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What is the oldest building in Wilmington?

Judy Royal

It’s difficult to imagine Wilmington as anything other than the vibrant, bustling city of today, but if you’re able to get your hands on some old maps you’ll see how the area has evolved since its early days. Wilmington’s earliest map that shows buildings is the 1769 C. J. Sauthier map, according to the Old New Hanover Genealogical Society. It shows the little village in its infancy and the major streets and buildings. It is also topographical and shows the streams which were eventually paved over; the marsh along the river; and the early roads into the town. Only a few houses survive from that period, including the Mitchell-Anderson House at 102 Orange St., Wilmington [Map this]. The Georgian style circa 1738 house, which served as a residence from 1738 to 1911, operated as a boarding home in the early 20th century. It was saved for preservation in 1963 by the late Thomas H. Wright Jr., former president of Wright Chemical Corp., and wife Elizabeth, both founders of the Historic Wilmington Foundation. It is currently the home of Wright Chemical Corp. and is not open to the public as a tourist attraction, but you can always drive by and get a glimpse of the past.

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2 Responses to “ What is the oldest building in Wilmington?”

  1. On June 7, 2009 at 4:00 pm Bella Parola wrote:

    I lived near 2nd & Ann streets in the early 80s, and was told that the white house at the northeast corner of that intersection was the oldest still-occupied house in Wilmington. Is that still true?

  2. On June 8, 2009 at 9:15 am Vaughn Hagerty wrote:

    Bella, that sounds like a tough one to answer, but I’m going to ask Ben Steelman to see what he can track down. If he gets something substantial, we’ll likely do a separate post or add to this one.

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