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What’s the history on the two columns recently exposed on Airlie Road?

Ben Steelman
StarNews
These columns near the curve on Airlie Road were recently revealed after brush was cut back. It was clearly an entrance to something, but what? Photo by Si Cantwell.

These columns near the curve on Airlie Road were recently revealed after brush was cut back. It was clearly an entrance to something, but what? Photo by Si Cantwell.

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.

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User-contributed question by:
Davis W. Sanford

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3 Responses to “ What’s the history on the two columns recently exposed on Airlie Road?”

  1. On March 14, 2014 at 12:53 pm Christopher Wright Rogers wrote:

    I know that some of the information the Wright Family has been dictating all over the place, is not 100% accurate. And in fact there is a lot that took place in the early 1900s that tells the entire story. Now how would I know? First a Deed will appear, 2 deeds, these will be framed and have been agreed to be placed viewable by a trust board of dignity and knowledge. HaHa What are these Deeds? the deeds are more of a transfer of property. The answer lies behind 17 head stones in Airlie Gardens. these are all in a row. there are head stones in St. Andrews on the Sound that continue to tell the story, and head stones in Oakdale. There are names, last ones. now Go Search Wilmington folk, and you may find the secret to these entrances. now my granddaddy said, be careful what you find. and oh man was he ever Wright. LOL I like poker. (a hint)

  2. On April 11, 2014 at 4:31 pm Mary H. Jones wrote:

    I refer you to Lewis Philip Hall’s book, “Land of the Golden River” Volume one, pages 10 – 15.
    It is plainly laid out.

  3. On April 11, 2014 at 5:11 pm Si Cantwell wrote:

    Thanks for the reference to that excellent book.



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