….a nautically themed gastropub honoring Burnsville’s namesake, Captain Otway Burns, and his heroic efforts aboard his ship, the Snap Dragon, during the War of 1812.
Captain Burns began his career carrying cargo on his merchant ship from North Carolina all the way to Portland, Maine. He became known as a skilled and very reliable seaman, transporting goods to and from ports all along the Eastern seaboard. When war broke out with England in 1812, Captain Burns felt compelled to help his struggling country. He converted his merchant ship to a fighting craft and received our government’s permission to seek out and disrupt British merchant ships as a privateer.
He named his new ship the Snap Dragon.
Throughout the war Captain Burns successfully eluded British war ships while he attacked and confiscated the goods from many British merchant ships. These raids occurred mostly in the West Indies, but occasionally required sailing past the equator to South America. Otway Burns and his crew often exchanged cannon and gunfire with enemy ships, but with skill and courage, Burns and his crew came out on top each time, seizing multiple British ships and taking prisoners and goods.
After the successful conclusion of the War of 1812, Captain Burns settled down in his hometown, Beaufort, NC, where he built a brick factory to supply bricks to Fort Macon, a salt factory, and even a small-town tavern. He also designed one of North Carolina’s first steamships. Afterward, he ran for office and was elected to the NC legislature. Otway Burns supported opening the western part of North Carolina to transportation, commerce and the establishment of counties and townships. The town of Burnsville was named in his honor as a result of Captain Burns’ dedication to true statesmanship.
“He guarded our seas well, let our mountains honor him.”