Cape Fear History – Brunswick Town & Fort Anderson

As we begin our march towards the much-anticipated tourist/vacation season, we thought it would be helpful to begin highlighting some of what makes our lives here along the Carolina shore so special. Oddly enough, many of our year-round residents are not aware of some of our hidden gems throughout the county. One such truly hidden, historic gems is Brunswick Town/Ft Anderson.

Brunswick Town was the first permanent settlement of the Cape Fear Region and it became Fort Anderson during the Civil War. Founded as a town in 1726, and destroyed in 1776 by British soldiers on the eve of the Revolutionary War, the ruins include St. Philips Church, Russellborough the home of two Royal Governors, and the earthen mounds of Confederate Fort Anderson. The site includes a Visitor Center housing exhibits and artifacts from the historical town and an incredible mosaic by the legendary artist Claude Howell. A video program provides a brief orientation of the history of the area. There is a self guided walking tour on the grounds with a map available to guide you through the site.

Over the course of the year, there are a number of special events planned, many of them led by site historians & volunteers dressed in period clothing. The photos below were all taken at one such event last year. Please check their website for latest updates. 

To get you started here is a very informative video highlighting some of the features of the historic site.



The first gallery will show you some of what you will see as you walk through the grounds.


Next you will see what remains of many of the original homes that were built when the town was first established.


Brunswick Town was a huge trading center where vessels would sail up the Cape Fear a few miles and stop to purchase or trade for their needed supplies.

After the town was destroyed in the Revolutionary War, it was rebuilt as Ft Anderson and served as a Civil War defense. Here are photos of many of the armaments used during that period.

Here you can see photos of the soldiers live firing their muskets and cannons.


Here is a short video of the actual live firing of one of the 20 lb cannons. ***It’s pretty LOUD*** Check your volume prior to hitting play!



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