In the late 1800s, however, dredging equipment big enough to handle this project did not exist. Engineers decided to build a jetty of quarried large rocks to filter the shifting sand across New Inlet. They began the project in 1865.
Engineers used rocks from a quarry north of Wilmington and manpower, horses, mules were used to load rocks on barges which were then floated down the Cape Fear River where they were sunk and in four years a manmade jetty was created.
I have always understood that this project occurred during the 1870s.