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The Southport Times Acquires Rare River View Postcard

March 15, 2012 - Southport, NC - The Southport Times is proud to announce the addition of a rare Southport river view postcard to our extensive collection of Southport area postcards.

The card is a split-view card depicting a cargo ship anchored on the Cape Fear River in front of the Stuart House. The card reads: "Steamer Chimu, Drawing Twenty Five and One Half Feet of Water, Loaded With Nitrate of Soda, From South America, Lightering Cargo at Southport, NC."

Very little information could be found on the Steamer Chimu other than records indicating it made frequent trips between Chile, Peru and Brazil to the United States.

Soda of Nitrate was commonly used in the manufacturing of fertilizers, pyrotechnics and smoke bombs, glass and pottery enamels and as a food preservative. It was also used to make gunpowder.

The term "lightering" is used to describe a process of offloading cargo from one ship to a barge or other smaller ship that can navigate in shallower waters. In the case of this postcard the Steamer Chimu was likely too large to dock in Southport and too large to navigate up the river to Wilmington without "lightering."

The postcard is undated, but would likely date to sometime in the 1910s. This card was published by Watson's Pharmacy Co. in Southport.

The Southport Times is happy to have been able to acquire this postcard and share it with our website visitors.

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