Tuesday, January 18, 2022

County to rename Hugh MacRae Road to Freedom Way Drive

New Hanover County Commissioners recently voted 3-2 to change the name of its midtown park, Hugh MacRae Park, to Long Leaf Park. (Port City Daily/File photo)
New Hanover County Commissioners recently voted 3-2 to change the name of its midtown park, Hugh MacRae Park, to Long Leaf Park. (Port City Daily/File photo)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — In perhaps what was an initial oversight during a busy meeting last month, New Hanover County Commissioners didn’t realize renaming Hugh MacRae Park to Long Leaf Park wouldn’t cover all their bases.

The park’s road network is still named after the racist co-conspirator of the 1898 Wilmington massacre, who specifically requested in his donation to the county that the park should be used by only white residents.

Related: A busy night for New Hanover commissioners: Racism, Hugh MacRae, NHRMC, and rezonings

Next week, Commissioners will vote to change Hugh MacRae Road to Freedom Way Drive. Commissioners voted 3-2 to change the park’s name last month, with Commissioners Woody White and Pat Kusek opposing Jonathan Barfield’s surprise motion.

The road renaming appears on the county’s consent agenda, a list of items that typically get approved unanimously in one vote with no discussion.

Though the park is the county’s property, the road is technically under the City of Wilmington’s jurisdiction. The city has indicated the proposed name is acceptable, according to the memo item.


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