History Live!


Base archaeologist discusses archaeological investigations in training areas aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Ground penetrating radar testing for buried historic features aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Phase I archaeological survey methodology, shovel testing, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Phase I archaeological survey of historic period home site aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Phase II archaeological testing aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
This is one of the artifacts recovered from an archaeology site on MCB Camp Lejeune. Archaeologists carefully note where each artifact comes from in order to better understand the site and context. Photograph by Lance Cpl. Nikki S. Phongsisattanak
Prehistoric shell midden (trash pit) exposed in test unit, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC.
Many types of artifacts are found at MCB Camp Lejeune. These are all historic artifacts recovered from an archaeology site on the base, such as kaolin pipe fragments and ceramics.
Building H1 Main Entrance / Julian C. Smith Hall. Building H1 was built in 1942-43 as U.S. Naval Hospital, New River, and served as the main hospital for all the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune until the Naval Regional Medical Center was opened in 1980. As a hospital, H1 was set at the tip of Hadnot Point, away from the rest of the main station, to prevent the spread of contagious diseases and to buffer the patients from noise.


European contact during the exploring voyage of Giovanni da Verrazzano.


The Naval Store Act of 1704.


Carolina began to lead the world in naval stores production for the next 150 years.


Ennett’s Ferry (now Snead’s Ferry) began operating on the New River.


North and South Carolina become royal colonies.


Formation of Onslow County.


A new courthouse, along with a prison, stocks, and a whipping post, was constructed at what is now Paradise Point (also in present-day Camp Lejeune).


Johnstown, the Precinct’s first county seat, was established on Mittum’s Point, New River (now Town Point).


Milling started to become the principal manufacturing industry in the region.


An estimated 1,400 people lived in the county.

February 1776

The Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge took place during the Revolutionary War.


Dr. William J. Montford, Sr. bought what we now know as Mumford’s Mill. Montford Point, where Dr. Montford built his plantation house in the late 1700s, is now the site of Camp Johnson.


Onslow County’s first post office opened.


Onslow County’s first steam-powered sawmill was built by Christopher Coney.


One of the first institutions of public education in Onslow, a female seminary, was constructed in Jacksonville.


There were more than 8,800 residents in Onslow County.


North Carolina seceded from the United States.


Arrival of the railroad, northern capital—and some from the South—was attracted to Onslow County’s timber resources.


Holly Ridge, which was an insignificant crossroads settlement, became the location of the 3,200-acre Camp Davis.


Throughout 1941 the US Navy conducted appraisals of land and structural property across the area planned for the base, while also documenting and removing hundreds of graves.

February 1941

Camp Lejeune, originally known as Marine Barracks at New River was established.

Construction Officers Inspect Marine Barracks New River
The Construction Officers inspects the progress of buildings at Marine Barracks New River.

April 1941

Initial construction of Camp Lejeune began.

May 1, 1941

LtCol. William P.T. Hill was ordered to establish and assume command of the base, then known as Marine Barracks New River, N.C.

WPT Hill
LtCol W.P.T. Hill, first Commanding Officer  of Marine Barracks New River (May – September 1941).

June 1941

The first African American troops arrived to train at the Montford Point area of Camp Lejeune after Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802.

Maj Sgt Gilbert "Hashmark" Johnson
Sgt. Gilbert “Hashmark” Johnson looking over new recruits at Montford Point, 1943.

September 1941

The 1st Marine Division set up camp in the middle of a sandy pine forest along the Atlantic Seaboard.

Gurganus Farmhouse
The Gurganus Farmhouse, located in the Tent Camp area, was converted for use as the first base headquarters. It was later used as the headquarters for the 1st MarDiv.

Land clearing activities
November 1941 land clearing activities in the area of the “airport,” Peterfield Point.

African American Cemetery
December 1941 image of an African American cemetery located within the periphery of the Marine Barracks. Several such cemeteries existed in the area at the time of the base’s construction. Some graves were moved, while others, such as the Verona Loop Cemetery, were left in situ.


Near the end of 1942, the base took on the name of Camp Lejeune, named in honor of the 13th Commandant and Commanding General of the 2d Army Division in World War I, MajGen. John A. Lejeune.

General John A Lejeune
General John A. Lejeune


Women were trained at the base in nearly all facets of the military (except fighting).

Marine Congresswoman Marine Chase visits
In 1944, Marine Congresswoman Margaret Chase Smith, then the only woman member of the House Naval Affairs Committee, visited the Women Reserves at New River.