Each week during March, we take a trip to Whiteville for Cape Fear Pride. Tonight we take travel back in time. Here's a history lesson from Akil Greene, of Central Middle School, about the origins of the growing Columbus County town. Hi. I'm Akil Greene, and I'm here to talk about how Whiteville was formed. Though roads were established in this area as early as 1759, there is no documentation that it was ever called White's crossing. The location was actually a courthouse before it was a town. James B. White allowed by state law to sell 100 lots to lay off a town to be called Whiteville, the money from sales going to him. Businesses located to support the legal and real estate professions, and the area around the courthouse grew in population, which allowed incorporation in 1833. By 1847, talk of a railroad caused much interest in Columbus County and the Wilmington and Manchester Railroad became a reality by 1853, building a depot a mile south of the courthouse. The track followed a latitude line from Wilmington for the location. The courthouse area became known as uptown, and the railroad area became known as ‘Downtown’ or ‘Whiteville Depot.’ The name Vineland came into use early because of the boxcar loads of grapes shipped out from local vineyards. Mail became a confusion because the post office was uptown even thought the mail arrived by trail downtown. By 1883, Vineland had its own post office, though it was never incorporated as a town, and for decades the Whiteville Town Hall was located there. The two post offices operated separately until 1929 when they were consolidated.
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