Stand at the foot of Market Street facing the Cape Fear River, and turn your head to your right. It would seem the Cape Fear goes straight and there’s another river that diverges to the left. But actually, the river directly to your right is the North East Cape Fear and you’re looking at its convergence with the Cape Fear (which makes that hard left turn. Some call this portion the North West Cape Fear River).
By the way, that point of land where the two meet is called “Point Peter” or “Negro Head Point.” According to “The Big Book of the Cape Fear,” that land was granted to Roger Moore, of Orton Plantation fame, who then deeded it to Peter Mallett and Arthur Magill in 1777. Two years later, Magill sold his share to Mallett. Thus the name change.
Rumors persist that the previous name of “Negro Head Point” derived from the story that a slave’s head was put on a pole there during Nat Turner’s Rebellion in 1831. “The Big Book of the Cape Fear,” however refutes this, saying the name shows up as “Negro Head Point” as early as 1764 and only changed to “Point Peter” about 1770s to 1780s. Its original name origin is therefore unknown.
Also, don’t get this mixed up with “Peter’s Point,” which is located in the Cape Fear opposite Sunny Point Military Ocean Terminal.
Date posted: September 10, 2009
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