north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program
 

 
 
 

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Essay:
     The Boundary House in Brunswick County earned its name because it straddled the boundary line for the Carolinas. One part of the building was in North Carolina and the other part in South Carolina. The house, sometimes referred to in documents as the Club House, was reported to have been “two and one-half miles and forty-four poles from the sea.” The Boundary House is mentioned in early records, including designation as the meeting place for the boundary surveyors in 1764 and as a stop on Hugh Finlay’s postal inspection tour of 1774. It appears on a United States Coast and Geodetic Survey map of 1873. A monument to the Boundary House, placed at its ruins, was used in the 1928 survey of the Carolinas’ dividing line. C. B. Berry, a South Carolina surveyor who researched the Boundary House believed that it was built around 1750, after the original boundary line was run, and situated such that the line ran down the middle of the structure’s center hallway.

     The best known incident at the Boundary House did not involve the running of a boundary line, but involved the accessibility to South Carolina territory that the meeting place offered. In 1805 Benjamin Smith, future Governor of North Carolina, had a disagreement with his cousin Judge Alfred Moore. Because of Alfred Moore’s poor health, the matter was taken up by Moore’s brother Captain Maurice Moore, who challenged Smith to a duel. Since dueling was outlawed in North Carolina, officials from Brunswick attempted to thwart the contest. The duellists, their seconds, and their chosen physicians fled across the state line to South Carolina, where duels were legal. The North Carolina officers met with the dueling parties at the Boundary House, with the officers on the North Carolina side of the hall and the duelists and their attendants on the South Carolina side. The duel took place on South Carolina soil nearby. Smith was injured but recovered in the matter of a couple of weeks.


References:
Lawrence Lee, The Cape Fear in Colonial Days (1965)
Lawrence Lee, The History of Brunswick County North Carolina (1980)
Marvin Lucian Skaggs, North Carolina Boundary Disputes Involving Her Southern Line (1941)
Brunswick Beacon, August 8, 1991
Bradford J. Wood, This Remote Part of the World: Regional Formation in Lower Cape Fear, North Carolina, 1725-1775 (2004)
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north carolina highway historical marker program


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