Like so many little villages scattered along the East Coast, history seeps from the image of sleepy streets, safe harbors and fishing piers. Friends at Southport, N.C., with warm sun and green beer, welcomed our St Patrick's day visit this weekend.
Discovered in 1500s where Cape Fear River empties into the Atlantic, a British fort was built in the 1700s to defend nearby settlements from Spanish privateers and pirates. Smithville, a fishing village across the river from Fort Johnston, provided the fort supplies and services. It's name was changed in 1887 to Southport to identify itself as a port for commercial ship traffic.
Wilmington, further up-river, ultimately became the preferred deep water port. So Southport retains it's village charm; moss sways from the outstretched arms of Live Oaks lining the streets to frame cozy victorian cottages, each with a hushed story to tell from it's front porch. This "port" on the Intracoastal Waterway remains a commercial center for fish and shrimp as well as a haven for pilot boats, ferry and yachts, and now provides a backdrop for music and nightlife.
I'm adding to my gallery a few sketches made from previous visits. This visit prompted ideas for more scenes of Southport, to be added later. I'm opened to more ideas from my "Tar Heel friends". Spring has arrived. Stay tuned.