The big story, our annual look at what’s going on in the real estate market in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties, has been a labor of love. I was a Realtor (residential and a smattering of commercial broker) from age 20 into my 40s, and 2023 was the most unique real estate market that I have witnessed in 50 years. I’m sure you will enjoy the fabulous homes and their interiors, as well as the fascinating data.
Another fun story to share is the public transportation via street railway lines in the Wilmington community beginning in 1887. With the resurgence of interest in city-to-city railway transportation and the ongoing examination of public transportation, knowledge of the history of both is timely.
It’s a fascinating entrepreneurial story. We found a wonderful array of infrequently seen photographs. An unexpected detail was learning of the steam engine Shoo Fly, which carried riverboat passengers from the Cape Fear River across the Federal Point peninsula (at the time, pre–Snows Cut) to the Carolina Beach Pavilion.
We have the story of the Seaside Park Hotel that once stood on the Wrightsville Sound waterfront acreage that would become Sarah “Sadie” Green’s home, renamed Airlie after her new husband Pembroke Jones’s Scottish ancestral home, then that of the Corbett family, and finally in 1999 became the county-owned treasure Airlie Gardens.
Continuing an entrepreneurial theme, our food story this month is a look at a resurgence in the connection between the meat on the table and how and where it was raised, what it ate, and where it was butchered.
I became a fan and customer of Wilders Wagyu beef and Berkshire pork after my visit to Jaclyn and Reid Smith’s Sampson County farm last year. In January, I spent a delightful afternoon at Northwest Land and Cattle in Leland with fifth-generation farmer AJ Stanaland, her father, mother and grandfather, and veterinarian Dr. Ethan Williamson and now count myself in their fan club. This was my first time up close and personal in a lush field with Angus beef cows, calves, and a bull. I came home with a sack of fabulous beef and pork, too.
Both families are reviving a much older approach of selling directly to their customers via in-person sales or internet purchase and direct frozen delivery. Both are extending their market share with agritourism. It’s the new generation of family farming. At the same time, we look at the phenomenon of butcher counters within restaurants, as well as a new butcher shop and a well-established one in the Wilmington area.
Speaking with The Butchers Market Wilmington’s owner/partner Smith Prevost the first time, I knew I had found a food compatriot when he unashamedly labeled himself a meat snob.
We always try to bring you a love story each February. This one is the love story with the sea of a Wrightsville Sound waterman, his love for family, friends and neighbors.
The oil paintings of Landfall artist Ora Sorenson will leave you breathless.
This Valentine’s month embrace more kindness and gratitude. It changes everything.
— Pat Bradford, Senior Editor/Publisher