St. James Parish
Although this church is within the downtown area, and therefore, not technically off-beaten, I thought I would include it here for the history of this area as you might pass by it.
From their website:
The establishment of St. James Parish occurred in November 1729 when the General Assembly of the colony of Carolina approved legislation which said: "The Southernmost Boundary of the Province shall be and is hereby appointed a separate and district parish by the name of St. James."
Many years passed before the first church building was completed in 1751. In order to finish the church, the General Assembly levied an annual tax of one shilling and four pence on all taxes of the parish for three years.
During the American Revolution in 1781, St. James faced first of many crises when it was seized by British troops under Lord Cornwallis and converted into a stable and riding school for Tarleton's dragoons.
In the early 1830s, the members of St. James Parish decided to build a small chapel near Wrightsville Beach. The Lebanon Chapel was to serve those members of St. James who lived in the vicinity of Greenville, Wrightsville, Masonboro and Middle Sounds, and those who vacationed in the area during the summer months.
In 1839, construction began on our present church edifice. Considered to be an excellent example of neo-gothic architecture, the present church was consecrated in 1840 by Bishop Ives. To the right of the sanctuary is the painting "Ecce Homo". The painting has been attributed to Francisco Pacheco (1564-1654) – a Spanish painter, teacher, and scholar.
Twenty-five years later, St. James was again occupied by an adversary, but this time it was Federal Troops during the final stages of the Civil War. At this time the keys to the church were taken and all furnishings ripped out. The church was used as a hospital during this time of national crisis. Recovering slowly from the war the people of St. James found solace through common worship and fellowship.
The graveyard is the sole remaining physical connection with the original church building. The last burial in the churchyard was in 1850 when Oakdale Cemetery was established and private burials within the city were prohibited by law. Among the historic tombstones is one marking the burial site of Thomas Godfrey, author of “The Prince of Parthia,” thought to be the first attempt at dramatic composition in America. Another marks the grave of Cornelius Harnett, patriot and signer of the Articles of Confederation, who died a prisoner of the British during the occupation of the city. Major George Washington Glover, husband of Mary Baker Eddy, is also buried here.
Through the generosity of some of its members, the 20th century shined brightly upon St. James with the addition of the Parish House in 1902. In 1948 a new kitchen was donated and in 1951 and 1955 property was purchased, Milton Hall was constructed and the MacRae House acquired. The Church House as it is now known was designed by Henry Bacon, the architect who designed the Lincoln Memorial.
The 21st century began with the purchase of the old firehouse on the corner of Fourth and Dock Streets in February 2000. In its place now a beautiful multipurpose building named Perry Hall, which is dedicated to the Glory of God and for the spiritual, physical, and social nourishment of St. James and the Wilmington community. With the completion of the project, the St. James complex incorporates an entire city block.
You'll see this church at 25 S. Third Street, close to the Market Street intersection
If you like to do things differently when travelling then try eating on a dinner or lunch cruise while touring the Cape Fear River.
Henrietta III is the steamboat you see usually parked on the riverwalk. It leaves a few times a day and offers meals while seeing the Cape Fear River. They offer a Friday and Saturday night dinner and dancing cruise each week. My favorite would have to be the Sunset Tour.
It also offers special outtings like Mother's Day cruises and Valentine's Day dinners. It's also available for weddings so if you're really wanting to go make sure it hasn't been reserved for the day.
The HENRIETTA III Cruises depart from Water & Dock Streets. All Cruises board thirty minutes prior to departure. Public Parking can be found at various specified locations around Historic Downtown Wilmington. Public cruises go out rain or shine, April through December, and Private Charters cruise year round.
A bit of History: Seawell named the boat for his daughter HENRIETTA. HENRIETTA was launched April 30, 1818 under the command of Captain Charles Taws. Her first run from Fayetteville to Wilmington was in July 1818. She ran the river between Wilmington and Fayetteville for forty years. When she was retired from service, she had run at least one and one-half million miles on the Cape Fear River and had earned no less than one and one-half million dollars for her owners.
Prices for the dinner cruises for two are about $50. Lunch and sightseeing is about $25. Just a narrated cruise is $10.
The HENRIETTA III Cruises depart from Water & Dock Streets. All Cruises board thirty minutes prior to departure. Public Parking can be found at various specified locations around Historic Downtown Wilmington. Public cruises go out rain or shine, April through December, and Private Charters cruise year round. I'm going to eat here next time. When we went the boat was not available... :(
Good food, good tunes
Fat Tony's is another restuarant located downtown. Previous to it being an Italian eatery, it was an Irish pub/grill and before that, it was 131, a dance club. This has happened within the past 4 years. The latest incarnation is actually a pretty good restaurant and it's decently priced, comparatively. Plus, every Thursday before 5pm, all you can eat pizza for $5. Haven't tried yet, but one of these days . . . mmmmmm. During the weekends, they have live music set up off in the corner of the restaurant for people to tap their toes along. And, if you want to hang out under the sun, there's a patio in the back with some tables set up for you to enjoy your meal and the view; although the city had a condo built in front, so the view of the Cape Fear River isn't as convenient to see. Darn developers. I usually get the small sized pizza for about $8. Good times, Good times.
Horse-Drawn Trolley & Carriage Tours
Relatively inexpensive, these half-hour tours offer a fun way to see Wilmington.
Seasonal specials include a Valentine's Day ride in a French evening coach and the Halloween Ghost Trolley ride. You can also reserve a carriage for a special occasion such as a wedding. Reservations not required but I believe are accepted.
From April through October, tours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 AM to 10 PM and Sunday 11 AM to 4 PM. In November, December and March, they are Friday and Saturday 11 AM to 10 PM and Sunday 11 AM to 4 PM. Call for January and February hours.
$11 for adults and $5 for children age 11 and younger.
the current city market complex is located in the historic old wilmington city market building. the city market is located in the heart of wilmington's downtown shopping, dining, and entertainment area. city market's collection of shops in worth checking out when in downtown wilmington. for a list of shops see the attached web site.