Sponsored by Tour Old Wilmington

History Walking and Haunted Cotton Exchange Tours.
Open 7 days a week, day and evening, year round. Call for tour times 910-409-4300 Or e mail us at

info.touroldwilmington@gmail.com

This site is dedicated to the commerce of Wilmington and the State of North Carolina. You are welcome to contribute to the site!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


The Kenan Fountain
Market Street & Fifth Avenue


An architectural gem, the Kenan Memorial Fountain was erected in 1921 in the middle of the large intersection of Fifth Avenue and Market Street. Wilmington native, William Rand Kenan, Jr., gave the fountain to the city to memorialize his parents, William Rand and Mary Hargrave Kenan.  Carrere and Hastings of New York, a respected architectural firm that designed the New York Public Library, drew the plans for the fountain.  It was made out of Indiana limestone and cost $43,000.   The fountain was sculpted in New York, then dismantled and shipped to Wilmington where it was rebuilt.

When Mr. Kenan gave the fountain to the city most residents still walked or took a streetcar. However, some pessimistic citizens predicted that it would become a traffic hazard.  Their forecast came true as the city grew and automobiles became a preferred mode of transportation.  

 Source: A Pictorial History of Wilmington by Anne Russell
To purchase the book please visit the Two Sisters Bookery @ the Cotton Exchange in Wilmington NC

Thursday, February 2, 2012

History of Wilmington NC


According to the Julian calendar, Wilmington, North Carolina, was incorporated in 1739.  Located on the east bank of the Cape Fear River, the original town is 28 nautical miles from the Atlantic Ocean.  Built on several rises, more like sand dunes than hills, the town ascends 50 feet from the river shoreline.  Despite navigational difficulties along the river, the town grew to become the largest city in the state before the Civil War.  It remained so until the second decade of the 20th century, when the state’s Piedmont tobacco and textile towns rose to prominence. 

Wilmington’s historical significance is reflected in the variety of architectural styles, streetscapes and in other aspects of its material culture.  The Colonial town is most visible in the original grid pattern of the streets, the numbered streets running from north to south and the named streets running from east to west.  Several periods of rapid growth have altered the city’s passage through time.  Very few buildings remain from the early town because of the large fires and antebellum growth stimulated by the 1840 opening of the railroad. 

Three other periods of sustained growth are also noteworthy.  Recovery from the Civil War with increased port and rail expansion precipitated substantial commercial activity in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  Increased business and industry, particularly of cotton and fertilizer, provide a building boom both commercially and residentially, including moves to the first suburbs.  This economic activity spread across the region, evident most notably in the development of the nearby beaches.  After a period of decline during the Great Depression, Wilmington experienced another burst of growth during World War II Military facilities and the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company brought an unprecedented number of new residents who needed housing as well as a myriad of businesses to support their daily lives.  The most recent growth can in the 1990s, after Wilmington was connected to the rest of the country by Interstate Highway 40. 


Source: Wilmington Lost But Not Forgotten by Beverly Tetterron
To purchase the book please visit the Two Sisters Bookery @ the Cotton Exchange in Wilmington NC

One of the haunted locations in Wilmington NC

Haunted Cotton Exchange Tours tm
Presented by
Tour Old Wilmington tm
Scary, creepy and mostly ghostly
Tales of the Cotton Exchange!
Chills and Thrills await you at the one of the most historic & haunted locations in Wilmington.
Tours 7 days a week
Under 12 Free
All Others $12 each
Group, Private and Bus Tours available
Call for Tour Times
(910) 409-4300
www.HauntedCottonExchange.blogspot.com
Haunted Tours start next to the German Café on the parking lot side.

JM Brooks Building

JM Brooks Building

10 South Water Street

10 South Water Street

River Boat Landing

River Boat Landing

Historic Bellamy

Historic Bellamy

Tom's Drug Store

Tom's Drug Store

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