Snow’s Cut Bridge – From the Bill Reaves Files

snows_cut-steelJuly 4, 1929
Bids for construction of a temporary bridge over the Inland Waterway, at the point were it crosses the Carolina Beach highway, at an estimated cost of $10,000 was asked for and was to be opened in the office of the Wilmington District engineer.The temporary span would be constructed for traffic over the 75-foot ditch. It was announced also that bid for a permanent bridge over the canal at this point, were asked for and the bids were to be opened by the district engineer of July 25th. This structure was to cost approx. $100,000. WILM.STAR, 7-4-1929

December 14, 1929
Bids for the erection of a steel bridge on the Carolina Beach highway at the point of intersection of the Intra-Coastal Waterway, now under construction, were to be opened today in the Wilmington office of the North Carolina District of Army Engineers. This was the second time that bids had been received. The first were rejected because of high estimates. The span will be approx. 225 feet in length and was to be one of two types of draw bridges. It was not know yet when work on the span would start. WILM.STAR, 12-14-1929

January 20, 1930
Construction of the temporary wooden bridge at the intersection of the Carolina Beach road with section five of the Beaufort-Cape Fear inland waterway system was scheduled to begin in the near future. Detour approaches and embankments had already been constructed. The temporary span was to be used for 11 months or so. The wooden bridge was to be built on the river side of the beach highway. WILM.NEWS, 1-20-1930

March 9, 1930
Rapid progress on the dredging of Section Five of the Intracoastal Waterway canal had brought earlier use than expected for the temporary wooden bridge across the waterway on the Carolina Beach Road. The temporary bridge was not entirely completed but the structure was deemed safe for traffic. The early traffic was due to crowds of people wanting to view the progress of the dredging, and they crossed and re-crossed the bridge. The temporary bridge was built about 200 yards north of the main highway bridge. The highway was severed by the dredge before the wooden bridge was completed and forces had to speed up for the opening. So many spectators came by automobile to see the progress of the dredge that traffic at one time was almost an unbroken line of cars from the city to the beach. WILM.STAR, 3-10-1930

March 27, 1930
Secretary of War in Washington allotted $135,000 for construction work on the Inland Waterway from Beaufort to Cape Fear River. According to the Wilmington office of the U.S. Army engineer, this money was to be used in the construction of a permanent bridge across the waterway on the Wilmington-Carolina Beach highway, as there was only a temporary structure at the crossing point on the highway at present. Bids for work on the bridge were opened some time ago, but the award of the contract was never made by the engineering department. In the meantime, money for the bridge had been spent on dredging work, on section 4 of the waterway. This allotment was thus made by the Secretary of War for the erection of the bridge. WILM.STAR, 3-28-1930.

April 4, 1930
The connection of the Cape Fear River with Myrtle Grove Sound, by way of the Inland Waterway, was completed when the dredge of the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Company, working on Section Five of the Waterway, cut through to the sound. Reaching the sound brings near completion of the work on Section Five, which was halted for some time by the failure of the company to which the contract was originally awarded. WILM.STAR, 4-5-1930.

snows_cut_1964November 25, 1930
Construction of the $110,000 draw-bridge over the Inland Waterway near Carolina Beach on Route No. 40, was begun by the Roanoke Iron and Bridge Works, of Roanoke, Va. A small group of workmen began the building operations.
A center pier was to be set in place within the next few days. The span was to be completed before the 1931 season at the beach. The contract was let over a year earlier by government officials but on account of various changes in the plans work had been delayed until today. Local labor was to be used where possible.
WILM.STAR, 11-26-1930; WILM.NEWS, 11-13-1930;11-20-1930;11-25-1930. See also WILM.NEWS, 6-5-1930;11-13-1930;1-20-1931;3-12-1931

April 6, 1931
The Wilmington District Engineers reported that the draw bridge spanning the Inland Waterway canal would probably be open for traffic by July 1st. The bridge was to have an 80-foot draw and a clearance of 20 feet when closed. The span will be in constant use when completed due to the many small vessels using the waterway canal. At present a wooden bridge is being used. WILM.STAR, 4-6-1931; WILM.NEWS, 6-15-1931; WILM.NEWS, 8-15-1930?

October 22, 1931
The temporary wooden bridge over the Inland Waterway on the Carolina Beach Road was burned yesterday at the command of the district army engineer’s office. Oil soaked waste was used in starting the blaze. After the draw burned through and fell into the canal, all the wreckage was removed. WILM.NEWS, 10-23-1931.

April 22, 1947
The Snow’s Cut bridge was thrown out of business by a broken shaft, which jammed a gear. D . W. Stewart, operator of the bridge, said that the damages would not interfere with inland waterway traffic, and a new bridge shaft would soon be installed. WILM.NEWS, 4-23-1947

November 11, 1961
Pillars to support the new fixed span bridge across the Inland Waterway near Carolina Beach were in place. The bridge was not a “high-level” bridge, but was high enough to permit passage of boats using the waterway and would eliminate most of the congestion caused by pile-up of autos held up by the draw. THE STATE magazine, 11- 11-1961.

maj_william_snow

Big Daddy’s

by Ann Hertzler

Doris Eakes worked at Smitty’s for Charles Smith when he purchased the corner where Big Daddy’s is located today. He shortly opened a miniature golf course (a put-putt) on the front part of the lots. Tom Lancaster purchased the corner from the Smith’s, added a small building behind the golf course, rented dune buggies, and sold hot dogs and hamburgers. A little later ice cream and pizza were added.

Big DaddysFor the kids, he started an “Open Air” dance hall space out front. The music was loud! Lancaster was his own advertising media, driving his big Cadillac convertible all over the beach with large bull horns mounted on the hood blasting messages for everyone to come to Big Daddy’s for dinner! He tried everything – first a breakfast house, an ice cream store, a full service restaurant with a buffet dining room, then a Steak House. By the early 70’s Lancaster settled on seafood, steaks, and lobster tails.

Of the original 8 or 9 Big Daddy’s across NC and one in SC, there are now only two Big Daddy’s stores – Kure Beach owned by Eakes and one at Lake Norman owned by Fred Lancaster, Tom Lancaster’s grandson.

Both stores serve “Seafood at it’s Best.” Eakes (one of the first radar operators to arrive at the beach in 1965) and Doris (nursing student attending James Walker School of Nursing in 1956) married in December 1956. The Eakes’ purchased the Kure Beach store in 1981. As of 2008 Mr. Gerald Huffman continues to manage Big Daddy’s of Kure Beach, keeping a steady and pleasant staff which is frequented by locals and visitors alike.

Major James Reilly

Historic Feature
by Col. Black Jack Travis

Major James Reilly was born on April 4th 1822 in Ballydonagh, Ireland. He immigrated to the US as a teenager. By the summer of 1845 he had enlisted in the US Army at Fort Columbus, NY. He participated as an artillerist in the War with Mexico and was promoted to the rank of sergeant. His military career then took him to Oklahoma Territory and the Indian Wars.

Major James ReillyBy 1860 he was in command at Fort Johnston in Southport, NC. When the hostilities broke out between the North and South, James Reilly chose the cause for Southern Independence. Promoted to Captain he took command of 10th NC. First Artillery which become known as the “Rowan Artillery.” He served with the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee. Reilly’s battery was rated 2nd in all of Lee’s artillery. After the battle of Gettysburg on September 7th he was promoted to Major and transferred to Wilmington, NC where he served with distinction at Fort Fisher.

Major Reilly was present at the first Union attack on Fort Fisher on December 24th . When the Union made its 2nd attack on the Fort on January 15th 1865, Major Reilly was the highest ranking officer still standing . Fighting with great bravery and valor as Fort Fisher was overwhelmed by the Union forces, he surrendered the Fort at Battery Buchanan on the evening of the 15th.

Reilly was married to Ann Quinn from 1848-1877. In 1878 he married Martha E. Henry. After the war he served as the manager for Brunswick Ferry Company. H e also farmed and built a Catholic Church at Farmer’s Turnout, NC (Brunswick County) near his second wife’s family. He died on November 7th 1894.