Just north-northwest of Wilmington is Castle Hayne, North Carolina. It's not an official town, but there is a movement by residents, who recognize its rich history, to make it officially incorporated.
In 1731, Captain Roger Haynes purchased 1000 acres on the Northwest branch of the Cape Fear River. Castle Hayne is named after him. In the early 1900s, Hugh MacRae setup 6 organized farm colonies and recruited foreign immigrants to work the fields. Castle Hayne was the most successful of those colonies. It eventually became one of the largest fresh cut flower industries in the U.S. until WWII began.
Now, Castle Hayne has a population just over 1,200 and is home to General Electric Aviation's US-based aircraft plant, where they create engine parts for Boeing airliners. It's the fourth largest company in terms of employees in the Wilmington area. However, parts of the horticultural history have remained in small farms and nurseries like Castle Hayne Farms, Lewis Farms, and The Tinga Nursery.
Castle Hayne is part of the New Hanover County School District. There are two elementary schools, a middle school, and an early college high school located in Castle Hayne, but higher grades often attend school in Wilmington. You can view district maps here. To see how students perform in Wilmington area schools and how teachers compare to others in North Carolina, you can see school and district report cards at the North Carolina Public Schools website.
For home buyers, Castle Hayne provides the opportunity to buy property with a rural feeling while still being a short drive from their employment, the historic downtown of Wilmington, and Wrightsville and Carolina Beach. There are even some great cultural events in the area, like St. Stan's Polish Festival. Homes here are situated on larger lots with the average sale price around $125,000.
Careers in Castle Hayne are closely tied to those in Wilmington due to its proximity. Some of the top employers in the Wilmington area are New Hanover Regional Medical Center, New Hanover County Schools, Wal-Mart Stores, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and GE Aviation, UNCW, PPD, Corning Inc., CFCC, Duke Energy, Castle Branch, and Verizon Wireless.
If you have questions about living in Castle Hayne, we invite you to contact us. Tucked into a corner of New Hanover County and sitting outside Wilmington city limits, it is a unique area often overlooked by home buyers but can have some great real estate opportunities. Let us help you decide which area best suits your needs!
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