Wilmington, North Carolina

Wilmington is the eighth most populous city in the North Carolina, a state in the south-eastern United states. This port city also happens to be the prime city of the Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Area and holds the county seat of New Hanover County.

The Wilmington Metropolitan Area has a population of almost three times that of Wilmington city, and includes three major counties in North Carolina namely, New Hanover County, Brunswick County and Pender County. This city was named after the Spencer Compton, who was then the Earl of Wilmington and also the Prime Minister to King George II.

Wilmington attracts a lot of tourist attention because of the famous Riverwalk downtown and its close proximity to three famous beaches namely, the Carolina beach, the Wrightsville beach and the Kure beach. This city's distinctness of being located between the sea and Cape Fear River has earned it a position in the list of the Dozen Distinctive Destinations by The National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Tourists also flock to visit the World War II battleship site of USS North Carolina (BB-55) in this city, which is now open for people to visit. Another claim to fame for this city is its much celebrated EUE Screen Gems Studios, which is a famous movie and television production house.

Welcome to the city of Wilmington, where you will be able to make just about anything happen. It has something to appeal to everyone's senses. The city is known for its ambient social atmosphere and its lively residents.

Wilmington History

Wilmington was discovered in the early years of the 16th century by an European explorer named Giovanni da Verrazano. It is believed that he was completely mesmerized by the beauty of this land. It was not until 1720, when the English came and formed colonies to settle in this area. Soon after in 1739 the city of Wilmington came into existence. As the settlers came in from Barbados and South Carolina, they brought the custom of slavery along with them. The African slaves were forced to show servitude even during the advent of industrialization at the end of the century.

During the American civil war the town had completely flourished and established itself as a port city. Its prime location near Atlantic sea served very well for the import of supplies to aid the civil war. Transactions of indigenous cotton and tobacco started taking place from the port in this city. These transactions gave a much needed impetus to the economy of the city especially during and after the civil war.

The insurrection of 1898 drew lines between the blacks and the whites. It started with an agitation led by the whites against an African American newspaper called "The Daily Record", which they claimed had insulted white women. The agitated mob of whites went into a society of black residents and murdered uncountable number of unarmed black people. With the outburst of resentment amongst the blacks, who by then had become a majority of the middle class population, led to racial violence. The repercussions of this upheaval caused a lot of political and economical changes. Such was the situation that even the state legislature was altered.

This city played an important role in World War II, as most of the battleships that were used in the war were built in this city. North Carolina Shipbuilding Company was situated in Wilmington and the government built the shipyard to meet the urgent requirement of battle ships. 243 ships were built in a span of five years from this company during the war. During this time, the prisoner-of-war camps were also set up near in this city. It is estimated that around 550 prisoners were kept in these camps. The camp near the corner of Shipyard Boulevard was the first of its kind and was later shifted to Ann Street because of space issues. The Bluethenthal Army Base which served as a platform to the aeronautical weapons during the war is now known as Wilmington International Airport.

About Wilmington, North Carolina

Wilmington spreads over an area of 41.5 square miles, out of which 0.5 square miles is covered with water. This city is dominated by a fair number of estuaries and this contributes to its thriving tourism industry. The humid subtropical climate of this city is responsible for the redundant dense vegetation. The winters are by and large mildly cold. Winters are accompanied occasionally by light snowfall. Springs are usually lengthy and witness superfluous pollen dusting. Hot and humid summers are accompanied by humid autumns which gradually turn dry and crispy.

Wilmington has still managed to retain the old-world charm of its own. Most of the structures present downtown are decades old, which include the famous Sir Water Wilmington Hotel, the Temple of Israel, the Bellamy mansion, the Murchison Building and the Confederate Memorial. Many of these historic structures are being demolished and will be replaced by multimillion dollar projects. This city's thriving tourism industry is mainly because of the beach side vibrant nightlife and presence of the Screen Gems film studio. Amongst all the other educational institutions present in the city, University of North Carolina is the most prominent for imparting quality education. Students pour in from different parts of the country to study in this university. The Greater Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, which happens to be the oldest chamber in the whole of North Carolina, is also present in this city.

In the 1990s, growth of the Wilmington city was astonishing and it was considered the fastest growing city after Wilmington. US Congress bestowed the title of "A Coast guard City" on Wilmington in the year 2003. This city serves as a home for the famous USCGC Diligence making this city an important and indispensible part of the U.S. naval base. It is considered the second best place for job growth and is known to be one of the best places to pursue a career in any field.

The Wilmington Beach, the Carolina Beach and the Kure Beach remain as attractive tourist destinations almost throughout the year and are hot spots for people who love to soak in some sun. Eagle's Island, which is present across the river, draws a lot of art aficionados and history lovers as it harbors the regal battleship of World War II, the North Carolina. Many landmark movies like A Walk To Remember, Weekend at Bernie's, Blue Velvet along with famous television series like Dawson's Creek and One Tree hill were produced in this city. The cultural events mostly revolve around films and music. The famous film festival called "Cucalrous" is organized every year in the city and it promotes several documentary projects.

About New Hanover County, North Carolina

New Hanover County is the second smallest county amongst the other 100 counties present in the state of North Carolina and was formed in 1729. It may be the smallest county, but it is by far the most populated because of Wilmington city, which is one of the most populated cities in its state. This county is a part of the Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Area and has its county seat in Wilmington. It spreads over an area of 328 square miles, out of which 129 square miles is occupied with water.

The five townships that constitute this county are, Wilmington, Cape Fear, Federal Point, Masonboro and Harnett, out of which Wilmington is the most prominent one. The Pender County and the Brunswick County are present in the northern and the western side of this county. The majority of the population comprises of the whites followed by African Americans and the rest constitute a very small fraction. New Hanover County is a member of the regional Cape Fear Council of Governments as well.

Initially it was known as the New Hanover Precinct of Bath County, but in 1734 some areas in this precinct became a part of Onslow Precinct and Bladen Precinct. In 1739 the Bath County was obliterated and all the precincts present in it turned into counties. After almost a decade, in 1750, Duplin County was formed from New Hanover County's northern part and in 1764 another part of this county was combined with Bladen County to form Brunswick County. This cycle ended with the formation of Pender County.

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction oversees most of the schools in this county, with most of the reputed schools being located in Wilmington. Large number of clear beaches and pristine islands are responsible for the tourist population in this county. Pleasure Island alone attracts a significant number of tourists throughout the year. Besides, towns and cities like Wilmington, Carolina beach, Fort Fisher, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach and Kure Beach are famous for offering exceptional views and an array of recreational activities.