Oral History – Ray Rothrock – Part 1: ‘Kure Beach’

by Ann Hertzer

Ray Rothrock

Ray Rothrock

Ray Phillip Rothrock was born in Thomasville, North Carolina, July 26, 1938. His parents were Henry T. and Mattie (Billie) Rothrock. World War II was at the peak in 1943 when his Dad had to either get a government job or be drafted. So he left Thomasville Chair Company, moved to Kure Beach and went to work at the Wilmington Shipyard as a welder. Ray was 5 years old. His parents had 6 children and were expecting a 7th one. Of the 7, Ray was right in the middle. Kure Beach probably had more than 400 year-round residents.

The Rothrock family first lived on S. 3rd Street in one of the little cottages that still stands behind Moran’s Motel (118 Ft. Fisher Blvd. S. on the right). They lived in the small cottage closest to Moran’s Motel. The cottage had only two very small bedrooms, a little kitchen and a sitting room. The very small front porch is now closed in. Mom, Dad and seven children lived in this tiny cottage for a year before moving South of Monkey Junction.

His Mom and Dad bought the property from Sanders Road down to the south entrance to where Harris Teeter is now located. It had three small houses on it, but certainly larger than the very small cottage at Kure Beach. Back then they did not have running water, but a hand operated pump close to the house and an Out House way back in the back yard. They raised chickens and hogs and had a small backyard garden. read more