The North Carolina Visitor Center




Whiteville History

Whiteville, NC

Whiteville is bordered on the east and south by White Marsh and Soule’s Swamp, with Brown Marsh extending north and west, according to a 1733 map of North Carolina by Moseley.


During the American Revolution, settlers and landowners were caught up in the bitterness between Whigs and Tories.  Several skirmishes happened near and in what later became Whiteville, one of which took place at the home of John Baldwin in the fall of 1781.  Troops used Brown Marsh as a rendezvous, and Marsh Castle Plantation became a meeting place and a staging area on numerous occasions, as troops passed back and forth between Wilmington and South Carolina.  General Francis Marion, the famous Swamp Fox, and his band of patriots took refuge in the White Marsh after the fall of Charleston in 1780.


Whiteville is named for John B. White who owned over 2,000 acres of land, which included the plantation Marsh Castle.  Originally, it was part of a 640-acre tract of land inherited by attorney John Burguin and his wife, Margaret, from her father, Roger Haynes.


After the Revolutionary War, more people came to the area.  In 1808, Columbus County was established for the convenience of settlers from Bladen and Brunswick.  The General Assembly directed John Wingate, Shadrack Wooten, Soloman Reaves, Absolom Powell, Thomas Frink and James Stevens to fix the site for a courthouse and jail.  The present site was chosen and given to Columbus County by James B. White, who became the new county’s first state senator. 


The railroad depot was located south of Whiteville at Vineland.  Vineland was a separate town until 1926 when it became a part of Whiteville.  In 1929, Vineland’s post office closed, and the two offices were combined as Whiteville.  The Vineland section is still referred to as “downtown” and old Whiteville as “uptown”.  Whiteville was incorporated in 1832-33 and again by the Legislature in the session 1873-74.


As the South slowly rebuilt after the Civil War, so did Columbus County and Whiteville.  Better roads and communications in the early decades of the 20th century changed Whiteville from an agricultural community containing farms to a growing town with new business and new people coming in and more professional services available.  The population of Whiteville increased 30% from 1920-1930.

- This article appears courtesy of Dale's Seafood Restaurant in Whiteville, NC

Dale's is one of the NC Visitor Center's favorite seafood restaurants.

Dale's Seafood

107 South Powell Blvd.

701 By-Pass

Whiteville, NC


Owners: Lois and Alan Gerald