Jacksonville and Onslow County
Situated along the New River next door to Camp Lejeune is the city of Jacksonville in Onslow County. Settled in the early 1700s, Onslow County has a rich and diverse history stemming from the agricultural, timber and fishing pursuits begun by the English and Scottish natives who settled here.
Since 1941 Onslow County has been home to Camp Lejeune Marines and sailors, many of whom relocate here following retirement or discharge. Onslow County offers a wide range of services for service members and their families including a public school system consisting of 19 elementary schools, eight middle schools and seven high schools; Coastal Carolina Community College, which offers programs in general studies, fine arts, natural sciences and technical skills; a public library system with branches throughout the county; a commercial airport served by two major carriers and a 150-bed hospital in Jacksonville. Approximately 152,000 people make up the metropolitan-area population of Jacksonville.
The city is the business, retail, medical, banking and cultural center for Onslow County. Marines, sailors and their families use a wide variety of services provided by the city and join in many community events held there throughout the year. A visible link between Jacksonville and Camp Lejeune is the United Services Organization located near the downtown area along the Jacksonville Waterfront Park. The Jacksonville USO is the oldest continuously operating USO, having been founded in 1941.
Another symbol of this bond is the Beirut Memorial, located off Lejeune Boulevard near Camp Johnson. The Beirut Memorial project was started by a Jacksonville citizens committee to honor the Marines, sailors and soldiers killed in the Oct. 23, 1983 bombing of the Marines Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. Dedicated on the third anniversary of the bombing, this memorial serves as the community’s tribute to those whose lives were taken in Beirut and showcases the close bond shared by Marines and the community here. The Beirut Memorial Observance on Oct. 23 each year provides an opportunity for the community to restate the commitment to “never forget” the sacrifices of the military-connected members of the community.
For families resettling here, Onslow County offers diversity in landscape, people and culture. Part southern and part cosmopolitan, Onslow County has grown and developed with Camp Lejeune. The area welcomes newly arriving Marines, sailors and their families, and Camp Lejeune provides a direct link between community leaders and military personnel through its Marine Corps Liaisons for Government and External Relations, which can be reached at 451-7645 or 451-6945.
Approximately 20 miles south of Jacksonville on U.S. 17, there are nearly 400 businesses based in Holly Ridge, including restaurants, healthcare facilities, construction services and churches. The local police department sponsors a youth league. Each year, the community sponsors the Little Miss Holly Pageant in November, in addition to the Holly Festival during the Christmas holiday season.
In the 1940s, thousands of Army and Navy troops lived at Camp Davis, a military base on U.S. Highway 17. Missile testing on nearby Topsail Island was based at Holly Ridge, and the town was once considered as a possible site for the U.S. space program. The missile project that evolved into the space program moved south to Florida and Holly Ridge secured its place in the history of the U.S. Missile Program.
Located on the White Oak River to the east of Jacksonville is the quaint town of Swansboro. The restored waterfront area is complete with antique shops, arts and crafts stores, and fine seafood restaurants. Swansboro was settled more than 225 years ago as a shipping port and many of the original buildings still stand today. In October of each year the waterfront area comes alive with the sights and sounds of the annual Mullet Festival.
To the northwest of Jacksonville is the farming community of Richlands. Richlands boasts fertile soil that grows its crops of tobacco, corn and cotton. The townspeople celebrate their harvest each September when they get together for some old fashioned fun on Farmer’s Day. Each November, the annual crafts fair and antique auto shows draw people from all over the state.
At Camp Lejeune’s back door, on the New River, is the two-centuries-old fishing community of Sneads Ferry. Each August the community celebrates its fishing heritage with the Shrimp Festival. Sneads Ferry is famous for its wonderful seafood restaurants. The hardiness of the commercial fishermen can be seen at Fulcher’s Landing, where commercial fishermen bring in their catch. Sneads Ferry also boasts one of the finest golf courses in the area and there are several nice residential areas as well.
To the south of the base is the oceanfront community of Topsail Beach. Deriving its name from colonial days when merchant vessels watched for the tops of the sails of pirate ships lurking behind sand dunes, North Topsail Beach offers beach front living for those desiring sand, sun and surf. Numerous condominiums and duplexes have sprung up over recent years along the miles of oceanfront, offering serene conditions for Marines and families living there. In addition to the white-sand beaches, the Topsail area offers other recreational pursuits including some of the best ocean fishing available anywhere. Sport fishermen can choose surf, pier or chartered boats to wet their lines.
Hammock’s Beach State Park
Located to the northeast of and adjacent to Camp Lejeune, between Jacksonville and Swansboro, sits Hammock’s Beach State Park nestled along the Atlantic Ocean and on Bear Island. Recently identified as one of the top beaches nationwide by a research group, Hammock’s Beach looks today as it has for hundreds of years. Lack of commercial development has helped the state park maintain its pristine setting. Access is available by ferry boat, which keeps regular hours during the spring and summer months. Visitors to the island may also take in the sights and sounds of the Marines conducting training from time to time.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION:
Onslow County, the City of Jacksonville and many of the other municipalities in the County share in a special emergency notification system for disasters and community information. The Connect-CTY system can be used by emergency management officials and governments to warn of evacuation plans, emergency closings and other community information. The system can make phone calls, send emails, text messages and provide information to your Facebook or similar social media system. To sign up, go to the Onslow County webpage, www.Onslow Countync.gov, the City of Jacksonville webpage www.ci.jacksonville.nc.us, or call the JacksonvilleCity Hall at 938-5220.
K-12 School Registration
Onslow County Schools – 910-455-2211
Camp Lejeune Dependents Schools – 910-451-2461
USMC K-12 School Liaison – 910-449-9915
Students must turn five by August 31st to enroll in Onslow County Schools or Sept. 1st to attend Camp Lejeune Dependents Schools. Families must live on base to be eligible for attendance in base schools. Some students may qualify to attend while the family awaits quarters. Students who were already attending an accredited public kindergarten in another state, may enroll in either system regardless of birthdate.
Water and Sewer Services
Many homes are on public systems and the two largest are the City of Jacksonville and Onslow Water and Sewer Authority. Some systems are privately operated and who to call depends on who operates the system.
Water and Sewer services within the City of Jacksonville can be obtained by visiting the JacksonvilleCity Hall at 815 New Bridge Street. If you are moving to the area and want to start setting up items earlier, please call 910 938-5248 and we’ll help facilitate your move to our community. You can start the process online, and the city has special provisions for persons who are deployed or moving to the area and need to set up service before they arrive. The city also has systems to pay your bill online.
City of Jacksonville
Water and Sewer services within the City of Jacksonville can be obtained by visiting the Jacksonville City Hall at 815 New Bridge Street. If you are moving to the area and want to start setting up items earlier, please call 938-5248 and we’ll help facilitate your move to our community. The city also has systems to pay your bill online.
Onslow Water and Sewer Authority
Water and swer service with ONWASA may be established online, in person at 228 Georgetown Road or by mail. Forms may be downloaded at www.onwasa.com or you may call 910 455-0722 for more information
Bicycle registration to help prevent loss is voluntary within the city limits and may be obtained from the Jacksonville Police Department on Marine Boulevard weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Call 455-1472.
The Onslow County Library is located on Doris Avenue East and is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 455-7350 for information. The library also has a community information line 455-7353.
The Jacksonville Daily News, located on Bell Fork Road, is published mornings, seven days a week. Home delivery is available and the office is open weekdays, 8 a.m. to noon. Call 353-1171.
The Wilmington Morning Star is published each morning, including Sunday.
The Raleigh News and Observer can be reached at (800) 365-6115.
North Carolina driver’s licenses may be obtained at the Highway Patrol Station on U.S. 17 South. The office is open weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 347-3613.
Vehicle License Plates
North Carolina vehicle license plates and titles are available from the agency’s office, located at 901 Hargett St., weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 347-1000 for more information. It is important to note the office services a large number of patrons from all over Onslow County. Military paydays and the last week of each month are the busiest and people can avoid long lines by avoiding these times.
Garbage, Trash and Recycling Pick Up
Within Jacksonville city limits, garbage, yard waste and recycling is picked up weekly. Call Jacksonville City Hall, 938-5338, for schedules, which are dependent upon where you live in the city.
The Onslow Memorial Hospital is located on Western Boulevard across from Jacksonville Mall. Visiting hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Call 577-2345.
Jacksonville City Hall
The City Hall is located at 815 New Bridge Street. All city offices are open weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 938-5200.
Jacksonville Fire Departments
The Jacksonville Fire Department has four fire stations that are located in and respond to fires within the city limits of Jacksonville. To report a fire anywhere in the city limits of Jacksonville, call 9-1-1; for information call 455-8080.
Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce
Founded in 1944 on the philosophy of providing service to both people and businesses in the community, the Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce has grown and adapted with the city. The chamber’s vision is to be recognized as a model in building collaborative partnerships that encourage business growth and sustainable community development. The chamber’s mission is to be the voice of business in collaborative partnerships that work to build and enhance a healthy business climate and vibrant quality of life. Various committees meet different needs and these committees comprised of chamber members have formed the cornerstone of the chamber’s success. The chamber committees include:
• Ambassadors Club
• Business Expo
• Education Committee
• Education Golf Tournament
• Governmental Affairs Small Business Council
• Steering Committee
• Holiday Parade
• Leadership Advisory
• Leadership Association
• Military Affairs
• Military Affairs Steering Committee
• Spelling Bee
For more information, contact:
Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce
1099 Gum Branch Road
Phone 347-3141 or Fax 347-4705 or visit http://www.jacksonvilleonline.org/
Jacksonville has an extensive recreation and park system. Recreation programs include athletics for youth and adults, as well as camping, classes, fun activities and programs for seniors and special populations. Many programs are open to non-city residents and many can be signed up for online at www.ci.jacksonville.nc.us or by calling 910 938-5312.
Anyone can ride Jacksonville transit. Routes run around the City and include Camp Johnson, Courthouse Bay, French Creek and the New River Air Station. If you need a ride or more information, call 910 938-RIDE (7433).
Onslow County Fire Departments
Onslow County has numerous volunteer/combination fire departments. This also includes the incorporated areas of HollyRidge, NorthTopsailBeach, Maysville, Richlands, and Swansboro. For information requests, contact Onslow County Emergency Management at 347-4270. Report fires or request emergency assistance in Onslow County by dialing 9-1-1.
Onslow County Museum
Located at Hargett and Wilmington Streets in nearby Richlands, the Onslow County Museum offers exhibits of general nature to include fine art. The exhibits change every two months and there is no admission charge. Business hours are daily, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 324-5008 for information.
Onslow County Sheriff’s Department
The Sheriff’s Office is located across from the Onslow County Court House at 701 Mill Ave. Their emergency number is 9-1-1. Call the administration office at 455-3113 for more information.
Applications for telephone service are taken by phone. Please call 347-9011 to apply. A deposit may be required unless credit can be established.
Progress Energy Carolinas
Arrangements for electric service can be made by calling (800) 452-2777. Jones-Onslow Electric Membership Corp. can be reached at 259 Western Boulevard or by calling 353-1940.
Information on Boy Scouts may be obtained by calling 451-2276 or 450-0079. Information on Girl Scouts may be obtained by calling the Onslow County Girl Scout Representative at 265-9086. The Girl Scout Council of Coastal Carolina can be contacted at (800) 558-9297.
The Social Security Office is located at 2836 Neuse Boulevard, New Bern, N.C. However, a representative of the office visits the Onslow County Council on Aging every Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 346-5816; (252) 637-1703 or (800) 772-1213.
The Onslow County Social Services Office, located at 1915 Onslow Drive, is open weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, call 455-4145. For details concerning Medicaid, Aid to Families with Children or food stamps, call 455-1603.
State Highway Patrol
The Highway Patrol Office is located on U.S. 17 and is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 347-1751. During evenings or on weekends, patrol officers can be reached through the Jacksonville Police Department 455-1472 or the Sheriff’s Office 455-3113.
USO of North Carolina
The USO of North Carolina Jacksonville center, located at 9 Tallman St. in downtown Jacksonville, has been serving the Marines and sailors of Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River since April 1942. It has been devoted to enhancing the quality of life for United States Armed Forces personnel and their families and creating a cooperative relationship between the military community and the supporting civilian community. The Jacksonville USO is a recreational facility equipped with regulation size pool tables, ping-pong tables, a video arcade and three TV rooms with DVD and video libraries. A full-service snack bar makes the best milk shakes in town to compliment our great chili-cheese fries. There is a large auditorium perfect to hold unit functions and Key Volunteers activities. Our cyber café boosts 10 free, Internet-linked computers. The Jacksonville USO is the oldest continuously operating USO in the world. They service more than 75,000 service members, their families and retirees annually. Outreach programs there range from a free food pantry to deployment care packages and rack packs for our returning warriors. During the winter holiday months, particularly Thanksgiving and Christmas, the USO serves a free holiday feast to an attendance ranging from 600 to more than 2,000. The center hours (every day of the year) are Monday through Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
In August 2004, the USO of North Carolina opened its first satellite center at the Raleigh-DurhamInternationalAirport. Located on the second floor of Terminal A, the center offers a southern hospitality with overstuffed recliners to relax in while watching the large screen TV, a children’s area, a cyber café with free Internet access and a kitchenette with free snacks and beverages. The RDU center hours are 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., every day of the year. More information about the USO can be obtained at 455-3411.