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April 17 through October 15, 2015
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Sunday: 1:00 - 5:00 PM
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The following are from early newspapers and represent just a few of the over 100 pages of text available at the Wilmington Railroad Museum.



 It is intended to build a Bridge across the N. East branch of the Cape Fear River, about one mile above Wilmington, and a few rods below Hilton House.  The Bridge is to be of the best wooden materials, and on that plan which may be most approved when suggested.  The River is about 630 feet wide, of which about 575 feet are within the channel, which varies from 20 to 33 feet in depth at low water.  The ordinary rise and fall of the tide, four feet.

 The subscribers invite Bridge Builders to offer plans of the Bridge, and proposals for building it accordingly.  If any plan, which may be suggested, shall be adopted, and the contract for building not given to the person suggesting it, the sum of $50 will be paid for the plan.

            Proposals will be received by the Subscriber until the 15th April next.

                                                                                   M. B. MEARES

                                                                            Chairman of Committee

Wilmington, March 13, 1833                                                                                       

 The editors of the Raleigh Register, Raleigh Star and Hillsborough Recorder, are requested to give the above two insertions, and forward their accounts to this office.

The Peoples Press and Wilmington Advertiser,

March 27, 1833.



 The Petersburg (Va.) rail road, has already greatly enhanced the value of property, in that town: and so clearly, are the stockholders satisfied with the experiment, that they are contemplating a scheme, to extend it to Fayetteville in this State.  It is said, that a petition to that effect, will be presented to our legislature.  They propose that the State, shall regulate the tolls; are even willing to give it a bonus for the privilege.  If the legislature grants the petition, and we do not see how they can refuse to do so, Wilmington is ruined.  The people of the State are now absolutely impoverished, by horses and wagons, necessary to take their produce to market.  If others, without any expense to the State, or to those living in the State, will construct a rail road, which will save them more than two thirds the expense in money, and five hundred per cent in time, the legislature will be compelled to grant the privilege.  The people will see, that it is to their interest, to have a rail road; and will favour it.

 Notice has already been taken of the efforts of the citizens of a part of Tennessee, South Carolina and Virginia, to locate two rail roads in the western part of this State.  If these plans succeed, Wilmington is a ruined town.  Those who have it in their power, whose interest is vitally connected with the prosperity of this Port; and the honor of this State may sleep on houses without tenants lots without houses shipping without freight and wharves without shipping.  Certain irremediable ruin stares them in the face.   Do or die?


The Peoples Press and Wilmington Advertiser,

March 6, 1833.


 At a meeting of the citizens of the town of Wilmington and New Hanover county, convened by public notice at the Court House, on the 26th instant.

Resolved, That this meeting approve of a plan to construct a Rail Road between Raleigh and Wilmington, and the citizens of Wilmington hereby pledge themselves to co-operate with the citizens of Raleigh (and all other persons interested) in the construction of a Rail Road between their respective towns.

Resolved, That our Delegates be instructed to protest against any plan of internal improvement, by rail roads or otherwise, which may tend to carry the resources and trade of North Carolina into adjoining States.

The People's Press and Wilmington Advertiser,

June 26, 1833.




[This issue of The Peoples Press and Wilmington Advertiser contains the complete Act.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That it shall be lawful to open books in the town of Wilmington, under the direction of Edward B. Dudley, P.K. Dickinson, Robert H. Cowan, Aaron Lazarus, James Owen, William B. Mears, William P. Hort, Alexander McRae and James S. Green, or any five of them?

The People's Press and Wilmington Advertiser,

March 26, 1834.


From the Fayetteville Observer:

 As our paper is going to press, the ground is first about to be broken towards this enterprise, on which so many hopes are founded of future prosperity and elevation of character.  Particulars of the ceremony will be given in our next.

 At present the object of those who have engaged in this work, is merely to make a beginning; to construct a road from the river to the foot of Haymount, a distance of about two miles.  When that shall have been completed, it is hoped that it will lead our friends in the West, who will then have an opportunity of witnessing its practical utility, to interest themselves in extending its benefits to their own doors.  Without their assistance, the people of Fayetteville cannot hope to carry the work far beyond their limits.  With it, every thing may be accomplished,--every thing needed to promote their own as well as our prosperity.

 It is expected that the work now contemplated will be completed during the ensuing summer.  A large lot on the river, which has the advantage of one of the best landings, and fronts Person and Hay streets, has been purchased by the Directors of the Company, upon which the Corner Stone is this day to be laid.  The lot adjoins the Clarendon Bridge, and is so situated that the road will run in nearly a direct line, without in any instance touching private property.  The materials have all been contracted for, and the energetic character of the President and Directors is the best guaranty that the work will be prosecuted without loss of time.

The People's Press and Wilmington Advertiser,

May 21, 1834.


12.  [Notice]

 In consequence of the loss of several Locomotives by the fire last spring, there has since been a lack of motive power on the Wilmington Rail Road, especially felt in the heavy freight transportation.  The deficiency is now however partly supplied, and will be entirely very soon.  An engine capable of hauling a train of 6 or 700 bbls. turpentine, weighing alone from 100 to 120 tons, has just been put upon the Road, and another which it is supposed will be able to take along a train of a thousand bbls., or about 170 tons, is expected shortly.

Wilmington Chronicle,

December 6, 1843.