People and Places with Pierce: Meteor Strike Shapes Star Hill

CAPE CARTERET, N.C. (WNCT) – Golf and meteors: two things you typically wouldn’t utter in the same sentence. That is, of course, unless you’re in Star Hill.

“Star Hill got its name from this meteor impacting thousands of years ago,” said Andrew Collins, assistant general manager of the Star Hill Golf Club. “They do find it very interesting when they come and play golf here that there is a lot of history and story behind it.”

The meteor’s final resting place acts as a backdrop to the first tee of the lakes course at the Star Hill Golf Club in Cape Carteret.

When the meteor came crashing to Earth some thousands of years ago, it came in at a low angle, carving out a lake as well as pushing the earth up into a mound that the locals would come to call Star Hill.

“It’s probably about 30 feet high,” said Mick Brown, general manager of the Star Hill Golf Club. “It’s gotta be the highest hill in Carteret County.”

“I think it’s very unique,” said Collins. “Obviously, it happened long before I was here so it’s a great story that I think can be passed down to generations and kids throughout.”

And the people who live at the top of the meteor hill agree.

“When they developed this area back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, some of the residents asked them to retain that name of Star Hill because that’s what it had been called all of their lives,” said Brown.

A cantaloupe-sized piece of molten sand is a big chunk of Star Hill’s history.

“When a meteor goes into this sandy soil, it melts the sand and forms balls of what scientists call ejectus,” explained Brown. “It’s kind of like a piston going into a cylinder and creating a lot of pressure and that pressure kicked these things out, probably some of them for a mile or two away.”

Believe it or not, that’s not the only unusual thing you may encounter on the Hill.

“A lot of people are fascinated there are alligators here,” said Brown. “They’re not totally uncommon here but this is about as far north as they generally range. After they’ve seen the picture of our alligator, they all want to take a golf cart and go find him. Hopefully, most will look at him from a distance.”

Brown said the gator hasn’t bothered anyone yet, but it is a rather unfitting mascot for this peaceful community.

“It’s kind of a unique thing,” said Brown. “You’re not seeing too many places that were actually formed or shaped by a meteor.”

“The people need to know and continue to know where Star Hill got its name and why Star Hill is the golf course it is,” said Collins.

The golf course perched atop one of coastal North Carolina’s few hills looks to keep the legend of Star Hill alive and well.


We’re always looking for your story ideas for People & Places with Pierce. If you have an interesting person or place you’d like to see featured, email Pierce or send him a message on Facebook or Twitter.


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