretty much negates the "Cart Island" tale. (Perhaps some locals mispronounced "Carrot," thus the beginning of the tale of how the name evolved.) This 1854 map labeled the channel that flowed from the downtown waterfront to south of Carrot Island as "Carrot Island Channel." Before the channel and Taylor's Creek were dredged, Taylor's Creek was literally a stream between the eastern half of Beaufort and the then Carrot Island marshes (see 1888 map). My theory?...I think Carrot Island may have been named for its shape at the time.
Today TOWN MARSH, the island just across Taylor's Creek from the town docks, parallels the Beaufort waterfront and extends to incorporate about one third, or the western end, of the original Carrot Island. Today, Carrot Island is located across from the eastern half of the Taylor's Creek waterfront. The "cut" between the islands, Deep Creek, is located about half way down Front Street, near Carrot Island Lane.
In 1893 the citizens of Beaufort asked the federal government to build a breakwater on Town Marsh to protect the channel along the town's waterfront. The request was denied, but in the early 1900s the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers began dredging the mouth of Taylor's Creek, using Town Marsh and Carrot Island as dredge material deposition areas.
Before the dredging, these islands were essentially all tidal marsh with some elevated hammock land. By the 1930s the islands had been built up by the dredge material deposition to the point that they provided protection for the town from high winds, flooding and storm waves. The Corps of Engineers continued to utilize the islands as deposition sites for local dredging projects and maintain rights for this purpose today.