Before We Were Quaint 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.

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