The First Step
Brunswick Town was the first successful European settlement in the Cape Fear region, a major British port in the 18th century, and home to two provincial governors. Brunswick Town lasted 50 years (1726–1776) until it was raided by the British Army during the American Revolutionary War and never rebuilt.
Brunswick Town became an excavation site for Cape Fear history during the 20th century. The Brunswick Town Historic District contains the ruins of 18th-century commercial and residential colonial homes, St Philip's Church, Fort Anderson, and Russellborough, the former governor's mansion. The town's historic district and St. Philip's Church are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
From the 1730’s until the American Revolution, more than 20,000 Scottish Highlanders arrived at Brunswick Town. Almost all of these were due to the Highland Clearances in Scotland. They traveled up the Cape Fear River and settled in the “Sand Hills Region” comprising of Moore, Cumberland, and Scotland Counties, and beyond into the mountains. It is fitting that this first step in the “Trek” be built where these immigrants first set foot on the North American Continent.
A traditional Scottish marker used to commemorate an event is a Cairn. The Cairn here will be built of ballast stones from the actual ships that transported the immigrants from Europe. The Cairn will be surrounded with signage explaining the meaning of this spot and pointing to other important locations in the state. There may also be a brick path with the names of donors to the project.
The Cairn will be within easy walking distance to the location of the colonial wharfs where the immigrants landed. Immediately adjacent to the Cairn is a gazebo that will be used for events.