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What happened to the old Wrightsville Beach trolley trestles?

Ashley Morris

Three trolley trestles were built throughout Wrightsville Beach that have since been demolished. According to the Wilmington Railroad Museum’s executive director Mark Koenig, the three spans went across Bradley Creek, across the channel to Harbour Island and then across Banks Channel to the beach. These trolleys ran until 1940.

Koenig said he believes that after the trolleys stopped running the trestles remained but the rail lines and other metal pieces were stripped from them to recycle for the war effort. The span across what was then designated as the Intracoastal Waterway was likely demolished to enable ships to navigate through that stretch, Koenig said.

And then wind, tides and other weather events would have taken their gradual toll on the trestles. Hurricane Hazel in 1954 likely broke down whatever was left of them.

Apparently in the 1990s, Koenig said, some pilings were still visible.

As for the old trolley, one was salvaged and built into a local restaurant, then later moved to the Wrightsville Beach Museum.

Photo courtesy of Wilmington Railroad Museum

Photo courtesy of Wilmington Railroad Museum

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