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Vance Alley Commemorated

Historic Wilmington Foundation and Wilmington Downtown Inc. jointly participated in a ceremony yesterday dedicating Vance Alley as a place of historical significance.   WHQR’s Andrew Jarachovic reports that although alleys today are typically regarded as a short cut or nothing more than a mundane corridor, many of Wilmington’s alleyways were once bustling thoroughfares. 

In the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, shops, boarding houses, and residences lined Wilmington’s alleys and contributed to the city’s social and commercial vibrancy. 

Vance Alley, located at 228 N. Front Street in downtown Wilmington, is the third alley that the Historic Wilmington Foundation’s plaque program has commemorated in its 46 years.  It’s named after Samuel Vance who owned the building on the alley’s south side and his widow, Mary Walker Vance, who operated a boarding house which became a mecca for newcomers from the north.

George Edwards, Executive Director of Historic Wilmington Foundation, says the plaque program plays an active role in preserving and commemorating Wilmington’s history.     

“Today we celebrate more than 550 sites from a streetcar stop on the old beaches streetcar line to cemeteries to churches and synagogues to alleyways, homes and businesses all over the city and now across the river too in Brunswick County.”

                     - Gerorge Edwards, Executive Director, Historic Wilmington Foundation, Inc.

Edwards says, Wilmington’s is one of the more unique plaque programs in the country because it provides more historical detail, enriching visitor’s understanding of each landmark’s legacy.