Looking for Lillie…

Originally this was going to be titled “Sleepless in Southport” as I tossed and turned all last night for reasons only the Shadow knows for sure. Then it was going to be “Oh Hail” because it actually hailed here today. Pea sized for just a few minutes. Don’t you believe me? Here are the pictures to prove it.

But Lillie won out because it was the most interesting thing that happened today. You see Lillie has been dead since 1959 rest her soul and was not easy to find. Stayed tuned to find out if we were successful. But first let us learn some more about this community.

Southport is known for the Cape Fear Pilots Association whose members piloted ships in through the treacherous shoals in the channel and into port. This was a major seaport from the Revolution onward. The pilots were paid very well and many had beautiful waterfront homes here.

We also saw the old jail, the Masonic Hall and so many other sights.

And have I ever told you that we are collecting shot glasses from very special ports? This is one of them. You see we are limited in souvenir space so we picked something tiny and we have a shelf just big enough to line them up. My favorite is square one from Parris Island.

A few shots of this fine marina.

Now to the story of Lillie. Today I heard from a dear friend who has sort of dropped off the radar. He is so busy and we are so retired. His name is J. William Morse, Attorney at Law, and he must have read what I said about the Old Morse Plantation Cemetery where no Morses were buried. So he emailed that his father used to tell him that his great grandmother Lillie was buried here in Brunswick County in the Smithville Cemetery.

Did you know that Southport was once named Smithville and we are smack in the middle of Brunswick County? Well we are. So an expedition to go “Looking for Lillie” was organized, but first I needed a new backpack. Hauling all those groceries had ripped my old cheap one and I had been told there was a Walmart nearby. Unfortunately the winds were howling here today as the front moved through. There were gusts up to 40 mph today and Jan wanted to do our laundry while I fought the winds to Walmart. Then we would rendezvous at the Old Smithville Cemetery and begin our search for Lillie. We had passed it yesterday while touring the town.

I made it to Walmart and found a deal on a nice backpack. You will see it in future I am sure. It is predominantly orange not because I have defected to the Tennessee Volunteers but because I felt it would be easier for drivers to see and might save me one day from some inattentive fool.

At around 2pm we met at the cemetery gate. It was an old cemetery with graves dating to the American Revolution. It was approximately one city block long and a half block wide. This could prove impossible. So we set about a systematic grid search to divide the labor. But because so many of the tombstones were badly worn from hundreds of years exposure, we could easily walk right past the very one we were seeking.

Now did we ever actually find Lillie? What do you think?

She was oddly enough buried beside her brother who died in 1914 at the young age of 34 but she lived into her 80’s and must have remarried a Williams at some point prior to her death. We phoned Bill from graveside and shared our find with him. He had no explanation as all he knew was his father had trained in this area with the 101st Airborne prior to going over for D-day and he had seen¬†Lillie before he left. So this was sort of like one of those TV shows where they try to trace down your family tree. Chalk up another success for the crew of Cbay.

Dinner at The Provision Company where you get your own drinks and eat from paper baskets. Delicious. Then an ice cream at Flava’s.

The bikes are loaded and Cbay sails at dawn for parts unknown.