What's in a Name: Snow's Cut

Reported by Colin Hackman - email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Though it may sound like an injury from a snowball fight, Snow's Cut has less to do with frozen precipitation than you might think.

Elaine Henson studies local history, and said the name comes from respect.

"He [Major William A. Snow] was apparently a very charming and personable man in addition to his engineering abilities," said Henson.

At the age of 32, Snow was promoted to Colonel and was given the reigns of one of the most daunting engineering projects of his time.

In 1927, Snow was promoted to the Head of the District U.S. Army Corps of engineers, where he was directed to extend the intra coastal waterway from Beaufort, NC to the Cape Fear River.

The project mostly carved out deep water in the middle of swamps and creeks until it reached Federal Point.

That's when Major Snow moved 1.6 million cubic yards of material consisting of stumps, rocks, and mud to connect Seagate to the river.

The project was completed in 1930, during the height of the great depression, and Snow proved he was no flake as the cut was finished more than $1.5 million under budget.

Saving taxpayers $1.5 million during one of the darkest financial times made Snow a popular man.

"He apparently just charmed everyone in Wilmington," said Henson.  "When he left there were three civic organizations that had a party for him. People kept calling it Snow's Cut from the very beginning, but it wasn't officially called Snow's Cut until 1944."

Pleasure Island wasn't even an island before snow made his cut, it was just called Federal Point.

If you'd like to find out why a certain place is called email Colin at whatsinaname@wect.com.