What is – The Bill Reaves Collection?

The Bill Reaves Collection – Introduction

The Reaves Collection, compiled by Bill Reaves, of Wilmington, North Carolina, was donated by him to the North Carolina Room of the New Hanover County Public Library during the 1990’s.

The collection came about in 1971 when Mr. Reaves was an employee of the Wilmington Star-News and keeper of the “newspaper morgue.” When the company decided to have 100+ years of newspapers destroyed, he was, to a large extent, able to personally salvage them. The bound volumes of newspapers found their way to his home and from there began a most unusual collection of Lower Cape Fear historical and genealogical materials, a compilation which consumed the rest of his life.

Bill Reaves - Carolina Beach The Oceanic Hotel - Rocks - May 15 1893Bill Reaves spent nearly thirty years clipping the old newspapers, and then dating, cross-indexing and filing the clippings. Mr. Reaves generated individual file folders for local history subjects, local buildings, local addresses, local organizations and family (surname) files. He then organized the clippings within some of the folders chronologically and in some cases proceeded to type up extracts of the information.

The organized folders then became the basis for his many publications. Some clippings date back to the mid and late 1800’s.

While the bulk of this clipping collection dates from 1860 through 1960, Mr. Reaves also added clippings from the newspapers of the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s, as well as various interesting, and often surprising, ephemera he collected as a champion of local history over the years. These folders have benefited numerous museums, galleries, researchers, genealogists and historical institutions around the state and country.

It is important to understand that the Wilmington newspapers reported events happening not only in New Hanover County but also in the surrounding counties – Brunswick, Duplin, Pender, Onslow, Columbus, Bladen, Sampson.

All of the Reaves Collection material is located in the North Carolina Room, on the second floor of the Main New Hanover County Public Library in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina. His body of work consists of some 9,000 clipping folders, 50+ publications, and too-many-to-count typed manuscripts.

The Collection is organized into five sections: Publications (on the shelves of the North Carolina Room, New Hanover County Public Library), Block Books (clippings organized by street address), Series I Family Files chronologically organized and typed (900 surnames, bound, each surname has an individual index), Series II Family File clippings (some organized chronologically, mostly loose clippings), and Subject files (a few organized chronologically, mostly loose clippings).

Not every article was necessarily clipped and saved, nor are clippings for every newspaper issue or even every year captured in these files. Many newspaper issues were unsalvageable. Some folders contain hundreds of clippings, while others may have only two or three. Mr. Reaves was working with one set of newspapers, requiring him to assign each article to one Block Book file or one Family file or one Subject file, as well as dealing with the articles on the back side of each page as the pages were being clipped.. To partially overcome this limitation, Mr. Reaves included frequent cross-references – following these will require the researcher to examine additional FAMILY or SUBJECT files and/or refer to the available newspaper microfilms.

It was the wish of Mr. Reaves, and is the hope of the Library, that this collection will help the genealogist and historian find vital and interesting information that cannot be found elsewhere. In the search of his own family Mr. Reaves said, “I have found both famous and infamous, rich and poor, the educated and illiterate, the Union and Confederate and I cherish every ‘skeleton’ that I have found in my many closets.”


Who was – William Marion (Bill) Reaves?

Bill Reaves

Bill Reaves

William Marion (Bill) Reaves


William M. Reaves was born on June 3, 1934, in Newark, New Jersey, the son of the late Marion William Whitford Reaves and Florence Belle Lynk Reaves. His grandfather, Richard Martin Van Buren Reaves, was a Confederate Veteran. In 1968, Mr. Reaves became a resident of Wilmington, his father’s childhood home.

During the 1970s, he worked both as a librarian and reporter for the Wilmington Star-News, where he wrote the popular local columns, “Inside Old Wilmington” and “Looking Back.” In 1976, during the United States’ Bicentennial, he wrote an award-winning series of articles on the history of the Lower Cape Fear.

Working with the Historic Wilmington Foundation, he was actively involved in Wilmington’s historic preservation movement.

In the 1980s, he helped catalog the artifact and image collection of the Cape Fear Museum. He also worked for North Carolina State Historic Sites at Brunswick Town, Fort Fisher and the Town Creek Indian Mound. A popular lecturer, he taught local history at Cape Fear Community College and the New Hanover Public Library.

Bill Reaves

Bill Reaves

A noted historian, Mr. Reaves was involved in over fifty local history publications and genealogical abstracts, covering New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender and Duplin counties.

A charter member of the Southport Historical Society, he wrote a remarkable four volume history of Southport. He was the author of Strength Through Struggle, The Chronological and Historical Record of the African-American Community in Wilmington, North Carolina, 1865-1950, for which he received a national award from the American Association of State and Local History.

His works have also been honored by the North Carolina Society of County Historians, the North Carolina Department of Archives and History, the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society and the Old New Hanover Genealogical Society.

In 1992, the North Carolina Underwater Archeology Unit Library at Fort Fisher was dedicated as the William M. Reaves Research Room. Mr. Reaves shared his extensive newspaper clippings and other historical files with the North Carolina Room of the New Hanover Public Library. The library’s Bill Reaves Collection has benefited researchers throughout the United States.

Source: Old New Hanover Genealogical Society


News Articles – 1725 – 1849

Federal Point, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher
– from the Wilmington Star, Wilmington News, Wilmington Post, Wilmington Dispatch, Wilmington Messenger, The Daily Journal.

Bill Reaves files: Federal Point/Carolina Beach/Kure Beach/Fort Fisher 1725-1994


July 14, 1725
The Lords Proprietors of the Carolinas granted to Maurice Moore the land upon which Carolina Beach is now located.

April 21, 1736
The land was sold to Thomas Merrick. He died about 1767, devising the property to his daughters, Sarah and Dorothy Merrick. Sarah later married Samuel Ashe and Dorothy married James Augustus Tabb. (Star, 6-15-1941)


April 21, 1736
The “Haulover” tract of land within Carolina Beach, nearly opposite Brunswick, was conveyed by Maurice Moore to Colonel Thomas Merrick.


August 25, 1761
In 1761, the pilot road across the beach at the “Hawl-over” was blown out by a terrific hurricane and was converted into what was to be known as “New Inlet.” (Star, 8-25-1877)


September 20, 1761
New Inlet was formed by a great storm, which visited the coast and lasted four days. This inlet grew in width and depth until large sailing vessels could pass through, and later steamships. VOL.I


January 5, 1776
The Wilmington Committee of Safety ordered that all river pilots be taken into protective custody. Vol. 1


The land formerly owned by the Merrick family came into the possession of Peter Maxwell, and upon his death it was sold by his executors to James Telfair. (Star, 6-15-1941)


18th Century
Malcolm Ross, author of THE CAPE FEAR, 1965, wrote that across from Orton, on the less socially acceptable eastern shore of the estuary, lived Major Jack Wheeler, a military man and one who excelled in abusiveness. He was fond of personal fights, yet good-natured and never seriously injured anyone, except, when he indulged his fun-loving habit of carrying a forceps with which he used to extract a tooth from a prostrate antagonist. His abilities later raised him to the rank of brevet major on the battlefield of Brandywine.


March 11, 1802
John McFarlane gave notice in the newspaper for all persons to be forwarned and forbidden from hunting or traveling over any part of my lands, on which Mr. Jonah Clark resides, nearly opposite Brunswick, and adjoining the river, also on the lands adjoining me, near to the Sugar Loaf, the property of Peter Carpenter. Any persons or persons found trespassing thereon with dog or gun, after this notice, would be prosecuted as the law directs. (Wilm.Gazette, 3-18-1802)


March 24, 1802
Edward Newton gave notice in the newspaper forwarning all persons from running any lines on my land lying between and adjoining the lands of Capt. John McFarlane and Mr. Simon Sellers in New Hanover County – or hunting or traveling over any part thereof, with dog or gun, after this notice, under the penalty of law. (Wilm.Gazette, 3-25-1802)


July, 1804
Joseph Gardner Swift, of the U.S. Army Engineer Corps, suggested in a report to the Secretary of War in Washington, D.C. among other items that an enclosed battery be built at New Inlet, Federal Point. Vol. 1 In 1809, Engineer J.G. Swift inspected a site for the proposed fort on Federal Point, near New Inlet. Vol. 1.


November, 1809
Engineer Joseph G. Swift inspected a site for the proposed fort on Federal Point.


April 7, 1817
Charles B. Gause deeded an acre of land on Federal Point to the United State government for the erection of a light house. The deed was recorded in New Hanover County Deed Book P, page 396


Captain Otway Burns brought the first steamboat to ply the Cape Fear River to Wilmington, passing through the New Inlet, coming from Beaufort, N.C. (The Scene Magazine, Wilmington, N.C.)


May 28, 1830
Mrs. Mary Newton, 68, wife of Joseph Newton, died.

August 19, 1835
William Grissom, 65 years old, died at Federal Point, after an illness of 11 days. He had been a resident of Federal Point for about 40 years. He was survived by his wife and nine children (Peoples Press and Wilm Advertiser, 8-28-1835)


May 1, 1837
Proposals were requested to build a lighthouse and dwelling house at Federal Point. (Wilm. Newspaper, 5-1-1937)


April 6, 1842
It was reported from New Inlet, Federal Point, that an accident occurred there on March 31, which caused the instantaneous death of two men; Jonathan Derby Wilson, of Lowell, Mass. and Nehemiah Healey, of Waterville, Maine. A number of men were engaged in launching the schooner Susan and Benjamin, a vessel that had gone ashore there, and when she was nearly afloat, a heavy swell of the sea threw her over crushing the two to death.


August, 1842
The schooner Venus which went ashore near the Federal Point light, some weeks since, being bound hence to Philadelphia, was got off last week and towed up to town. It is said she is not at all injured in the hull. (Wilmington Chronicle, 8-17-1842)


February 27, 1843
A deed was made transferring property from Joseph Newton, Jr. to Thomas Craig, Jr. …for sum of $200… all that tract or parcel of land on Federal Point in the county of New Hanover…100 acres, more or less, to Benjamin Craig‘s north corner. (NEW HANOVER COUNTY DEED BOOK Z, PAGE 574, Registered March 25, 1843)


March 1, 1843
The dwelling house of Mr. Joseph Newton, at Federal Point, this county, was destroyed by fire a few days since, at an early hour in the morning. A negro man belonging to one of Mr. Newton‘s neighbors was examined before a magistrate here ion the charge of having set fire to it, but nothing was proved and he was released. (Wilmington Chronicle, 3-1-1843)


October 21, 1843
Mrs. Clarisse Newton, 30, wife of James Newton, died on Federal Point. Vol. 1.


January 5, 1844
A deed was made transferring property from Benjamin Craig to Thomas Craig, Jr…. for sum of $50…being in the county of New Hanover on Federal Point, beginning at Thomas Craig, Jr, line, thnce running down the river the distance of one acre in width to Simon Grissom‘s line…to the seashore thence with the sea beach…containing three acres. (NEW HANOVER COUNTY DEED BOOK AA, page 271, Registered March 25, 1844)


June 4, 1845
Joseph Newton, 82 years old, died at Federal Point, New Hanover County. (Wilmington Chronicle, 6-19-1845)

July 15, 1848
Mrs. Effie Grissom, 72 years old, died at Federal Point. (Wilmington Chronicle, July 26, 1848)


September 10, 1845
We understand the federal government contemplates erecting a battery at Federal Point, at a cost of about $18,000; and that an appropriation for that purpose will be made by the next Congress. That such work is needed everyone who is entitled to an opinion must admit No one need require a stronger argument, of the necessity of such a work than the United States has afforded by fortifying the main bar at the mouth of the river. That system of defense is certainly incomplete which only guards one entrance into the river; and to refrain from perfecting the system for the paltry sum of $18,000 or $20,000, is certainly to be penny wise and pound foolish. (Wilmington Chronicle, 9-10-1845)


February 10, 1849
A deed was made transferring property from Thomas Craig to Jesse Craig Sr… for the sum of $900…Land lying and being on Federal Point…including a small piece or parcel of land on which the Dwelling House stands…100 acres more or less. (NEW HANOVER COUNTY DEED BOOK FF, page 578, March 28, 1849)


November 9, 1849.
A deed was made transferring property from Simon S. Grissom to Jesse Craig…for the sum of (not given)…being in the county of New Hanover, commencing at, Jesse Craig Sr.‘s north line and running easterly to the sea at low water mark thence running in a northern direction to Simon Grissom‘s south line, thence back to the River, containing 100 acres more or less… (NEW HANOVER COUNTY DEED BOOK GG, page 478, registered Jan. 8, 1850)


Bill Reaves files: Federal Point/Carolina Beach/Kure Beach/Fort Fisher 1725-1994


News Articles – 1850 – 1864

Federal Point, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher
– from the Wilmington Star, Wilmington News, Wilmington Post, Wilmington Dispatch, Wilmington Messenger, The Daily Journal, Wilmington, N C.

Bill Reaves files: Federal Point/Carolina Beach/Kure Beach/Fort Fisher 1725-1994


December 10, 1850
James Newton, 76, died.

December 27, 1850
Isaac Newton, 33, son of James Newton, died.

September 29, 1851
John J. Newton, 49 years old, died at his residence on Federal Point, New Hanover County, after a painful illness of almost 16 months. Buried in Federal Point Cemetery. (The Daily Journal, 10-6-1851)


William H. King was appointed Fumigator at Federal Point by the Commissioners of Navigation. (Wilmington Commercial, 5-7-1853)


September 7, 1853
Mr. Julius H. Dozier, of Smithville, N.C., married Miss Hester Ann Newton, at Federal Point, with J. G. Pickett, Esq, officiating. (Wilmington Commercial, 9-15-1853)

October 17, 1856
Hester Ann Elizabeth Dozier, wife of Julius Dozier, died. She was born June 14, 1834. Internment was on Federal Point. Vol. 1.


The Lighthouse Board recommended that the Cape Fear Lighthouse be made a fixed flashing light to distinguish it from the Federal Point Lighthouse, about 8 miles away.


October 17, 1856
Hester Ann Elizabeth Doshier, wife of Julius Doshier, died and was buried on Federal Point. She was born June 14, 1834.


May 27, 1861
General Theophilus Holmes was ordered to take charge of coast defenses from New River in Onslow County to the South Carolina line. He engaged engineers, constructors, laborers, materials and went to work building up the defenses in his department. Fort Fisher was begun at this time. Vol. 1


September 7, 1861
General Joseph R. Anderson, of Virginia, was ordered to take charge of the defenses around Wilmington. He had only 4,669 men present for duty in his district. He dispersed the men available to eight different points, one of which was Camp Wyett with 740 men and Confederate Point with 85 men. Vol.1


October, 1861
Company B., 36th Regiment, N.C. Troops, (Second Regiment, N.C. Artillery) was assigned to man the battery on Zeke‘s Island, Cape Fear River.

The Light Boat, which was taken from the Frying Pan Shoals, was anchored opposite Fort Anderson with four guns mounted aboard it. The Light Boat from the Horse Shoe Shoals was anchored inside Zeke‘s Island with four guns mounted.


October 8, 1862
Sterling F. Newton died. Born April 7, 1834. Internment was on Federal Point. Vol.1

August 2, 1864
Mr. John L. Newton, aged 23 years, died at Confederate Point. (The Daily Journal, 8-9-1864

August 2, 1864
John L. Newton died. Born August 13,1839. Internment was on Federal Point. Vol.1.


Bill Reaves files: Federal Point/Carolina Beach/Kure Beach/Fort Fisher 1725-1994


News Articles – 1865 – 1870

Federal Point, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher
– from the Wilmington Star, Wilmington News, Wilmington Post, Wilmington Dispatch, Wilmington Messenger, The Daily Journal, Wilmington, N C.

Bill Reaves files: Federal Point/Carolina Beach/Kure Beach/Fort Fisher 1725-1994


February 15, 1865
Two divisions of Union General Schofield‘s army were ferried across the Cape Fear River from Federal Point to Smithville, and there they were joined by an additional brigade, all under the command of Major General Jacob D. Cox. The plan was for a combined army-navy attack on Fort Anderson. Vol.1


February 17, 1865
Major General Cox‘s troops marched out of Smithville. About 3 miles outside of the town, Confederate pickets started a running skirmish and continued until Major Cox‘s force was within 2 miles of Fort Anderson. Here Cox opened communications with Admiral Porter‘s force on the river.


July 28, 1865
Sterling L. Newton died. Born April 1, 1865. Internment was on Federal Point. Vol. 1


October 12, 1865
John W. Newton died. Born April 10, 1860. Internment on Federal Point. Vol.1.


November 1, 1865
A deed was made transferring property from Charles W. Craig to Henry Howard…for the sum of $200…situated on the Cape Fear River in Federal Point District, beginning at the river at Jesse Craig Sr.‘s south line and running in an easterly direction to the sea at low water mark…containing 82 acres…


Cape Fear (Bald Head) Lighthouse was extinguished because a new lighthouse had been erected on Federal Point.


July 23, 1866
A deed was made transferring property from Jesse Craig to Charles W. Craig…for the sum of $100…situated on the Cape Fear River in Federal Point District, to John H. Burriss‘s south line…50 acres more or less… (NEW HANOVER COUNTY DEED BOOK TT, page 376, registered July 30, 1866)


September 25, 1866
Mrs. Elizabeth Newton, 81, died.


February 9, 1867
We are informed on reliable authority that there is now in possession of Mr. E.A. Grissom, a gentleman residing in the vicinity of Fort Fisher, a young cow – for cow she must be, although little more than a calf – that was born in April 1865, was nurtured by its mother until July 1866 and gave birth to a calf in the month of September of the same year. This we consider one of the most remarkable incidents of the character on record and are informed that the facts we have related are undoubtedly correct.  (The Daily Journal, 2-9-1867)


December 13, 1868
James Newton, an old and highly respectable pilot, who was born and raised, lived and died, at Federal Point, told a member of a river improvement committee, a short time before his death a few years ago, that he well remembered the first breaking out of New Inlet during the prevalence of a long and terrific northeast gale, in the month of September, 1781; that prior to that time he had frequently walked and ridden to Bald Head beach, now Smith‘s Island. (Star, 12-13-1868)


December, 1869
The steamship “Lucille,” went aground near Zeke‘s Island. More than half her cargo was removed from the vessel and carried to Smithville. In drifting, part of her keel was knocked off, causing her to leak considerably.


A study was begun to close the “New Inlet.” An open space of two miles between Federal Point and Smith Island beach where the beach was wearing away and where navigation was almost destroyed was given a great deal of attention. (Star 8-25-1877)


January 20, 1870
A report was made of the soundings on New Inlet Bar:
South slue on Bar – 9 1⁄2 Feet.
North slue on Bar – 8 feet
On Rip – 9 1⁄2 feet. (Star, 1-23-1870)


October 3, 1870
The fish oil works began operations at Fort Fisher as a sufficient number of little fatbacks had been obtained. The plant is operated by the Navassa Guano Company. About eighty barrels of the little fish were caught at one haul, and this was enough to yield six barrels of oil. Another haul was expected soon. (Star 10-5-1870)


Anthony A. Hawes © offered his resignation as a member of the School Committee for Federal Point Township, which was accepted, and R.B. Freeman © was appointed in his place. (Star, 12-7-1870)


Bill Reaves files: Federal Point/Carolina Beach/Kure Beach/Fort Fisher 1725-1994


News Articles – 1871

Federal Point, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher
– from the Wilmington Star, Wilmington News, Wilmington Post, Wilmington Dispatch, Wilmington Messenger

Bill Reaves files: Federal Point/Carolina Beach/Kure Beach/Fort Fisher 1725-1994


June 9, 1871
Henry Nutt reported the completion of the work across Deep Inlet, the northern end of the finished super-structure resting firmly upon the highest part of the old stone work at a point designated upon the plan of the government works, near Zeke‘s Island , as the cross, thus effectually sealing up this inlet in a substantial and permanent manner.

When we take into consideration the formidable character of this work, an opening of about or over 500 feet, requiring a superstructure over 600 feet lineal by 20 feet wide and over 40 feet high, to shut out or stop a current of water passing in and out at a rate of 8 or 10 miles an hour, and all of this to be accomplished within the short space of about 8 months, and at a cost of within the sum of $100,000, the skill and industry of the officers in charge who designed the executed this great work, should receive the high appreciation of all. (Star, 6-11-1871)


June 11, 1871
Henry Nutt reported that the experiments for collecting drift sand and thereby elevating the beach in low parts of it, has not been made in consequence of financial deficiency. The first imperfect experiment has acted well, and accomplished all that was expected of it, elevating the beach above storm tide, thus proving the feasibility of building up the beach to any desired height by judicious treatment at small cost.  (Star, 6-11-1871)


September 2, 1871
A report issued on this date mentioned that the beach south of the government works was growing. The catch-sand fences had proven successful. Not a rail had been removed by the recent storm, and the brush had been completely covered with sand to the top of the fence, presenting an embankment 3 to 5 feet high, and far above the reach of any tide. This, and the weak parts of the beach where the wind had blown out trenches between the hills, was now being strengthened by a system of cultivating the “beach grass.”. This grass bore transplanting well; none of that which was set out in July and August had died; but all growing and doing well, and it was suggested that transplanting could be done at any season of the year. Where the “beach grass” was planted, it had not only successfully resisted the blowing away of sand, but has already collected, it at many places, a foot or over in height. (Star, 9-8-1871)


Between August 12 and Sept. 2, 1871 …. Federal Point
A most violent northeast gale visited the coast, producing some apprehension, according to Henry Nutt, for the safety of the government works in progress, and later during the month, much rainy weather prevailed, retarding operations somewhat. From the violence of the storm some of the unfinished cribs and preparatory timber was displaced, which involved some loss of time and labor to replace them in position again. This was successfully and speedily accomplished through the energy and skill of the local superintendent, and all is now going on well again. (Star, 9-6-1871)


September 6, 1871
A report by Henry Nutt noted that the shoals in the vicinity of the government works had somewhat changed their position. Zeke‘s Island is somewhat changed, indicating an increased low-water area, while its high water area appears diminished. There is some appearance of an increased depth of water in the small inlet south of Zeke‘s Island. (Star, 9-6-1871)


September 30, 1871
It is perceptible that the water is shoaling in the vicinity of the government works on both sides of it and the outer shoals were evidently moving up in a body. The point of beach is extending northward and in front of the works. The inlet south of Zeke‘s Island seems not to be effected, as its depth of water is still maintained, while Zeke‘s Island itself is gradually wearing away, and is almost covered with high tides. (Star, 10-3-1871)


Bill Reaves files: Federal Point/Carolina Beach/Kure Beach/Fort Fisher 1725-1994

News Articles – 1872

Federal Point, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher
– from the Wilmington Star, Wilmington News, Wilmington Post, Wilmington Dispatch, Wilmington Messenger

Bill Reaves files: Federal Point/Carolina Beach/Kure Beach/Fort Fisher 1725-1994


January 4, 1872
C.W. Craig gave satisfactory evidence to the Local Inspectors of Steam Vessels for the District of Charleston, that he was a skillful Pilot of steam vessels and he could be entrusted to perform his duties on the Cape Fear Bar and River to Wilmington, and he was licensed to act as First Class Pilot on steam vessels for one year from this date.


December 3, 1872 …. Federal Point
Sale of Land for Taxes-James Newton, 400 acres inside Fort Fisher, Federal Point Township $4.80 WILM.STAR, 12-3-1872


Bill Reaves files: Federal Point/Carolina Beach/Kure Beach/Fort Fisher 1725-1994

News Articles – 1873

Federal Point, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher
– from the Wilmington Star, Wilmington News, Wilmington Post, Wilmington Dispatch, Wilmington Messenger

Bill Reaves files: Federal Point/Carolina Beach/Kure Beach/Fort Fisher 1725-1994


June – July 1873
The breakwater closing New Inlet between Zeke‘s Island and Smith‘s Island was practically completed, the distance being 4,400 feet. A Major Griswold was the officer in charge of the work. Completed in July . VOL.1

In July, the 1873, the Federal Point jetty was begun, and by winter it was extended to 500 feet in length. The object of the works was primarily to serve as a deflector to the New Inlet currents. VOL.1


July 4, 1873
The 4th of July holiday was celebrated by a group of 15 gentlemen who went down the river on the steam tugboat JAMES T. EASTON to Federal Point. They celebrated the 4th by raising a large flag and listening to an oration by A. T. London, Esq. Some of the officers and soldiers from the garrison at Smithville were present and the occasion was hugely enjoyed. While there, the group visited the New Inlet Dam or as we call the Rocks, and inspected them with Henry Nutt, who was chairman in charge of the work. (Star, 7-11-1873)


July 8, 1873
The first crib of the new breakwater at Federal Point was placed in position near the old fish house wharf. The second crib was placed in position of July 10th.


September 1873
Mr. J. R. Sneeden, a resident near Wilmington had a valuable mule stolen from him at Picket‘s Point, in Federal Point Township. The thief was Augustus G. Reaves and he was caught at a place called Jumping Run, on the outskirts of Wilmington, where he was floundering in the mud and mire. Reaves was tried before a magistrate and committed to jail. (Star, 9-12-1873)


October 23, 1873
Mr. Nicholas Carr was appointed Constable for Federal Point Township by the Board of County Commissioners. (Star, 10-24-1873)


Bill Reaves files: Federal Point/Carolina Beach/Kure Beach/Fort Fisher 1725-1994

News Articles – 1874

Federal Point, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher
– from the Wilmington Star, Wilmington News, Wilmington Post, Wilmington Dispatch, Wilmington Messenger

Bill Reaves files: Federal Point/Carolina Beach/Kure Beach/Fort Fisher 1725-1994


January 10, 1874
Since November 7th, 1873 four additional foundation cribs had been placed in position and filled with stone, extending the line of breakwater about 100 feet from the starting point. As fast as the work is leveled up to the line of high water, the beach makes up and now follows the breakwater about 100 feet from the starting point, and the whole of Federal Point is widening and elevating itself. It is generally concede that the breakwater should be extended 1,500 feet before stopping it. (Star, 1-14-1874)


May 29, 1874
H. L. Horn was appointed to the Central Executive Committee for the Conservative Party of New Hanover County to represent Federal Point Township. (Star, 5-29-1874)


August 6, 1874
Stephen Keyes served as Register and Sol Reaves, H. L. Horn, Jos. Burris, Joseph Davis as Poll holders at Little‘s Store, the polling place for Federal Point Township in the county election.  (Star, 7-10-1874)


August 11, 1874
Capt. Simon S. Grissom, aged 62 years, 7 month and 17 days, died from heart disease in Smithville, NC. He was born at Federal Point, near where the waves he  braved abound;

“But lighter as life‘s burden rest upon
Thee, the soil of Carolina, good man.” (Star, 8-15-1874)


August 11, 1874
Capt. Simon S. Grissom, 62 died of heart disease. He was born on Federal Point on December 25, 1811. He as a popular and efficient pilot on the Cape Fear River. Interment was in the Smithville Cemetery. VOL.I


October 7, 1874
Henry Koch, the young watchman at the government works on Zeke‘s Island about 26 years of age was accidentally drowned when he fell from a boat. His funeral was held in Wilmington from a house at the corner of 4th and Church Streets. Interment was in Oakdale Cemetery. (Star, 10-10-1874)


December 18, 1874
A bill was introduced in the State House at Raleigh to incorporate the Wilmington and Federal Point Plank Road. (Star 10-20-1874)


Bill Reaves files: Federal Point/Carolina Beach/Kure Beach/Fort Fisher 1725-1994

News Articles – 1875

Federal Point, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher
– from the Wilmington Star, Wilmington News, Wilmington Post, Wilmington Dispatch, Wilmington Messenger

Bill Reaves files: Federal Point/Carolina Beach/Kure Beach/Fort Fisher 1725-1994


1875 …. Federal Point Township
We learn that Balaam Wade, colored Constable for Federal Point Township, gave bond and qualified on Saturday last. (Star, 8-19-1875)


January 8, 1875
Ann M Craig, wife of Joseph Craig, died. Born June 16, 1807. Interment on Federal Point. Vol I


June 23, 1875 …. Federal Point
Colonel Craighill, U.S. Army Engineers, opened proposals for the extension of the Federal Point jetty at the New Inlet. This is an important work, being to close New Inlet by artificial means, and thus increase the depth of the river to the harbor of Wilmington, so as to admit the passage of large vessels. New Inlet was defended by the Confederate Fort Fisher during the late war.

Old records show that this inlet has been in existence for somewhat over a century, and that its origin was due as much (if not more) to the action of the wind upon the dry sand of the beach as to the tendency of the river currents to seek that outlet to the sea. Up to the summer of 1873 no steeps were ever taken to contract the area of outflow at New Inlet, although several breaks which had from time to time occurred below New Inlet had been successfully closed.

On July 1, 1873, the work for closing the space between Smith‘s Island and Zeke‘s Island had just been completed, and New Inlet remained the only passage to the sea except the mouth of the river. In July, 1873, the present Federal Point jetty was extended to 500 feet in length. The object of this work was primarily to serve as a deflector to the inlet currents, and not necessarily to form an integral part of any closing work which might afterwards be undertaken, the direction given it served to diminish the distance across the Inlet by only about 400 feet—thus leaving the distance across, from end of jetty to Zeke‘s Island , about 3,800 Feet. One of the results of this work has been the growth of Federal Point. (Star, 6-24-1875)


August 6, 1875
Col. Craighill, of the Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army, in his Baltimore office, opened the proposals for certain work at New Inlet, the ultimate purpose was the entire closing of the same. (Star, 8-10-1875)


August 14, 1875
Anthony Hawes, colored, resigned his newly acquired position of Magistrate in Federal Point Township. Thomas M Gardner, of Wilmington, was appointed to act in his stead. (Star, 8-14-1875)


August 15, 1875
Jacob Horne, the Magistrate in Federal Point Township, was planning to remove his office to Wilmington at an early date. (Star, 8-15-1875)


August 24, 1875
It was reported that the contract for closing New Inlet Bar, below Wilmington, had been awarded by the government to Messrs. Bangs & Dolby, of Manlius, N.Y. at the following figures: For an apron, $20,00; for closing New Inlet to the low water mark, $188,000. The object was that of stopping the outflow to the ocean at New Inlet of the water of the Cape Fear River, and thus turn the entire volume out of the main bar or original mouth of the river, thus assisting in deepening it. (Star, 8-24-1875)


September 4, 1875
The Board of Trustees of Federal Point Township met and organized by electing T.M. Gardner, Esq., as chairman. The school committee for the township were(sic) duly qualified as was also the Constable, Balaam Wade, who gave a bond of $500 as a renewal of his former bond, he having been re-elected. The Clerk was granted further time in which to prepare his bond. (Star, 9-10-1875)


September 4, 1875
Balaam Wade, colored, Constable for Federal Point Township. Gave bond and qualified. (Star, 8-19-1875)


September 24, 1875 …. Federal Point
It was learned that Messrs. Bangs & Dolby were not going to close New Inlet but were to form the base for the accomplishment of that undertaking. Their contract was for the construction of a carpet or apron, which was to be built to stone four feet deep and from forty to seventy feet wide in the center of the current. The final closing of the inlet will require a further appropriation by the government. (Star, 9-24-1875)


September 25, 1875 …. Federal Point
Several large government flatboats were being constructed in Wilmington for use at the bar and river works at New Inlet in conveying stone to the scene of operations. (Star, 9-25-1875


October 3, 1875 …. Federal Point
A large lighter or scow was being built at Messrs. Cassidey & Ross‘ shipyard for Messrs. Bangs & Dolby, who had the contract for constructing the stone “carpet” or “apron” at New Inlet. It was to be 100 feet long, 6 feet deep and 20 feet width of beam. (Star, 10-3-1875)


December 26, 1875
William Grissom died. Born March 9, 1807. Internment on Federal Point. VOL.I


Bill Reaves files: Federal Point/Carolina Beach/Kure Beach/Fort Fisher 1725-1994