You might be thinking of Belvidere Plantation. The old plantation house (also called the Merick-Nixon House) used to stand on property where the Belvedere subdvision and country club are now located. (Note the different spellings.)
The mixed Georgian-Federal structure — which dated at least from 1810 but may have incorporated earlier elements — was moved by former owners Connie and Landon Anderson in 1989 to protect it from development. The house, which had a gambrel roof, had been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Andersons had gone to great expense to restore it.
In 2005, the Andersons sold the house and its new location to the company developing Virginia Bay Plantation. In 2006, the new owners had the Sloop Point Volunteer Fire Department burn the house down as a training exercise.
Belvidere Plantation — the property, not the house — dated from around 1728 when Jeremiah Vail received a land grant. In 1758, Jeremiah Vail Jr. sold the 320-acre tract to his father-in-law, George Merrick, who owned it until his death in 1804. In 1822, James Nixon acquired the house and land, which remained in the Nixon family until 1957. Development on the Belvedere subdivision began in the 1970s.
The Pender County Belvidere, by the way, is not to be confused with the Belvidere Plantation over in Brunswick County, on the west bank of the Cape Fear River, which once belonged to Gov. Benjamin Smith. That was the Belvidere that George Washington visited briefly during his southern tour as president.
A fairly complete list of Pender and New Hanover County plantations that once lined the coastal sounds — including Frog Hall, Grovediere (where Hampstead is now located), Sloop Point and Green Hall — can be found in “Early New Hanover County Records” by Elizabeth McKoy (by the author, 1973); a copy is in the local history room at the New Hanover County Public Library.
Another Scotts Hill plantation was the McClammy plantation, right off U.S. 17. After the Civil War, it belonged to Maj. Charles W. McClammy, a Confederate veteran who was active in Democratic politics. McClammy represented New Hanover County in the state House and state Senate (before Pender County was split off as a separate county in 1875) and served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1887 to 1891. He was killed in 1896, at the age of 56, when a boiler exploded at his Scotts Hill home.
Date posted: July 22, 2011
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