That’s something of a mystery, according to Agnes Beane, who owns the property south of Airlie Road, at the curve where the road turns along the Intracoastal Waterway.
Beane recently had the undeveloped lot cleared of brush, and the two square columns appeared. She and local historians are trying to find the story behind them now. Clearly, they once marked the entrance to something, but what?
The lot has an intriguing history, according to local historian Susan Taylor Block, author of “Airlie: The Garden of Wilmington.”
It’s called “The Wright Exception,” all that remains of the 300-acre tract that Judge Joshua Grainger Wright bought in 1800 for 110 English pounds. This became part of Mount Lebanon, the Wright plantation that formed the core of Airlie.
Hardly a mountain (although there was a small hill on the site), Mount Lebanon was named for all the cedar trees that used to grow on the property, according to Block. (The name is preserved today by Lebanon Chapel, the small Episcopal chapel adjacent to Airlie Gardens.)
In 1881, Thomas Henry Wright Sr. conveyed most of Mount Lebanon to members of the Latimer family. He retained, however, a two-acre tract on the waterfront – the Wright Exception – to be held by Wright descendants.
Agnes Beane is Thomas Henry Wright’s great-great granddaughter. She said she was merely clearing the land and has no plans to develop it.
Date posted: March 7, 2014
User-contributed question by:
Davis W. Sanford