A History of Belvedere, North Carolina

Soon after Brunswick County began to be settled in earnest in the mid-1720s, many "plantations" were established along the western bank of the Cape Fear River as well as along the banks of the many streams and creeks that feed into the Cape Fear. "Gentlemen Farmers" was not a cliche in the eighteenth century - it was a preferred way of life for many with "real money" or at least the luck to acquire large tracts of land in the area and to turn that luck into "real money" and sometimes even political fortune.

With scant records available, one such plantation, Belvedere, in northeastern Brunswick County, North Carolina eventually grew into a small village of people. Sometime before 1760, the Belvedere Plantation was established just west of Eagle Island along the Brunswick River - roughly five miles west of the port of Wilmington on the other side of the river in New Hanover County.

Benjamin Smith (1756-1826), North Carolina governor from 1810-1811, once owned and lived at Belvedere Plantation (exact dates unknown to this Author), and it is very likely that during his ownership a small town grew around the plantation. Smith was very active in the social and political affairs of Brunswick County, and Smithville was established in 1792 as the new County Seat - definitely named after him. (It later was renamed to Southport in 1887).

Apparently this village never amounted to much because it never obtained a US Post Office and it soon disappeared from all maps. Or... the dot on the map was merely acknowledgement of the plantation and never truly represented a "town."



© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved