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What is Snow’s Cut?

Ben Steelman

This artificial canal — about 1.75 miles long, 100 feet wide and 12 feet deep — connects the Cape Fear River with Myrtle Grove Sound just north of Carolina Beach.

Begun in 1929 and completed in 1931 as part of what would become the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway system, Snow’s Cut was named for Maj. William A. Snow, district engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer, who supervised the $5.3 million dredging project. (The work was done by private contractors.) Wilmington citizens petitioned the local chamber of commerce to seek to have the cut named for Snow, in appreciation for his efficiency. (Snow’s engineering was apparently so good that a lock, originally included in plans for the project, was found to be unnecessary.)

Although the name remains unofficial, historian Claude V. Jackson III in “The Big Book of the Cape Fear River” notes that locals have been commonly calling it “Snow’s Cut” ever since.

Now, is it “Snows Cut” or “Snow’s Cut”? William S. Powell in the North Carolina Gazetteer omits the apostrophe, but Jackson and other sources include it. The StarNews chooses to put the apostrophe in.

User-contributed question by:
Jerry Chisenhall

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One Response to “ What is Snow’s Cut?”

  1. On July 31, 2009 at 10:23 pm Tim Ellis wrote:

    The sign as you drive over the canal reads Snow’s cut.

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