Early 20th Century Boardwalk - Beaufort, North Carolina

Born in the Allen Davis House

Allen Davis House circa 1774
Below is an excerpt from Francis Borden Mace's 8-page introduction (Fond Memories of Life in Beaufort) of Mary Warshaw's book, Historic Beaufort, North Carolina - A Unique Coastal Village Preserved:

"...Our large rented house at 120 Queen Street, home to Davis ancestors for decades, was a child's paradise. Less than a block from the water, it had a screened-in upstairs sleeping porch and swinging hammock just for kids! The dirt basement was over five feet high with a brick fireplace in the center that extended up through the two-story house. I loved hiding in the long unused lower fireplace during "hide and seek" games. The yard went back forever and included pecan, walnut, fig, pear and peach trees, with a scuppernong grape arbor at rear, surrounded by more than a dozen plum trees.

"At nine years of age after eating green grapes for an hour sitting alone on the very top of the arbor,  I developed a severe stomach ache. After Mother’s 'I told you so,' and hours of increasing pain, Daddy drove us to the hospital in Morehead City to see Dr. Ben Royal, who opened Morehead City's first hospital in 1911. As we crossed a railroad track while I was sitting as close to Mother as I possibly could, I heard her tell Daddy that something ruptured. She did not have to tell me, I knew. I stayed in the hospital for three months with tubes coming out of my stomach for drainage. The kids in my school prayed for me and eventually I was back on my feet. I have not eaten green grapes since..."  

1832 Davis-Mace House and the Mace Family

In 1832, Henry Marchant Cooke and Samuel Leffers Dill deeded to Dill "with privileges and appurtenances." John Philpot Currin Davis gained deed to the house in 1845. In 1852, John willed to wife Charity Bell; legal heirs were the Davis daughters. After widow Elizabeth B. Davis (Lindsay) died in 1930, William Arendell Mace, wife Maybelle Carrow and children moved into the house. Both families have deep roots in early coastal North Carolina and Beaufort history.

Born about 1700, Francis Mace moved south from Nansemond County, Virginia, and married Anne Newby (1708-1752) at the Symons Creek Monthly Meeting in Pasquotank County, NC. Francis was probably a son of Elizabeth Mace, from the Chuckatuck Monthly Meeting in the southern part of Nansemond County, who was widowed by 1702.  This Quaker group was experiencing a surge of members, arriving from Cumberland County, England as recounted by missionaries in 1698. Francis and Anne Mace had six children, born between 1729 and 1748. Francis died about a year after his last child Francis was born. The elder Francis' will was proven 1 Aug 1749 at "Eden House" on Salmon Creek, Edenton.  MORE...

Great Grandparents - William Cramer and Mary Champlin

"On October 9, 1913, my father, William Arendell Mace, married Maybelle Kaiser Carrow. My grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Cramer, who married Nathan Lafayette 'Nat' Carrow in 1890, was born in 1857 to Dr. William Cramer and Mary Elizabeth Champlin. Born in Rhinebeck, Duchess County, New York, Great-Grandfather Cramer came to Beaufort about 1853 from Portsmouth Village where he had served the 'Marine Hospital of Portsmouth.' In 1854, after many love letters 'sailed' north to Mary Elizabeth Champlin, William Cramer, without mincing words, wrote of finding Beaufort a very pleasing coastal village 'to raise a family.' 


Converted courthouse at 401 Ann Street (1970 photo) Later
moved to Restoration Grounds and restored to 1796 Courthouse
"Dr. Crammer immediately returned to Duchess County to make her his bride and made the arduous but exciting return to quiet little Beaufort, with which he had fallen in love. By way of a Conestoga covered wagon, Great-Grandmother Mary Elizabeth Champlin Cramer brought with her a prized possession, an early American childhood rocker to start housekeeping in the old 1796 courthouse, purchased for $325 and thereafter converted into a home.

"Dr. Cramer soon added an apothecary next to the house. Becoming involved in the community, in 1855 he was one of a dozen citizens who helped organize St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

"After years away, Mary Elizabeth's rocker is now located on the Restoration Grounds where it belongs—there with the 1796 Courthouse and 1859 Apothecary." - Borden Mace

1928 Bridge to Atlantic Beach and the Casino Resort


"My father, William Arendell Mace (1875-1933), ran Gaskill-Mace Hardware and was president at Bank of Beaufort and Taylor's Creek Fish Scrap and Oil Co. As president of the Atlantic Beach Bridge Corporation, he helped oversee the building of the 1928 bridge from Morehead City to Bogue Banks, and then managed the Atlantic Beach Casino and Resort. I have good memories of the days when Daddy was involved with the bridge. It was a wooden toll bridge, but we never had to pay, even for the bath houses on the beach. At about seven years of age, I won a prize for best male boy dancer when Paul Whiteman, the "King of Jazz" at the time, was playing at the Casino on a stormy night, and I was the only child, there with my father." - Borden Mace

My Best Friend in Beaufort - Taylor O'Bryan

305 Ann Street - Beaufort, NC
Home of  Taylors and O'Bryans
"My best friend growing up in Beaufort was Taylor O'Bryan. He was the grandson of "Ma and Pa" Taylor, easily the matriarch and patriarch of our village. In 1935, Taylor and I made the front page of The Beaufort News with our newsstand on wheels, "You name it—we have it." As Beaufort's youngest businessmen, we would push our stand to the sidewalk in front of every place that sold papers or magazines, until we had a monopoly in town and took orders for shipment Down East! We even had an office with one desk and two chairs. 

"Taylor and I rode our bikes to Core Creek and also camped on Ocracoke Island. We spent some summers with his mother in Rutherford, New Jersey. Money was short, so we limited our bus trips into New York City to twice a week. We took the first bus and paid a quarter each at the Paramount Theater for a 9am film followed by, say, Frank Sinatra with Tommy Dorsey's Band as a stage show. At 2:30, we would sit in Seventh Heaven's second-balcony seats with our heads hitting the ceiling to see Julie Harris, Ethel Waters and Brandon deWilde in Carson McCuller’s Member of the Wedding. At 8pm we might see Laurette Taylor in Tennessee William's The Glass Menagerie! Little did I know that years later I would meet Tennessee Williams and help produce his film version of The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone with Vivien Leigh and Warren Beatty.

World War II Draft Card
"During WWII, on his very first war-time mission flying in the Pacific, Taylor O'Bryan was listed as "missing in action." I lost my best friend. A marker in St. Paul's Episcopal Church Cemetery in Beaufort memorizes him."  - Borden Mace

Nelson Taylor O'Bryan (1921-1946) was son of Elizabeth S. Taylor (1887-1972) and Allen O'Bryan, and grandson of Mary Catherine Buckman (1860-1965) and Nelson Whitford Taylor (1856-1948).

Mace Family Friends - The Dickinsons

Fairleigh Stanton Dickinson Sr.
1866-1948

"Fairleigh Stanton Dickinson Sr., of Core Creek, was one of Daddy's closest friends. He came into Daddy's office and said, "Will, I don't think I'll ever get anywhere looking at the asshole of a mule for the rest of my life." My father helped Fairleigh purchase a small sailing vessel, which he used to transport watermelons to Norfolk through the newly opened canal. Fairleigh made enough money to go to New York. Later, on a train west he met Henry Becton from Kinston. They got off the train in Cleveland, returned to Rutherford, New Jersey and started Becton-Dickinson Medical Supplies, which soon became a Fortune 500 company.

"Fairleigh and wife Grace had one son, Fairleigh Stanton "Dick" Dickinson, Jr., who was my age. The family regularly spent summers in Beaufort at the Davis House or the Inlet Inn and were guests in our home. During the 1932 polio epidemic in New Jersey, Mr. Dickinson called my father and asked, "Will, can Dick come live with you and attend Beaufort High School during this epidemic?" Dick left the New York Military Academy at Croton-on-Hudson for our public school. Mother converted our library-music room into a bedroom, which meant our only downstairs toilet was no longer ours—it was a private bath for the new member of our family, at least for a while.

Headstone - F.S. Dickinson Jr.
1919-1996
Tower Hill Cemetery
Edgartown, Massachusetts
"Daddy gave Dick his first boat with a big Evinrude outboard motor. We went everywhere in this boat. As the sun came up, we would be on our way to catch the blues while they were running near the stone jetties off Shackelford Banks this side of Beaufort Inlet. With simple silver plugs just above the hook, on regular cotton line, without rod and reel, we could easily land hundreds of fish in less than an hour as the blues tried to feed on jumping minnows that filled the water for a brief period. Dick was always the "Captain" and I was "First Mate."

"Over the years it was Dick's Daddy, Col. Dickinson, who gave his son bigger and bigger boats. By the mid 1930s, they included a 56-foot Matthews motor yacht named Tar Heel, of Beaufort, N.C. (When war came, Dick turned his boat over to the Coast Guard and he commanded a cutter which led the way onto the beaches off Guadalcanal.) For the rest of the 1930s we extended our playgrounds to Havana, Key West and Bimini in the British West Indies. We also helped start big game fishing in the Gulf Stream, using rods and reels in Carteret County, just 35 miles off Beaufort Inlet and Cape Lookout."
- Borden Mace

Graduation from UNC and World War II

Senior Photo - UNC 1941
Borden Mace graduated from the University of North Carolina in the spring of 1941, and started graduate work in philosophy. 

In September 1941, a few months before Pearl Harbor, Mace volunteered for the Navy. Due to his experience in the visual arts as an assistant at the Bureau of Visual Instruction at UNC, Mace was assigned by the Navy to help organize the training films office, and he served as officer in charge for procurement during World War II, during which time some 5,000 training films and filmstrips were created. Later as photographic and photo-intelligence officer on the USS Bennington, Mace flew over Tokyo on the Navy's first bombing raid on February 22, 1945. Mace was present at Japan's formal surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945. 

 
See a few of Mace's favorite film projects below.