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Why do they call it Ogden?

Ben Steelman
StarNews

The name likely derives from Solomon Ogden of Onslow County, who owned land in the vicinity before the Revolutionary War. (In 1736, brothers Solomon and Jonathan Ogden received a grant from King George II for another tract of land which eventually became Landfall and Airlie Gardens, among other things.) Richard Ogden later owned land there as well.

“Ogden” doesn’t appear on any maps, however, until the 1950s or so. The 1939 WPA Guide to North Carolina doesn’t mention an Ogden, and William S. Powell, who didn’t miss much, neglected to put it in his encyclopedic “North Carolina Gazetteer,” published in 1968.

Before then, the area around modern-day U.S. 17 between Wilmington and the Scotts Hill/Porters Neck area was mostly known as “Seven Mile Post,” its name on old Atlantic Coast Line railroad charts. (See, it was precisely 7 miles from the ACL’s Union Station in downtown Wilmington.) The name “Baymeade” was also applied to the vicinity, after an old plantation with a lot of longleaf pines, which used to produce naval stores (tar, pitch and turpentine).

According to local historian Nola Nadeau, “Ogden” was more or less imposed by the State Highway Commission (which drew the highway maps and put up the signs), without consulting local residents. David Carnell reports a tradition crediting (or blaming) the name on a newcomer from Utah, who might have known something about Solomon and Richard Ogden, but who supposedly thought it would be cool to have the place named for his hometown, Ogden. (Apparently, a fair number of Mormons do live in the Ogden area.)

Why did the name take so long to stick? Mostly because, until fairly recently, there wasn’t much there. As late as the end of World War I, only 15 families lived in the vicinity of Seven Mile Post. Ogden Baptist Church — which started as a mission of Temple Baptist Church in Wilmington — wasn’t built until 1954. (Two historically black churches predate it in the Ogden area: Enoch Chapel Baptist Church, founded in 1872, and Mount Ararat AME Church, built in 1878.)

The Ogden Volunteer Fire Department was founded in 1952; Leon’s of Ogden Restaurant, named for original owner Leon Mavrolos, was launched in the 1950s. The Ogden Rescue Squad was founded in 1962.

User-contributed question by:
Elizabeth Rivenbark

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2 Responses to “ Why do they call it Ogden?”

  1. On June 9, 2009 at 8:47 am JERRY LANGLEY wrote:

    LEON WAS NOT THE ORIGINAL OWNER OF THE OGDEN RESTURANT, IT DATES BACK TO THE LATE 30,S AND WAS KNOWN BY MANY NAMES INCLUDEING THE BLACK CAT,
    A DANCE HALL, AND CLUB. THE LAST OWNERS I BELEAVE WHERE THE COVIL FAMILY, THAT OWNED A
    LARGE PORTION OF THE LAND ON BOTH CORNERS OF THE MIDDLE SOUND LOUP ROAD IN WHAT THE LOCALS CALL DOWNTOWN OGDEN.

  2. On June 9, 2009 at 9:57 am Vaughn Hagerty wrote:

    Hi, Jerry. Thanks for adding that information. I’ve asked Ben to check into it and consider whether we need to revise this post.



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