The name dates back to World War II, when Army vehicles used the route as a short cut from Camp Davis (at modern-day Holly Ridge) to Wrightsville Beach, bypassing downtown Wilmington.
Although it’s now a major commercial thoroughfare — with Mayfaire Town Center, Landfall Shopping Center and the The Forum among other complexes lining its route — Military Cutoff was largely forested and undeveloped until very recently. According to local historian Nola Nadeau, as late as the 1960s, about the only major structure along Military Cutoff — from Market Street to the intersection of Oleander Drive and Wrightsville Avenue — was the Buccaneer Gun Club, a firing range used by developer Raiford Trask and his friends. The gun club closed at this location in the 1980s.
Date posted: June 10, 2009