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What was the function of the 4-foot tall concrete posts still found on corners downtown?

Cecil Hester
StarNews
The post at Front and Orange streets. StarNews photo by Si Cantwell.

The post at Front and Orange streets. StarNews photo by Si Cantwell.

Q. What was the past function of the 4-foot tall concrete posts that are still found on corners downtown? There is one on the SE corner of Front and Orange. There is a metal slide on the side of the post that once held something.

A. One of Historic Wilmington’s forgotten obelisks stands on the corner of Front and Orange streets in downtown Wilmington. This obelisk, like the old stone hitching post at the Hogg-Anderson house in this same block, stands askew and off the perpendicular.

It once supported a small cast iron U.S. government mailbox on the post. Although it corners have been chamfered or beveled, this structure is a true obelisk with tapering sides and pyramidal cap. It is a stamped with the date 1941.

Another obelisk that has survived stands in the 2100 block of Wrightsville Avenue in front of the Delgado Square Shopping Center. There is an obelisk, with the U.S. mailbox on the post located at the Montclair Drive cul-de-sac, in the Winter Park area.

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One Response to “ What was the function of the 4-foot tall concrete posts still found on corners downtown?”

  1. On October 2, 2013 at 9:52 am Jerry Hardee wrote:

    I grew up in Carolina Beach during the 50s & 60s and concrete obelisks were at every intersection back then used to identify street names. They were about four and a half feet tall, painted white and had the street name in black letters. I was told that they were originally made for use by surveyors to mark the corners of properties and buried except for the point on top.