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Why do they call it Porters Neck?

Gareth McGrath

One of the area’s first and most prominent families and Mother Nature combined to give Porters Neck its name.

The European family that first settled the northeast corner of New Hanover County was the Porters, and John Porter’s land grant dates to the 1720s, said Joe Sheppard with the local history staff at the New Hanover County Public Library.

Porter established a rice plantation, which like others around the Cape Fear region soon included other crops.

Although the original plantation house no longer exists, some of the plantation holdings remain in the family’s hands.

And neck is a common geographic term in English-speaking countries to describe a narrow stretch of land or an isthmus that connects two other landmasses.

While the area now known as Porters Neck doesn’t connect to anything, it is squeezed between three bodies of water — Pages Creek, Futch Creek and the Intracoastal Waterway.

Today Porters Neck is one of the fastest-growing parts of the region, with several large subdivisions sprouting amid the forests and fields that still dot the area. That includes the Porters Neck Plantation golf course community.

The area is also becoming a bustling commercial area serving residents of coastal New Hanover and Pender counties, a development that’s hastened with the opening of the U.S. 17 Wilmington Bypass.

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3 Responses to “ Why do they call it Porters Neck?”

  1. On July 28, 2009 at 4:38 pm Jay Lee wrote:

    Could it be that the area was a “neck” at the time of the land grants, before there was an ICW?

  2. On July 29, 2009 at 7:27 am GubmintGuy wrote:

    The commerical area surrounding the intersection of Porters Neck Road and Market Street is actually known as Kirkland, after the railroad station that used to be located there. Next time you’re up that way, check out the green and white place name signs installed by NCDOT along Market Street.

  3. On September 6, 2009 at 8:18 pm Mandy wrote:

    9/6/09 6pm – I just saw this twitter posting “Figure Eight rumor mill: John Edwards has moved his mistress/baby’s mama to the Porter’s Neck area… a quick drive from his beach house.”

    Is this true?

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