Answered By: Travis Souther Last Updated: Jun 14, 2019 Views: 103
Eagles Island is located on the west bank of the Cape Fear River, directly opposite downtown Wilmington. The seven mile long island was named for Richard Eagles, a native of Bristol, England, who was granted a part of the island by King George II in 1737. Eagles purchased additional tracts on the island in 1738 and 1739.
The causeway was begun in 1764 by Colonel William Dry, Collector of Customs for the port of Brunswick. Dry used ballast from ships, coming into the ports of Wilmington and Brunswick as a foundation for the causeway, which was finished in 1791. Among the dirt ballast of the foreign ships were seeds from many different countries. These seeds often took root; therefore, growing wild along the causeway are many plants that are not native to the lower Cape Fear. During the nineteenth century, it was an important center of the local naval stores industry and was also the western terminus of the Cape Fear River ferry. The causeway island allowed vehicular traffic to drive to the river.