Sunday, March 21, 2010

Historic Sites of Southport, North Carolina

The charming old city of Southport overlooks the historic Cape Fear River on the coast of North Carolina and serves as a gateway to one of the most fascinating areas of the South.
Southport got its start in 1745 when the British built Fort Johnston there to guard the entrance to the Cape Fear and protect the important upriver port of Wilmington. Because river pilots were then needed to guide ships into the harbor, a small community grew under the shelter of the guns of the fort. Over time the pilots and their families were joined by traders and others and by the time of the American Revolution a small village had grown up around Fort Johnston.

In 1792, the village was incorporated as the town of Smithville, a name that it kept until 1887 when the city renamed itself Southport. It served as the county seat of Brunswick County until 1975, when the seat of government was moved following a hotly contested referendum.

Southport now stands as a charming and historic city overlooking the waters of the Cape Fear. It is rich in historic sites and served as the setting for the popular 1980s movie, "Crimes of the Heart." The city also is a gateway to the historic lower Cape Fear region. Ferries connect the waterfront with nearby Bald Head Island as well as historic Fort Fisher across the river.

To learn more about Southport and its historic sites and points of interest, please visit

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