A history of Landfall NC...Pembroke Jones, a millionaire rice broker and investor in railroads, purchased what is now Landfall Wilmington, NC in the early 1900’s. He built a mansion known as the “Lodge” in 1909. The land was being used as a hunting preserve and he hosted many Gentlemen’s outings there. His main residence was on what is now Airlie Rd. He and his wife Sadie became a prominent “Society” couple. Some say they inspired the phrase, “keeping up with the Joneses.”
After Jones died the Lodge was abandoned and in 1955 it was destroyed by fire. The only thing remaining was the “Temple of Love,” a gazebo designed by Jones son-in-law John Russell Pope. Pope also designed the Jefferson Memorial and some think the Temple was the inspiration to that project.
In the 1970’s Anthony B. Akers, husband of Pembroke Jones granddaughter, Jane who had inherited the property, developed the concept of Landfall as a residential community. Akers, a New York lawyer, real estate developer and the ambassador to New Zealand under John F. Kennedy, died suddenly in 1976 while staying at the Blockade Runner on Wrightsville Beach. Jane gave up on the idea of developing the property at that point.
The plans to develop were revitalized in the 1980’s by Landfall Associates, a partnership of the Weyerhaeuser Co, Chapel Hill developer J.P. Goforth, and Frank Hawkins Kenan, a Durham businessman. Construction was underway by 1986 and the first clubhouse was completed in 1989.
Some believe the name “Landfall” came from the Italian Explorer, Giovanni da Verrazano, who landed on the site in 1524 on a voyage for King Francis of France.