Before We Were Quaint: The Southport Few Remember…and Others Can’t Imagine
by Larry Maisel
This book punctures the myth about the nature of the small North Carolina coastal village of Southport. Today it is known as “the town with all the antique stores,” but it’s past is very different. From the mid 1800s to the 1950s Southport was a hard working, sometimes kind of rough, even industrial, town, not merely a fishing village. Only later could it be called “quaint.” The author unfolds that past for us.
The reader will learn not only of patriots in the Revolution and Civil War blockade-runners, but the story of the little known role her people played in saving lives using converted shrimp boats to seek out German U-boats offshore during World War II.
From after the Civil War until well after World War II, the robust people of Southport transformed the community. They brought about a nearly explosive growth of commercial seafood processing in the shrimp and menhaden industries, which for many years were the economic backbone of Southport. Before We Were Quaint tells the story of the lives of people who lived with the threat of disease, survived hurricanes and children who grew up swimming, fishing, and getting into mischief along the town’s waterfront.
Paperback: 318 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 7, 2009)
About the Author
Larry Maisel, is a retired broadcast journalist and executive, now living in Southport, NC. Much of his journalism career was spent in the South, where he covered City Hall, District Attorney Jim Garrison’s Kennedy Assassination Investigation, in New Orleans; the civil rights movement in Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia; and state and local politics in Virginia and West Virginia. He worked in radio news in Maryland.
He has also written and produced a number of documentaries. His first, in 1965, An April Day in Appomattox, on the 100th Anniversary of Robert E. Lee’s Surrender at Appomattox Court House, and the last, in 2005, Vanishing Village: The Southport That Used to Be. That followed Southport Remembered: Glimpses of Our Past, produced in 2001.
A writer and columnist, his column, “As I See It,” has appeared in the Southport newspaper, The State Port Pilot, and the monthly Brunswick Alive. In 2006 he co-authored Lelia Jane: A Very Gentle Lady with another Southport historian, Susie Carson.