Carolina Beach Pavilion, Largest on South Atlantic Coast – 1911

[‘Wilmington Morning Star’,  January 22, 1911]

Shoo Fly Trainarriving at Carolina Beach Pavilion

Shoo Fly Train
arriving at the original Pavilion
from the steamer ‘Wilmington’

Without a doubt the largest strictly pleasure Pavilion on the south Atlantic coast will be erected within the next few weeks [Jan, 1911] on Carolina Beach. The plans and specifications for the magnificent new summer retreat were recently drawn for Captain John W. Harper, owner of the property and the splendid steamer, Wilmington, by which it is reached, by Architect H. E. Bonitz, of Wilmington.

It was Architect Bonitz who designed and supervised the construction of Lumina Pavilion at Wrightsville Beach, which has been so much admired, but in the structure at Carolina Beach, he has gone a step further and provided the largest and most completely equipped Pavilion on the south Atlantic coast – a thing of beauty and a joy forever when it is completed and ready for occupancy about May 1st.

Carolina Moon Pavilion c. 1912 NHC Library - LT Moore Collection

Carolina Moon Pavilion c. 1912   (click)
Louis T. Moore Collection – NHC Library

The contract for building of the new Pavilion has recently been let to Mr. W. B. Bevill, while the plumbing work will be executed by Dosher Bros, of Wilmington. The material will soon be on the ground and Contractor Bevill will send down a large force of hands who will remain on the beach until the splendid new structure is finished.

A 14-foot veranda will encircle the entire Pavilion, which will have all told 13,000 feet of floor space, “40-foot beam and 14 feet depth of hold,” as Captain Harper expresses it in the parlance of the sea with which he is quite as familiar as with the land.

Overall the structure will be 164 feet in length. The ballroom proper will be the largest south of Washington, DC, and as someone has said, the steamer Wilmington, could be put down in the middle of the floor and couples could dance around both ends. The floor will be of select material and will be smooth and highly polished to admit of the most delightful dances.

There will be large and commodious lavatories, toilet rooms and dressing room for ladies and children while another end of the structure Will be a refreshment booth. The design of the building is of the bungalow type and the roof and sides will be shingled.

The Carolina Beach pavilion in 1934 stood almost alone on the beach strandLouis T. Moore Collection, NHC Library

The Carolina Beach pavilion in 1934
stood almost alone on the beach strand.
Louis T. Moore Collection, NHC Library (click)

An entirely new acetylene lighting system will be provided and nothing in the way of expense and comfort for all visitors will be spared. The building will be six feet above the beach, amply protecting it from the highest tides, while provision is made so that trains from the Cape Fear River pier will run directly alongside. Visitors may step right from the cars into the Pavilion and there enjoy the pleasure that awaits them.

Hotel and bathing facilities will be provided at the beach independently of the pavilion which will be devoted exclusively to “have a good time.” Captain Harper is never so happy as when providing for others the means of enjoying themselves, and in the construction of the new Pavilion, he seems to have reached the climax.

Everything at the beach is now being put in good shape and the approaching season promises to be one of the most successful in the history of the resort.

[Editor, 1997:  This Pavilion was later known as the “Carolina Moon” Pavilion and burned in the big fire in September, 1940.  Later, in 1954 the boardwalk was destroyed by Hurricane Hazel.]

Mr. Reaves, a noted historian and member of the Federal Point Historical Preservation Society,  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.

Mr Reaves 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. – New Hanover County Public Library


[Additional Resources – 2015]

Over the years, the Pavilion was called many names – by Elaine Blackmon Henson
‘Carolina Moon, Carolina Club Casino, Carolina Club’

Architect Bonitz, Henry E. (1872-1921) – for a list of Carolina Beach buildings designed by Bonitz – look for ‘Building Types’ then click ‘Recreational’

Henry Bonitz also designed the Lumina Pavillion in Wrightsville Beach – Our State Magazine

Captain John Harper – from the Bill Reaves Files – a FPHPS resource

Wilmington Morning Star,  January 22, 1911

[Text was originally published in the July 1997 – FPHPS Newsletter (pdf)]

 

Carolina Beach Opens for Season, June 11, 1927

[Wilmington Morning Star, June 5, 1927]
Carolina Beach Hotel - June 1927

[The newly built (1927) Carolina Beach HotelThe hotel was located on the western end of what is now called Carolina Beach Lake, where Carolina Beach Elementary School is now located]

Image caption:  ‘Nestling amid the pines yet commanding a magnificent flow of the broad reaches of the Atlantic Carolina Beach Hotel offers the tourist every advantage the modem hostelry knows. A beautiful fresh water lake studded with artificial islands lies between the hotel and the ocean.’


Carolina Beach Opens for Season, June 11, 1927

By Bill Reaves – from Wilmington Morning Star, June 5, 1927

Carolina Beach, premier of Wilmington’s southern mainland beaches, will officially open its 1927 season, June 11 with a burst of glory and gaiety that has never been equaled in the annals of the growing resort.

Improvements have been made and others are still in progress which will undoubtedly add considerably to the beauty and attractiveness of the resort, whose popularity is growing with each season. The beach has grown rapidly during the last few years and today it is the mecca for thousands annually.

Officials of the Carolina Beach Corporation are spending money lavishly in beautifying the fresh water lake that is within a stone’s throw of the mighty Atlantic and also to construct an adequate and modern roadway around the lake. A dredge is now at work in the lake and it is making rapid progress.

Beautification of the lake includes the construction of small crescent-shaped islands, dredging of a canal which will make possible boating and the formation of a sand beach which will enable fresh water bathing The bathing beach is being formed in front of the Carolina Beach Hotel.

Carolina Beach Lake - 2015

Carolina Beach Lake – 2015

The lake’s beach will undoubtedly appeal to hundreds who love the ocean, but who are afraid to “break” into tempting waves. It will be convenient to hotel guests and will also provide a place where small children can enjoy bathing.

Various depth will be formed, making possible simple bathing and also swimming and diving.

The last feature cannot be obtained in the ocean, therefore, those gifted with the ability to make beautiful dives will find the lake a place for many hours of real enjoyment.

Other improvements are contemplated which will add considerably to the attractiveness of the beach. Officials expect to install a complete and new line of amusements which will have a distinct appeal to the children and younger set. Arrangements for these, however, have not been definitely completed. Formal announcement of these plans will be made later.

Opening of the pavilion on June 11 will meet with favor of hundreds of this and other cities. Dancing always has been a real feature at the beach and it will hold sway again this year. Music will be furnished by the Carolina Aces, popular Wilmington orchestra.

Considerable holdings of the Carolina Beach Corporation, including the Carolina Beach Hotel, were recently sold to John R. Baker, of Winston-Salem, who contemplates improvements that will blend nicely with those of the beach corporation. The hotel will open shortly after the pavilion is thrown open. Definite date will be announced later.

[The above article was originally published in the October, 1997 FPHPS Newsletter]

… and then the infamous story of the Carolina Beach Hotel continues …

The following newspaper clips where all obtained from the Bill Reaves files, where we discover more details and a shadowy story about the Carolina Beach Hotel.

from the Bill Reaves Files – Federal Point News Articles – 1927

May 26, 1927
The Carolina Beach Hotel, all of its furnishing and its furnishings and 755 lots, a considerable portion of the holdings of the Carolina Beach Corporation, were sold to John R. Baker, of Winston-Salem. Wilmington Star, 5-27-1927

June 18, 1927
The handsome Carolina Beach Hotel, overlooking the fresh water lake, was formally opened at dinner this evening. [at the current location of the Carolina Beach Elementary School]

J.T. Webb, general manager of the Southern and Southwestern Hotels Company anticipated one of the most successful seasons at this beach. The management of the hotel was in the hands of W.A. Buckley, for many years connected with the William Foor organization, and now with the O. Henry Hotel in Greensboro.

Mr. Webb‘s company operated a number of successful hotels in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

He expected to make this hotel one of the company‘s leading resort hotels on the coast. The Carolina Aces Orchestra was to give a concert during the dinner tonight. Wilmington Star, 6-18-1927

June 27, 1927
A 300-pound alligator, the last of its tribe to haunt the cooling depths of the fresh water lake that lies between Carolina Beach Hotel and the ocean was killed by Capt. Charles H. Burnett. Capt. Burnett got him with an army rifle. The big fellow sank when fired at, remaining down a day and a half. He then came to the surface and was dragged out. Wilmington Star, 6-27-1927

July 25, 1927
The Carolina Beach Hotel, popular resort center, was sold by John R. Baker, of Winston-Salem, N.C., to Sam Jackson, of Mecklenburg County, and then sold again to the Highway Park West, Inc., of Greensboro. The bill of sale was filed in the New Hanover County register of deeds office.

The former owner, Mr. Baker, acquired the hotel from the Carolina Beach Corporation along with 700 choice lots. The hotel had previously been operated under lease.

John T. Webb, the present lessee, will continue operation for the remainder of the present year. Wilmington News Dispatch, 7-26-1927

July 28, 1927
It was announced today that the Carolina Beach Hotel, sold recently by J.R. Baker, of Winston-Salem, to a Greensboro concern, for a sum of $125,000, was to be operated in the future as a year-round resort hotel. Manager Webb, of the hotel, was now making plans for the operation of the hotel all year. Negotiations for the above sale was handled by Cap. C.H. Burnett, local real estate operator. Wilmington News Dispatch, 7-28-1927

September 13, 1927
While the charred ruins of the Carolina Beach Hotel were still smoldering, attorneys for H.T. Ireland, of Greensboro, one of the owners of the hotel, were busy with an investigation, which they admitted might result in the indictment of one or more persons on charges of arson with a possibility of other warrants being drawn. Capt. W.A. Scott, deputy attached to the office of Stacy W. Wade, fire insurance commissioner, arrived in Wilmington and went immediately into conference with Mr. Ireland and his attorneys.

In the hotel at the time of the fire were Mr. Ireland and J.L. Byrd, both of Greensboro, and their escape from the burning structure was miraculous. The men were at the hotel making an inventory of the hotel‘s property, and were planning to open soon for the winter season. The loss was estimated at $150,000. Wilmington Star, 9-14-1927

November 18, 1927
H.T. Ireland and J.L. Byrd, prominent Greensboro real estate men, were arrested in Greensboro under capias issued after the New Hanover County grand jury had returned indictments for house burning against them in connection with the destruction by fire of the Carolina Beach Hotel on the morning of September 13.

Each man gave bond of $5,000 for appearance at the January criminal term of the New Hanover County superior court. The indictments were returned following an exhaustive investigation by W.A. Scott, and inspector of the N.C. Insurance Department, who came to the hotel site after he was informed of the fire. He was accompanied by an inspector from the National Board of Fire Underwriters who assisted in assembling data and delving deep into the facts surrounding the hotel.

Carolina Beach LakeIreland and Byrd were the only occupants of the hotel on the night of the fire. They were rescued from the roof on the building on the night of the fire. Wilmington Star, 11-19-1927

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trees And Shrubs Of The Maritime Forest

by Susi Clontz

Maritime Forest at Fort Fisher

Maritime Forest at Fort Fisher

The vegetation along the lower Cape Fear coastline has always been a part of its beauty, but it has also played a major role in the livelihood and survival of the coastal people. Behind the dunes we find a unique habitat called maritime forest.

Maritime means “near water.” This forest is unlike any other because the trees and shrubs that grow there must be tolerant of the sandy, dry soil plus the wind and salt spray the ocean.

Southern Live Oak

Southern Live Oak

Some of the trees and shrubs found in the maritime forest are Live Oak, Wax Myrtle, Red Cedar, Sable Palmetto, Sassafras, and Loblolly Pine.

Wedged together and pruned by the wind and salt, these trees take on a sheered look slanting away from the ocean. This unusual formation is a protective barrier for the salt-sensitive trees growing behind the maritime forest.

For a period between the Revolutionary War and the War Between the States, Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) came into great demand for ship building.  Its dense hardwood proved ideal for the hulls and frames of wooden ships.

Yaupon Holly Leaf

Yaupon Holly Leaf

In colonial times the leaves from the Yaupon Holly (Ilex opaca Ait) were toasted and brewed into a pleasing tea. Yaupon was also shipped north to supply the American colonists defying the British tea tax.

During the War Between the States, the United States naval blockade of southern ports forced the Confederates to turn once again to the brew used by the colonist and Indians of the southern Atlantic states.

Yaupon was the most commonly used tea substitute during the war. Oddly enough, the leaves were also used as a coffee substitute.

Wax Myrtle

Wax Myrtle

Candles were scarce in the Confederacy during the war. To make do, the southern people followed a practice used by the early colonist. The berries and leaves the Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera) were boiled in water. A translucent and very aromatic floating wax would then be skimmed from the top and used to make candles. This process required a great deal of work considering it took several pounds of berries to make one pound of wax.

Sassafras (Sasafias albidum) was used by the Indians for a variety of cures and as a medicinal tea by the early settlers. The roots of the Sassafras became the first cash crop exported back to Great Britain from the new colonies. It later became the main ingredient in the beverage we call root beer. Sassafras was believed to be a cure all by the colonists and early explorers.

Loblolly Pine

Loblolly Pine

In 1963 the North Carolina General Assembly named the pine as the official state tree. The Loblolly (Pinus taeda) is one of three species of pine found in our coastal area.

Starting in colonial times and continuing for almost two hundred years, the residents of the lower Cape Fear processed and exported naval stores. The resin from the pine trees was refined to make tar, pitch, turpentine, or resin. These products were used in the building and maintaining of the ships by caulking seams and waterproofing wood giving it the name naval store.

Sources
Nature Guide to the Carolina Coast – Peter Meyer
Civil War Plants & Herbs – Patricia B. Mitchell
“Making Do” During the Civil War – Virginia Mescher
Living the Land – Dr. Thomas K. Squier, M.D., M.H.

[Text was originally published in the November 1996 FPHPS Newsletter (pdf)]

 

Lighthouses of the Lower Cape Fear River

[Text was originally published in the December 1996 – FPHPS Newsletter]

by Susi Clontz

Lighthouses of the Lower Cape FearBecause of North Carolina’s treacherous coastline, our shores have been graced with coastal lighthouses. These tall, circular structures tower above the sand banks at scattered intervals along our Atlantic shoreline. Mariners have used these lighthouses for centuries as guides for safe passage through the narrow channels, sounds, inlets, and up interior rivers.

Old Baldy

Old Baldy

At present [1996] North Carolina has eight remaining lighthouses (a good overview of NC Lighthouses).

Three lighthouses are located on the southern end of the Cape Fear River and can be seen from the Southport/Fort Fisher ferry.

The first lighthouse built in North Carolina was affectionately called “Old Baldy” located at Bald Head Island. Its purpose was to warn mariners of the dangerous Frying Pan shoals and provide guidance into the mouth of the Cape Fear River.  It was completed in 1818 at a cost of $15,915.45. It stands 109 feet high and is brick covered with plaster.

The state discontinued using Bald Head lighthouse in 1935. All that is left standing is the tower that serves as a distinctive day marker and the oil shed that stored the oil used to light the lamps.

Price's Creek Light

Price’s Creek Light

On August 14, 1848, Congress passed a bill allowing the installation of a series of lights along the Cape Fear River. The cost was six thousand dollars for two beacon lights at Price’s Creek. The lights

Oak Island Lighthouse

Oak Island Lighthouse

allowed the pilots safe passage as they steered through the channel. One light remains, making it the only inland lighthouse left standing in North Carolina.

In 1958 a silo-style lighthouse was built at the Oak Island Coast Guard Station. Its purpose was to assume the duties of the discontinued tower on Bald Head Island.

The Oak Island Lighthouse stands 169 feet tall and has eight-inch-thick reinforced concrete walls. The foundation is 70 feet deep and rests firmly on bedrock. The paint is integrated into the concrete, the top third black, middle third white, and bottom third gray. The tower never has to be painted. The main light is a rotating, four-arrow beacon. Each light is lit with 1000-watt bulbs that can be seen 24 nautical miles offshore. It is one of the last manually operated lighthouses in the United States.

Source: North Carolina Lighthouses, David Stick.

[Text was originally published in the December 1996 – FPHPS Newsletter – images were added in 2015]

 

[Additional Resources – Lighthouses]

Bald Head: The History of Smith Island and Cape Fear – FPHPS article

Frying Pan Shoals Light

Lights of the Lower Cape Fear – Some Important Dates

Graveyard of the Atlantic – by David Strick – Book available in the History Center Bookstore

North Carolina Lighthouses: Stories of History and Hope
by Bruce Roberts and Cheryl Shelton-Roberts – Book available in History Center Bookstore

North Carolina Lighthouses – web-based history, pictures …

Federal Point Light – Wikipedia –  showing 2015 active & decommissioned NC lighthouses (at the bottom of page)

List of lighthouses in North Carolina (active and decommissioned)

Marybeth Ray – March Meeting

Marybeth Ray croppedThe Federal Point Historic Preservation Society will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, March 16, 7:30 pm at the Federal Point History Center, 1121-A North Lake Park Blvd., adjacent to Carolina Beach Town Hall.

Our speaker will be Marybeth Ray, Captain of the MV Southport ferry.  Marybeth Ray is one of just three women among the 60 Captains of the North Carolina ferry fleet.

Working seven 12 hour days on followed by 7 days off, she pilots the MV Southport across the Cape Fear River in all kinds of weather and conditions.

Ferry signMarybeth grew up as a “military brat,” her family moving all over the Southeast. When she was twelve her family settled on Andros Island in the Bahamas and her love of boats, sailing and all things involving salt water was born. Her early work experience involved working for the U.S. Navy at their Undersea Test and Evaluation Center as a civilian contractor.

MV Southport

MV Southport

Of her 1995 move to Wilmington, Ray says, “We fell in love with this area. Obviously, its very water oriented and Wilmington had a lot to offer as far as downtown.”   Soon after resettling she got a job working as a “deck hand” with the North Carolina ferry system. By 2003 she had worked herself up to full time Captain.

Now a resident of Southport, on her weeks off she and her husband run Southport Paddle and Sail offering paddle board activities ranging from lessons and guided excursions to SPS-Logoyoga “on the water.”

They also offer sailing lessons and tours of the area from their schooner Kitty Hawk and their catboat Catnip.

 

From the President: March, 2015

Elaine Henson

Elaine Henson

This post card is called Beauties on Parade and shows two lucky soldiers flanked on either side with bathing beauties walking along the Carolina Beach boardwalk in the mid-20th century.

CB Boardwalk

Click any image – for higher resolution

In the background are many of the businesses on the boardwalk including the famous Britt’s Do-Nuts, Henderson’s Beach Wear, Benway’s Department Store, The Shooting Gallery and Wave Theater.

 

Under the theater’s marquee flutters a banner announcing to all that there is frosty cool air inside.

This was before the days of central air conditioning in homes and businesses but it was a standard in most theaters.

Many beach goers were enticed to get out of the sun and cool off while watching a movie. On Saturday, June 9, 1960 this was playing:

The Wave

 

Walk of Fame Recipient – Captain John Harper

By Elaine HensonCaptain Harper

Captain John William Harper was born in the Masonboro area of Wilmington, NC on November 28, 1856.  At age 16 John went to work as a deck hand on the Steamer Eastern owned by his brother James.  By 1883 the brothers formed the Harper Brothers Steamship Company and ran steamers between Southport, Fort Caswell and Wilmington carrying mail and cargo.

Later in the 1880s Captain Harper was at the wheel of the Steamer Passport and often made stops at the recently completed New Inlet Dam. Some say it was Captain Harper who first called the project “the rocks”.

In 1886 Captain Harper and others formed the New Hanover Transit Company with the idea of making a resort at Federal Point. The first step was a transportation system to access the pristine mostly undeveloped land that would become Carolina Beach. They planned to bring visitors downriver from Wilmington on a steamer.

The company constructed a pier on the Cape Fear River, first near Sugar Loaf, later at Doctor’s Point where steamship passengers could board a train to carry them over to the sea beach. The train, called the Shoo-Fly, had a wood burning steam engine and pulled open passenger cars as well as flatbed cargo cars. As they neared the beach, the tracks ran along present day Harper Avenue which is fittingly named for Captain Harper.

The transit company built a pavilion on the ocean just south of the terminus of Harper Avenue. The pavilion was designed by Henry Bonitz who also designed Lumina at Wrightsville Beach.

They also built the Oceanic Hotel and a restaurant and had all of them open for the first season in June of 1887. The new resort proved to be so popular that by the end of July the Passport’s 350 capacity was enhanced by pulling a 150 passenger barge called the Caroline. An article in the September 30, 1887 Wilmington Star reported that between 17,000 and 18,000 people had visited the beach by the end of that first season.

Steamer WilmingtonOver the next few years the resort grew by leaps and bounds with other business establishments and cottages.

Captain Harper bought the Sylvan Grove in 1888 to bring excursionists to the new resort.Three years later it burned to the water line while in winter storage near Eagles Island.

He replaced it with the handsome Steamer Wilmington in 1891 which he purchased in Wilmington, Delaware. It was the perfect choice since it was already named the Wilmington. She had three decks providing ample room for its 500 passengers to dance to the music of an on board band and made four round trips in the season of 1892 with the ticket price of 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for children. The Wilmington is the best known of his steamers and the one most often associated with Captain Harper.

James Sprunt has a picture of the steamer and its captain in the front of his book Tales and Traditions of the Lower Cape Fear. Sprunt published the volume as a tribute to his friend Captain Harper in 1896.

The Cape Fear Transit Company was later sold to other investors but the Steamer Wilmington and Shoo Fly train continued to bring visitors until about 1919 when a fire destroyed the pier at the river and improved roads made automobiles the preferred mode of travel.

Captain Harper died on September 18, 1917 and was mourned by all who had known the jovial and popular gentleman who was known by his generous deeds as well as his skills as a steamer captain. We remember him as one of the founders of Carolina Beach.

Walk of Fame Dedication – Jan. 2015

Oral History – Ed Neidens – Fort Fisher Radar Station

Ed NiedensInterviewed by Ann Hertzler and Jeannie Gordon – March, 2007

I first came to Fort Fisher in the spring of 1956.  The Air Force took me off of a radar site on a mountain in northern Japan and said ‘we want you to go to Kure Beach.’  And at that time, Kure Beach was not on the map.  … Fort Fisher was on the map. This is actually the Fort Fisher radar site.

I was in the Air Force here at Kure Beach in ‘56 and ‘57.  I was discharged in Oct of 57, and went to work for what is now the federal aviation agency as an air traffic controller: Montgomery Alabama, Charleston, Miami, Pensacola, Wilmington. I was a control intercept technician – a radar operator.

Ed Niedens #2Actually the radar site was part of the old fort – the Fort Fisher Army Airfield WW II hospital area because that was the best part.  The rest of the area was done away with.

They actually opened the Air Force base in ’55 I believe. Hurricane Hazel hit in ’54. And then it must have been doing some construction. I don’t know anything about the Army base prior to ’56.

You have to understand the Cold War was here.

In ‘56 and ‘57 we had some 250 people down at the base. We had 4 crews, 24 hour operations, and maintenance for a base with a mess hall and everything else that goes on, not only radar maintenance but everything like vehicle maintenance.

And we had a high fence around the compound where the gate was guarded 24 hours a day. We had dogs that roamed the fence. At that time it was top secret.

The road from US 421 into the base was nothing but a little 2 lane road with bushes on either side of it. The Air Force Radar Station base was to the right back of the chain link fence. The museum wasn’t in there. That was an old run way – an empty grass runway. They put the museum right in the middle of the runway.

We were keeping track of all the aircraft going up and down within 300 miles of Kure Beach. They had fighter jets at Seymour Fort Fisher Radar StationJohnson AFB, Langley, Virginia, Goldsboro, NC and then down to South Carolina.

We could scramble fighter jets from any of those facilities to intercept air craft to determine what kind of air craft it is and identification. The only time we didn’t was when we knew what the aircraft was.  And if it was out of Carolina they gave us identification on that. So we knew the airliners and other people. But if it was coming in from the ocean, or somewhere, they definitely got scrambled. We were part of the early warning system.

Unless you knew the kind of aircraft from the identification of some means, you wouldn’t know, ’cause it was just a radar blip. Now-a’days [2007] everything on the computer has a tag on it that tells them what the aircraft is, the height and everything else. It’s got a transponder. Back then transponders had 3 modes. Now they have like 88.

In the b&w picture the towers behind me are both height radar. They determine the height of the air craft – how high up in the sky. It went like this and the beam went up and down and it showed up on a screen, a blip on the screen, and of course, it was calibrated as to what height. The one in the middle looks like it was under construction and a new radar. There is no antenna on top of it.

We had a great time. We had tours of duty. We were on 8 hours and then the rest of the day was ours. We wore civilian clothes off base. We’d come up to Kure and Carolina Beach. All the locals knew us. We had just a great rapport with all the people.

 

[Additional resources]
History of Fort Fisher Air Force Station – Wikipedia
Radar Station Location: Google MapsBing Maps

Carolina Beach Today – Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area

Frank’s Pizza

Featured Business of the MonthFranks Pizza
March, 2015

by Tony (Lem) Phillips

The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society would like to welcome Frank’s Pizza back to the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. After a devastating year in 2014, Frank’s Pizza has literally risen from the ashes to come back and continue to be one of the mainstays of our Boardwalk and a very welcome Business Member of the Federal Point History Center.

For twenty-two years Frank’s has opened for business selling New York Style pizza, calzones, and Stromboli on Carolina Beach Avenue North (Boardwalk) right across from Britt’s Donuts.

Mister Frank Tatey originally opened Frank’s Pizza around 1992. Mr. Tatey later sold it to one Frank Williamson who finally sold it to Debbie Whitley in 2003.

Debbie kept the name and slice by delicious slice, Frank’s became the “go to” place on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk for great pizza.

Last year, the owner, Debbie Whitley passed away. After that loss, the north end of the Boardwalk suffered an historic fire. While it may have looked like Frank’s Pizza was going to be a memory, Debbie’s son, Patrick Adair was working hard to bring it back better than ever.

Franks opening soonFrank’s Pizza aims to reopen by the end of March 2015.

Newly located beside Britt’s Donuts at #9 Carolina Beach Avenue North. They have a lot of new equipment and some great new ideas!

Keep your eyes and ears open for a new Frank’s Pizza website to develop by summer of 2015 advertising fresh pizza, calzones, and Stromboli. Look for later hours, dine in, carry out and the same delivery area as they had before. Do not forget to “like” their Facebook page.

Frank’s Pizza exemplifies the spirit of our community in Carolina Beach and the Federal Point Historic Preservation Society is extremely proud to have them as a Business Member. Welcome back Frank’s!!

 

Society Notes – March, 2015

Darlene Bright, History Center Director

  • The History Center recorded 50 visitors in February. We had 50 in attendance at the February meeting. The gift shop took $363.55 in February. The cookbook continues to sell at a steady pace.   The History Center was also used by Got-‘em-on Live Bait Fishing Club and the UDC-Fort Fisher Chapter, and the Committee for the Carolina Beach Walk of Fame.
  • Please welcome new members John Carroll and Roger Saulnier from Ottawa Canada. We also have TWO new lifetime members, David Craft of Greensboro, and Victor Alocci of Wilmington.
  • And don’t forget! If you take a trip with Wilmington Water Tours please tell them you are a member of FPHPS! If you do we get a portion of your ticket price. Call us 458-0502, or them 338-3134. wilmingtonwatertours.net

screen shotThe past 20 years of Society Newsletters are now available on our web site.

From the website main menu choose ‘FPHPS Resources’ and then choose ‘Archived Newsletters 1994-2014’.

Many of the historic and featured articles that have been extracted from archived Newsletters are now being posted daily on our website, one-per-day.

This is a GREAT resource that Andre’ has spent many hours scanning and formatting and it’s a great relief that all our hard work is now archived digitally.