Located beside the Cape Fear River, you can explore the hauntingly beautiful Colonial ghost town, Brunswick Town. It was the first settlement in the Cape Fear region and a thriving seaport and political hub during the 18th century. So how did it come to be what it is today?
Brunswick Town was founded in July 1726 by Maurice Moore. Over the next few months, Brunswick Town grew extremely fast. It quickly became a major, busy port.
Brunswick Town was a hub for exporting forest products for the Royal Navy and merchant ships. When the town of Newtown (now known as Wilmington) was founded in 1733, the two towns joined forces to form the Port of Brunswick.
During the 1730s, Brunswick Town became a bustling political town. The first royal governor moved here and the town became the official port of entry for the Cape Fear River. Although exports were now being made to Europe and the West Indies, Brunswick Town slowly fell flat in terms of competing against Wilmington for port activities.
In 1748, Brunswick Town was attacked by Spanish privateers for three days and held until Colonel William Dry and Brunswick citizens drove them away.
The construction of St. Phillip's Church (pictured above) kept the town alive as Wilmington grew politically and economically.
By 1775, Brunswick Town began to exponentially decline. The governor was now at his new residence, Tryon Palace, and the few families that were left fled their homes in fear of British attacks.
In 1776, British troops ravaged Brunswick Town and burnt most of the town's structures, like St. Phillips Church. The skeletal remains of the Leach-Jobson House (pictured above) was how Brunswick Town remained until it became Fort Anderson.
Today, the remains of Brunswick Town (before Fort Anderson) look eerily like an unfinished project, an abandoned home, and the last memories of the few remaining families who stuck with Brunswick Town until forced to leave.
In 1862, Confederate Troops scoped out the remaining bits of Brunswick Town, and felt it perfect to build earthworks and trenches in the town site. It became Fort Anderson.
During an attack on Fort Anderson in 1865, cannonballs hit the walls of St. Phillip's Church; their damage is still evident and visible today. In 1958, excavations began on the site, and today it is listed as a state historic site. Visitors can walk through this slice of history and experience it for themselves. These pictures below highlight exactly what your experience will be like in this breathtaking yet eerie place.
Remaining graves at New Brunswick Cemetery.
The remains of St. Phillips.
Old gates of Orton Plantation, dating back to the 1730s.
Spanish Moss lends a hauntingly southern touch to the silent landscape.
What a beautiful place that seems perfect for unique photo ops! Have you visited here before? What did you think?