Brunswick County History
On March 9, 1764, the Governor of North Carolina signed the legislative act that created Brunswick County out of New Hanover and Bladen Counties. It was named after the Town of Brunswick, which was named in honor of King George I, who was the Duke of Brunswick and Lunenberg. The County Seat was first located at Brunswick Town, a town founded by Maurice Moore, son of Governor James Moore, located on the west bank of the Cape Fear River. In 1779, the County Seat was moved to Lockwood Folly and in 1808, the County Seat was moved to Smithville, known today as Southport, where it would remain for 167 years.
On July 19, 1975, a referendum passed moving the County Seat from Southport to its present location just below the Town of Bolivia.
For more about Brunswick County’s history, you can read the Brunswick County Historical Society’s Souvenir Booklet, prepared for the county’s 200th anniversary in 1964, or read an online article about Brunswick County as it was published in 1956 in The State magazine (known today as Our State magazine) (or read the article as a .pdf document).
Looking for even more information? Copies of “The History of Brunswick County North Carolina,” written by Lawrence Lee and published in 1980, are available in all branches of the Brunswick County Public Library System.