How Smithville Became Southport

Have you ever heard people say that Southport, NC used to be called Smithville? Have you ever wondered why the town changed its name?

Southport, North Carolina was founded in 1792 when Joshua Potts requested that the NC General Assembly commission the town. The The Southport, NC Water Towertown of Southport was originally named Smithville, named after Benjamin Smith, who had served in the Revolutionary War under George Washington. The town of Smithville began to grow as a fishing village and military town. After the Civil War, an effort was made to create a major southern port combining river and railroad transportation in Smithville. In 1887, the town was named Southport in anticipation of the area becoming a major port city. Southport never became a major port city, but it did gain a coaling dock for steamships and telegraph service.

Copyright 2004. All Rights Reserved.

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