Southport, North Carolina

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Southport, North Carolina
City
A view of Southport from the fishing pier
A view of Southport from the fishing pier
Motto: The Home of Salubrious Breezes
Southport is located in North Carolina
Southport
Southport
Location within the state of North Carolina
Coordinates: 33°55′28″N 78°1′14″W / 33.92444°N 78.02056°W / 33.92444; -78.02056Coordinates: 33°55′28″N 78°1′14″W / 33.92444°N 78.02056°W / 33.92444; -78.02056
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
CountyBrunswick
Established1792
Government
 • MayorRobert Howard
Area
 • Total3.8 sq mi (9.8 km2)
 • Land3.7 sq mi (9.7 km2)
 • Water0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation20 ft (6 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total2,833
 • Density755/sq mi (291.6/km2)
Time zoneEastern Time Zone (North America) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code28461
Area code(s)910
FIPS code37-63400[1]
GNIS feature ID1022722[2]
Websitewww.cityofsouthport.com
 
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Southport, North Carolina
City
A view of Southport from the fishing pier
A view of Southport from the fishing pier
Motto: The Home of Salubrious Breezes
Southport is located in North Carolina
Southport
Southport
Location within the state of North Carolina
Coordinates: 33°55′28″N 78°1′14″W / 33.92444°N 78.02056°W / 33.92444; -78.02056Coordinates: 33°55′28″N 78°1′14″W / 33.92444°N 78.02056°W / 33.92444; -78.02056
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
CountyBrunswick
Established1792
Government
 • MayorRobert Howard
Area
 • Total3.8 sq mi (9.8 km2)
 • Land3.7 sq mi (9.7 km2)
 • Water0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation20 ft (6 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total2,833
 • Density755/sq mi (291.6/km2)
Time zoneEastern Time Zone (North America) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code28461
Area code(s)910
FIPS code37-63400[1]
GNIS feature ID1022722[2]
Websitewww.cityofsouthport.com

Southport is a city in Brunswick County, North Carolina, United States, near the mouth of the Cape Fear River. It is part of the Wilmington, NC metropolitan area. Its population was 2,833 as of the 2010 census.[3]

Southport has been a popular filming location for television and movies, including film adaptations of the works of novelist Nicholas Sparks. The town can be seen in the television series Dawson's Creek, Under the Dome, and Matlock, and in numerous movies, including I Know What You Did Last Summer, Summer Catch, Domestic Disturbance, Crimes of the Heart, Nights in Rodanthe, A Walk to Remember and Safe Haven.

Southport is the location of the North Carolina Fourth of July Festival, which attracts 40,000 to 50,000 visitors annually to enjoy its parade, fireworks, vendors from around the country, and other festivities.

History[edit]

The Southport area was explored as early as the 1500s by Spanish explorers. During the 18th century, British settlements along the Carolina coast lacked fortifications to protect against pirates and privateers, and numerous Spanish attackers exploited this weakness. In response to these attacks, Governor Gabriel Johnston in 1744 appointed a committee to select the best location to construct a fort for the defense of the Cape Fear River region. It was determined that the fort should be constructed at a site the mouth of the Cape Fear River. During the same year, France declared war against Britain, later known as King George's War, increasing the fort's need. Further, increasingly bold Spanish privateer raids led the North Carolina General Assembly to authorize the construction of "Johnston's Fort" in April 1745, which would come to be known as Fort Johnston. The governor of South Carolina agreed to lend ten small cannons for the fort, and the legislature, in spring 1748, appropriated 2,000 pounds for construction costs, and construction finally began. Southport developed around Fort Johnston.[4]

Southport was founded as the town of Smithville in 1792.[5] Joshua Potts had requested the formation of a town adjacent to Fort Johnston, and the North Carolina General Assembly formed a commission of five men to administer its founding. The town was named after Benjamin Smith, a colonel in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and later governor of North Carolina.[5] Smithville grew as a fishing village and through supporting military activity. Smithville was the county seat of Brunswick County from 1808 to 1887.[6][7] In an effort to promote the town as a major shipping port, Smithville was renamed Southport in 1887.[5] Smithville Township, in which Southport lies, and other local landmarks, such as the cemetery, retain the Smithville name.

Geography[edit]

Southport is located in southeastern Brunswick County at 33°55′28″N 78°1′14″W / 33.92444°N 78.02056°W / 33.92444; -78.02056 (33.924484, -78.020513)[8] on the northwest bank of the tidal Cape Fear River, approximately 2 miles (3 km) inland from the Atlantic Ocean. North Carolina Highway 211 enters the city from the north as North Howe Street and travels south to one block north of the waterfront, where it turns east as East Moore Street, leading northeast to the city limits, where it turns east again as Ferry Road on its way to the western terminus of the Southport–Fort Fisher ferry across the Cape Fear River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.8 square miles (9.8 km2), of which 3.7 square miles (9.7 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.73%, is water.[3]

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 2,351 people, 1,095 households, and 676 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,059.0 people per square mile (408.9/km²). There were 1,292 housing units at an average density of 582.0 per square mile (224.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 76.61% White, 21.78% African American, 0.43% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 0.21% from other races, and 0.72% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.45% of the population.

There were 1,095 households out of which 19.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.3% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.2% were non-families. Of all households, 35.3% were made up of individuals and 16.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.08 and the average family size was 2.65.

In the city, the population was spread out with 17.9% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 21.0% from 25 to 44, 31.0% from 45 to 64, and 24.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49 years. For every 100 females there were 82.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,714, and the median income for a family was $45,714. Males had a median income of $34,167 versus $22,857 for females.

The per capita income for the city was $23,059. About 7.1% of families and 12.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.1% of those under age 18 and 14.6% of those age 65 or over.

An award-winning weekly newspaper, The State Port Pilot, is located in the city and serves as the source of local information for its residents.

Marinas[edit]

The Southport Marina

Deep Point Marina located near the Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry is the new hub for the Bald Head Island Ferry.

The Southport Marina is a public small boat harbor owned by the North Carolina State Ports Authority. It is operated under a long-term lease by Southport Marina, Inc.

The marina made statewide news when it was announced that the State Ports Authority would put it up for sale, causing an uproar among the town's residents, who were concerned that development was spoiling the town's "fishing village charm". Former North Carolina Governor Mike Easley, himself a resident of Southport, quickly reversed the decision and declared that the State Ports Authority would continue to own the marina.

The city's government pursued a purchase of the marina to preserve it from a future sale to private developers, but the state retained ownership of the marina and approved a lease for the facility to a new ownership group, Southport Marina, Inc., which has invested in significant repairs and upgrades to the facility.

Media[edit]

The city of Southport has been the location for many TV series such as Revenge, Under the Dome and Safe Haven. Films which have been made in Southport include I Know What You Did Last Summer, Summer Catch, Domestic Disturbance, Crimes of the Heart, Mary and Martha, Nights in Rodanthe, and A Walk to Remember.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Southport city, North Carolina". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved February 10, 2014. 
  4. ^ Dickson, Scott (2005). In Search of Mayberry. Boone, North Carolina: Parkway Publishers, Inc. p. 85. 
  5. ^ a b c "History of Southport". Retrieved 2013-02-13. 
  6. ^ "Southport, North Carolina". Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  7. ^ "A History of Bolivia, North Carolina". Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 

External links[edit]