Brunswick Town was a port on the Cape Fear River founded in 1726. In colonial times, it housed the North Carolina Royal Governor, until that was moved to New Bern in 1770. The British burned Brunswick Town in 1776. In the 1880s, it became part of an antebellum plantation. During the Civil War is was repopulated as the Confederate Fort Anderson. Fort Anderson fell to the Union in 1865 and the area became overgrown.
In the 1950s, archeologists discovered the site. Sixty foundations have been uncovered. Today, there is a museum and interpretive center for visitors.