The other day, I found myself in downtown Fayetteville. Since I was in the area, I decided to make a pit stop by Campbellton Landing. Today, it’s a venue for local events – but long ago, ‘Campbelton’ was a Scottish village on the banks of the Cape Fear River.
The History of Campbelton Village
In 1739, the first wave of Scots fled Scotland looking for better opportunities in North Carolina. Arriving in Wilmington, they followed the river west and settled in the upper Cape Fear River valley. On the west banks of the river, they established Cross Creek; and on the east, Campbelton.
Named for a town in Argyllshire, Scotland, Campbelton was a trading village connecting the upper Cape Fear region with Wilmington. The community developed quickly, attracting tradesmen and merchants from as far away as Pennsylvania and New England.
Officially incorporated by an act of the Assembly in 1762, the town contained approximately twenty homes and served as the seat of Cumberland County. To facilitate further growth and trading in the village, the colony established a public road from Campbelton to the Yadkin River in 1771.
Five years later, the community became a hotbed of loyalist activity and played a small role in the Revolutionary War by serving as a crossing point for General Donald McDonald. McDonald led a troop of 1500 loyalists across the Cape Fear at the landing and marched his men to their defeat at Moores Creek.
The county court moved across the river to Cross Creek – and the two villages were combined to form Upper and Lower Campbelton in 1778. That same year, the county court ordered 400 suspected loyalist citizens to pledge an oath of allegiance to the United States.
At the end of the Revolution, Campbelton was renamed Fayetteville in honor of Marquis de Lafayette.
The Historic Site Today
Today, the site of the old village contains an entertainment venue, fishing landing, and Confederate breastworks. The venue is named after the old ferry landing at Campbelton village and hosts an array of events for all ages.
Visiting Campbellton Landing
Campbellton Landing is located at 1122 Person Street in Fayetteville. The price per event varies, but the landing is open for fishing 24 hours a day with no charge.