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What is the purpose and origin of the cement marker along the nature trail behind the New Hanover County Senior Resource Center?

Cece Nunn
Trail sign

The marker behind the New Hanover County Senior Resource Center. (StarNews photo by Cece Nunn)

The small concrete sign in the shape of an obelisk (like the Washington Monument) on a Wilmington nature trail is most likely one of the signs that marked the Port City’s streets, and those of some beach towns, in the later part of the 1900s, possibly the 1960s and ’70s.

That’s according to Randall Glazier with the traffic engineering division of the City of Wilmington.

The sign is near the gazebo on the Hugh MacRae Nature Trail at the New Hanover County Senior Resource Center, 2222 S. College Road, Wilmington [Map this], next to Hoggard High School.

Although it is faded and hard to read, the sign appears to say “Second St.” but it is in an area closer to 42nd Street. What might have happened, Glazier said, is that after the concrete signs were taken up and replaced with the familiar green street signs used today, someone recycled the obelisk and used it as a property survey marker.

In their day, the concrete signs were painted black and white. They were removed because they failed to meet breakaway standards set up to prevent further injury to drivers who might accidentally hit them, Glazier said. Signs used today will break off at a lower point upon impact rather than do further damage to a car.

Officials with the New Hanover County Parks and Recreation Department had no further information about why the sign might have been placed on the nature trail. The trail, across College Road from Hugh MacRae Park, was opened in 2000.

If you have any information about these signs, please post it as a comment below.

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