Historical Markers in
New Hanover County, North Carolina

A National Cemetery System A Trophy of War Adam Empie, D.D. Adrian House Alex Manly Battery Buchanan Beery's Shipyard Beery’s Shipyard Benjamin Beery House Blockade-Running Blockade-Running Bromine Extraction Cape Fear Club Capture! Cassidey Shipyard Catherine Kennedy Home Charles Cornwallis Confederate Soldiers Monument Daggett-Taylor House David Walker Early Drawbridge Edward B. Dudley Edwin A. Alderman Edwin A. Anderson Fall of Wilmington Fanning House Fighting the Sea - Saving the Fort Fort Fisher Fort Fisher Fort Fisher Monument Fort Fisher Since 1865 Fort Fisher’s Armstrong Cannon General Benjamin Smith George Davis George Davis George Davis George Washington Grace Methodist Church Gregory Normal Institute Growth of Fort Fisher, 1861-1862 Headquarters of Fort Fisher Henry Bacon Historic First Baptist Church History Trail James F. Shober James Gibbons James Hasell James Innes James Sprunt John A. Winslow John Burgwin John N. Maffitt Johnson Jones Hooper Judah P. Benjamin Lamb Expands the Fort, 1862-1865 Last Stand At Wilmington Leora Hiatt McEachern Louis Toomer Moore Mary Baker Glover Eddy Modern Greece North Carolina Shipbuilding Co. Oakdale Cemetery Old Courthouse Powell - Yopp House Residence of Edward B. Dudley Restoration of Shepherd’s Battery River Road Sally Port Rose Greenhow Shepherd’s Battery Shepherd’s Bombproof Sprunt House St. James Church St. James Church St. John's Lodge St. Mark’s St. Mark’s Episcopal Church St. Stephen A.M.E. Church State Salt Works Temple of Israel Thomas Atkinson Thomas F. Price Thomas F. Wood Thomas Godfrey U.S.S. North Carolina Battleship Memorial Union Fiasco - The First Battle United States Colored Troops USS North Carolina W.H.C. Whiting Washington's Southern Tour Whistler's Mother William B. Gould William E. Worth House William G. Craig House William Hooper William Tryon William W. Loring Wilmington and Weldon Railroad Wilmington College Wilmington Coup Wilmington Light Infantry Woodrow Wilson
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The town of Saluda, North Carolina, is home to the steepest standard-gauge mainline railway grade in the United States, with a gradient of 4.7%.
New Hanover County, located in southeastern North Carolina, has a rich and varied history that spans over three centuries. The earliest recorded history of the region dates back to the 16th century when explorers from Europe, including the Spanish and French, first explored the area. However, it was in the early 18th century that New Hanover County truly began to take shape.

In 1729, the region became part of the Province of North Carolina, which was originally settled by English colonists. The county itself was established in 1729 and was named after the House of Hanover, the royal family of Great Britain at the time. The county seat, Wilmington, was designated as a major port and quickly became a hub of trade and commerce.

During the American Revolution, New Hanover County played a significant role in the fight for independence. The county's residents were largely supportive of the Revolutionary cause and actively participated in battles and resistance against British rule. In fact, the town of Wilmington was captured by the British in 1781 but was soon retaken with the help of local militias.

Throughout the 19th century, New Hanover County experienced significant growth and development. The construction of railroads and the expansion of the shipping industry further fueled the county's economic prosperity. However, the county was not without its challenges. The Civil War brought a period of turbulence and division, with Wilmington being one of the last Confederate ports to fall to Union forces.

In the 20th century, New Hanover County continued to flourish, particularly with the growth of tourism in the region. The county's beautiful coastal location, along with its rich historical and cultural attractions, have made it a popular destination for visitors from around the world. Today, New Hanover County remains a vibrant and thriving community, blending its historical roots with modern amenities and a commitment to preserving its unique heritage.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of New Hanover County, North Carolina.

  • 1729 - New Hanover County was formed as one of the original counties of colonial North Carolina.
  • 1739 - The Port of Wilmington was established, becoming an important trading center.
  • 1767 - The County courthouse was constructed in Wilmington.
  • 1775-1783 - New Hanover County was heavily involved in the American Revolutionary War.
  • 1795 - The University of North Carolina at Wilmington was founded in the county.
  • 1861-1865 - New Hanover County experienced the impact of the American Civil War.
  • 1898 - The Wilmington Insurrection of 1898 occurred, resulting in significant racial violence and political change.
  • 1902 - The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad was completed, connecting Wilmington with major cities.
  • 1969 - New Hanover County started a public school desegregation process.
  • 2000s - The county experienced growth in population and economy.