Alberta Town History
The history of Alberta reflects transportation that evolved over the centuries. What is now U.S. Highway 1 used to be a well-travelled Native American trading path that turned into a pioneer wagon trail taking people west. Around the turn of the century, train tracks were built enabling goods and raw materials to be produced and shipped to urban areas. The Norfolk Southern and Seaboard Coastline railroad lines crossed in the town of Alberta and a small town blossomed along the tracks.
In 1928, the town of Alberta was incorporated and became a bustling hub of activity with hotels, boarding houses and businesses to service railroad workers and support personnel. A doctor's office and dentist office, along with a drug store, served the community needs. A movie theater was a favorite attraction and the town's elementary through high school system drew students and their parents to weekly activities such as beauty pageants and drama presentations. A farmer's supply store, a hardware store and a funeral parlor were established in the heart of the town.
In 1927-1928 the former Boydton Plank road was engineered and paved creating U.S. Highway 1, a major road linking Maine to Florida. Many people described the town as a little like "Mayberry," the rural village in the popular television series. Restaurants, service stations, tourist cabins and general stores sprang up along the highway and flourished, until the mid 1970's when the interstate system took the majority of the traffic away from the aging three-lane highway. Also in the 1970's, the need for services dwindled as quickly as did those of the family farming population. The railroads pulled up tracks in the mid-1980's and the many dress factories saw revenue drying up and heading south of the border. Like the rest of Brunswick County, the town of Alberta experienced a decrease in population by nearly half in the years between 1950 and 1980. Interest in the town began to diminish as many older residents, who were the "founding fathers", aged and died or moved into nursing homes. Their college-educated children chose not to make Alberta their home mainly for economic and cultural reasons.
However, people are moving away from the golf-course community or the manicured subdivision and a number of people are purchasing pre-existing homes or buying new houses in Alberta to become part of a small rural town where the lifestyle is a little bit slower, the cost of living is lower and the warm climate in this mid-coastal area means lower heating bills. There are also more weeks to enjoy outdoor activities including cooking on the grill, hunting, fishing, and boating on Lake Gaston, only 30 minutes away.