Caswell Lighthouse, an automated lighthouse completed in 1958. For group tours, you'll need to call ahead...
The sand dunes of Caswell Beach.
Caswell Beach is a small town on the eastern part of Oak Island on the Atlantic Coast. At the very eastern tip of the island was Fort Caswell, whose construction was started in 1827. During the Civil War, it protected the Confederacy's largest port city, Wilmington, until it was abandoned after the fall of Fort Fisher in January 1865. ( 12/03/2011 )
Fort Caswell, to my surprise, is not on state property, but is now a Southern Baptist retreat. The guard at the entrance said visitors are only allowed a 15 minute drive around the compound to see the fortifications from their car. And then he mentioned that you can pay for a visitor's pass at $3/person.
So I went to the main office and gave the receptionist $4 (two $2-bills), and she asked if I had a single. I wanted to ask if she did as she supposedly should have access to a cash register/box. Ah, but I oddly enough I did, so I made change for her.
Baptist Assembly housing by the Fishing Pier at the mouth of the Cape Fear River.
Peering across the Cape Fear River to the Old Baldy Lighthouse on Bald Head Island.
Fortifications at Fort Caswell built for World War I.
An old World War I bunker, suffering from decades of disuse.
Fortifications built for World War II.
The town of Brunswick was established in 1726 by the English. With the Cape Fear River providing direct access to the Atlantic Ocean, Brunswick was the busiest port in North Carolina in the early 1700's and the Colonial Governor was offered residence in the town. Disputes, however, between the Governor and "The Family" (the powerful Moore Family) led the Colony to establish the rival port city of Wilmington further up and across the river in the 1760s. Most of the traffic since moved to Wilmington but continued to visit Brunswick primarily because a customs office had not been established in Wilmington. The city was finally abandoned in 1776 when the British attacked during the American Revolutionary War.
The original St Philips Church opened in 1728. All that remains now are the four brick walls and the small cemetary.
Inside the original St Philips Church looking toward the alter.
A modern freighter sailing south past Olde Brunswick Towne out towards the Atlantic Ocean.
During the Civil War, the Conferate Army built Fort Anderson atop the site of Brunswick Town as one of a series of forts to protect Wilmington. As with the other forts around the Cape Fear River, Fort Anderson was abandoned following the fall of Fort Fisher in 1865.