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November 20, 2017
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C.C. McKeithan House : Historic Home

306 E. West Street : Southport, NC

A picture of the C.C. McKeithan House, on 306 E. West St., located in Southport, NC
Southport, North Carolina, is aptly named for its location and rich history as a Southern sea port. Although Wilmington, North Carolina, ended up as the main port in the region, Southport still retains the charm and historic nostalgia deserving of a salty maritime town. Located along the mouth of the Cape Fear River, current-day Southport was the location chosen for Fort Johnson in the mid-16th century.

Fisherman, traders and river pilots eventually settled in the area, and, as the population grew, the area became known as Smithville, after Benjamin Smith, who served under George Washington during the American Revolution. Hoping to attract shipping business, the town’s residents changed the name to Southport in 1887. Although the dream of becoming a port never became a reality, Southport did serve as a coaling station for steamships. Today, the town is registered on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Southport is close enough to Wilmington for its residents to simultaneously enjoy the conveniences of a big city and the benefits of small-town living. A quaint historic town, it has served as a filming location for movies such as “Crimes of the Heart,” “The Wedding” and “Summer Catch.” Southport’s tourist attractions include the Old Brunswick County Jail, the North Carolina Maritime Museum, the Old Yacht Basin and, of course, beautiful historic homes. One such home, the C.C. McKeithan House at 306 E. West St., exemplifies the historic charm of the old Southern maritime town.

A true gem, the home sits in the Historic District of Southport. Its curb appeal exudes old elegance with its oneand- half story multigabled architecture and beautiful front porch that curves around to the side of the house. The bay window in the front and multiple roof lines create the distinctive Queen Anne style of architecture. Built in 1909, the C.C. McKeithan House includes a formal dining room and living room, as well as a large family room with built-in shelves. It has lovely woodwork throughout and gorgeous heart-pine floors reminiscent of the early 20th century. Another historic feature of the home is the old mantel over the fireplace.

Although the three-bedroom, two- 13 bath home has real historic flair, it also has a modern feel. It was recently remodeled and boasts many upscale features. There are granite countertops and custom- built cabinets in the kitchen, which also boasts a beautiful tile backsplash and tile floors. The master bathroom has a lovely garden whirlpool tub and separate shower with glass doors. With more than 2,200 square feet of living space, this home has plenty of room for a young family or a retired couple.

The cozy screened-in porch offers a nice view of the large yard, the centerpiece of which is one of the home’s main attractions – a live oak that is thought to be one of the largest in the area. The home’s near-perfect location is in the center of Southport, just a few blocks from the Cape Fear River.

The home at 306 E. West St. is a historical treasure, and its builder, C.C. McKeithan, is somewhat of a historical figure. McKeithan was the first assistant engineer on the dredge General C.B. Comstock, an oil-burning vessel that played an important role in the economic growth of the small port town of Southport. The town rented the boat in 1912 for $45 to dredge the Cape Fear River.

Carey Nikonchuck

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