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The Brunswick Inn
301 E. Bay St.
Southport, NC

(910) 457-5278

Since 1800 when it was built as the summer residence of Benjamin Smith, founder of Smithville (Southport) and the 28th governor of North Carolina, this Federal-style mansion has looked out over the mouth of the Cape Fear River, the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. It served as summer residence for Governor Dudley as well. In 1856 the top two floors were rebuilt by Thomas Meares, owner of Orton Plantation around the time of the Civil War.

In 1997 Jim and Judy Clary purchased the building and went to work restoring it to its previous grandeur, including preserving the original heart-pine floors, the plaster ceiling moldings, the cathedral shaped pocket doors, the Southport bows over the door and window casings, and the nine working fireplaces. Judy chose rich, vibrant colors that set off the spacious rooms and play up the interesting architecture. In the middle of the dining room stands a huge antique table, handmade in the mountains, above which hangs a crystal chandelier dropping from the second-floor ceiling, through the rotunda. This is where the full, home-cooked, gourmet breakfasts, including homemade pastries, are normally served. Some mornings, though, breakfast is served in the cozy working kitchen in front of the fireplace.

Each beautifully decorated guest room has a private bath and contains a working fireplace for which the proprietors provide a Duraflame log. A well-stocked library, a parlor and an observatory, including telescope, are all available to guests. Afternoon hors d'oeuvres and wine are served, and guests are encouraged to spend some time on the veranda watching the passing scene.

You will be welcomed by Roxie, the Golden Retriever and Tinker, a Chihuahua mix, and don't be surprised to find Sugarbear, the cat who lives in the baby grand piano. Don't be spooked by Tony, the whimsical resident ghost who sometimes makes his presence known. Tony was a harpist who played at the inn when balls were common occurrences. He drowned in a boating accident off Bald Head Island in 1882 and has made the inn his home since! The Brunswick Inn was used in the making of several movies, including Summer Catch with Freddie Printz, Jr., The Wedding with Halle Berry and Pirate Kids.

 

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