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Southport, North Carolina

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Southport, North Carolina
A view of Southport from the fishing pier
A view of Southport from the fishing pier
The Home of Salubrious Breezes
Southport is located in North Carolina
Location within the state of North Carolina
Coordinates: 33°55′28″N 78°1′14″W / 33.92444°N 78.02056°W / 33.92444; -78.02056
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
 • MayorJoseph P. Hatem, MD, MPH
 • Total4.03 sq mi (10.44 km2)
 • Land4.00 sq mi (10.35 km2)
 • Water0.04 sq mi (0.09 km2)
20 ft (6 m)
 • Total2,833
 • Estimate 
 • Density992.49/sq mi (383.19/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern Time Zone (North America))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)910
FIPS code37-63400[3]
GNIS feature ID1022722[4]

Southport is a city in Brunswick County, North Carolina, United States, near the mouth of the Cape Fear River. Its population was 3,828 as of the 2018 census.[5] The current mayor is Joseph P. Hatem, MD, MPH.

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, Revenge, 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.


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 at 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.[6]

Southport was founded as the town of Smithville in 1792.[7] 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.[7] Smithville grew as a fishing village and through supporting military activity. Smithville was the county seat of Brunswick County from 1808 to 1977.[8] In an effort to promote the town as a major shipping port, Smithville was renamed Southport in 1887.[7] Smithville Township, in which Southport lies, and other local landmarks, such as the cemetery, retain the Smithville name. The renaming to Southport did not achieve its goal of making the town a major shipping port. Instead Southport became known for its relaxed atmosphere and Victorian era seaside charm.


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)[9] 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.[5]


Southport has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa). Summers in Southport are very hot and humid while winters are very mild by North Carolina standards. Southport is tied with Hatteras for the warmest yearly average state temperature at 64.6 °F (18.1 °C), with year temperatures more similar to that of coastal Georgia or the northern gulf of Florida than the rest of North Carolina.[10]


  1. ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the expected highest and lowest temperature readings at any point during the year or given month) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)3,966[2]40.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

As of the census[3] 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.


Built in the 1970s on 1,200 acres (490 ha) at 20 feet (6.1 m) above sea level and about 5 miles (8.0 km) from the Atlantic Ocean near Southport, Duke Energy Carolinas operates the 1,870-megawatt Brunswick Nuclear Power Plant which has two nuclear reactors. This plant is the same generation and design as the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan. Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown, temporary flood prevention updates, called "cliff edge barriers" to make doors at the facility water tight, were installed at Brunswick to prevent flooding from Hurricane Florence from causing a disaster similar to Fukushima Daiichi. These temporary barriers are designed to stop flooding from a storm surge of up to 26 feet (7.9 m). On Thursday, September 13, 2018, before Hurricane Florence made landfall at Wrightsville Beach, Duke Energy shut down the first reactor in the early morning and the second reactor in the afternoon about two hours before tropical storm-force winds at the plant.[13][14][15]


The city of Southport has been the location for many TV series such as Revenge and Under the Dome. 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, A Walk to Remember and Safe Haven.[16][citation needed] The city is serviced by the newspaper The State Port Pilot. Radio stations WAZO/107.5 & WJSL-LP/100.7 are licensed to Southport.

See also


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Southport city, North Carolina". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  6. ^ Dickson, Scott (2005). In Search of Mayberry. Boone, North Carolina: Parkway Publishers, Inc. p. 85.
  7. ^ a b c "History of Southport". Retrieved 2013-02-13.
  8. ^ "A History of Bolivia, North Carolina". Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  10. ^ Team, National Weather Service Corporate Image Web. "National Weather Service Climate". Retrieved 2020-07-02.
  11. ^ "NOAA 1981-2010 Climate Normals". University of Washington. Retrieved 2016-12-21.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. ^ Martin, Chris (September 12, 2018). "Hurricane Florence Heads for Duke Energy's Nuclear Reactors". Bloomberg. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  14. ^ "'Threat becomes reality': Hurricane Florence begins days of rain, wind". KPRC. September 13, 2018. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  15. ^ Murawski, John; Specht, Paul A. (September 13, 2018). "Duke Energy starts shutdown of NC nuclear plant as Hurricane Florence nears". News and Observer. Raleigh. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  16. ^ "Movies Filmed in Southport, North Carolina". Retrieved 2019-02-01.

External links

This page was last edited on 15 January 2021, at 23:09
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