The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society will hold its annual holiday potluck on Monday, December 18 at 6:30 pm. This year we will be back at the History Center as it’s a lot easier for the hospitality committee. Please join us for food, fun and festivities.
Joining the festivities will be John Golden and his magic guitar. Please feel free to bring family and friends to this cozy community get-together.
During WWII our busy bus station was inside the Carolina Beach Drug Store on the corner of Lake Park Boulevard and Harper Avenue. Long lines of soldiers would line up along the sidewalk waiting for buses to take them back to Fort Bragg, Camp Davis, Camp Lejeune and other military installations.
In May of 1947, Hal Love, manager of Queen City Coach Lines, announced that a new bus station was to be built across from the drug store on the corner of Lake Park Boulevard and Raleigh Avenue.
The new station, of masonry construction, opened on July 30, 1948, with several dignitaries from Queen City Coach Lines, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Wilmington and New Hanover County in attendance. At the grand opening, Mr. Love declared, “This terminal was built for the benefit of the people of Carolina Beach and for the thousands of visitors to this popular resort.”
It had a spacious waiting room with terrazzo floors, three comfortable benches, roomy telephone booths, and rest rooms. There was a separate waiting room for blacks reflecting the Jim Crow era of our history in the South. In that same vein, the soda shop with sandwich bar and soda fountain was for whites only.
The terminal was heated in the winter with gas heaters and cooled with big fans in the summer months. The Queen City buses provided local service from Fort Fisher into Wilmington with several stops in between as well as service to major cities and connections beyond.
They served Carolina Beach for many years until car ownership was the norm, bus travel declined and the terminal closed. After that it became home to the Battery Restaurant.
In 1982 Carolina Savings and Loan Association purchased the property and hired architects Ballard, McKim and Sawyer to draw plans for renovation.
The building and loan institution moved into the former bus station/restaurant in 1983 making the Carolina Beach branch their fifth location in southeastern North Carolina. Today the property is home to BB&T Bank at 7 North Lake Park Boulevard.
If there is an old-timer in your house today, he probably is not reminiscing about the grand old tradition of The Christmas Flounder. It is practically forgotten.
The Christmas Flounder is a Yuletide custom unknown outside Southeastern North Carolina, according to Paul Jennewein, the late veteran newsman who was the world’s only authority on the matter. According to Jennewein, it began during the Great Depression, when people in this area were even poorer than usual.
Buying and stuffing a turkey for Christmas dinner was out of the question for many. Something else was needed, something that poor folks could procure in the days before food stamps.
The unfortunate flounders, lovingly stuffed with native delicacies such as oysters, crabs, collards and grits, graced Christmas tables all over the area. Non-Baptists who knew a reliable bootlegger accompanied the humble dish with a jelly glass of high-octane cheer.
It was a tradition born of hardship, but it is unique and deserves to be remembered as part of the folklore of the Lower Cape Fear.
(Reprinted in the Wilmington StarNews every Christmas Eve in an effort to keep this grand tradition alive.)
1- to 3-pound medium flounder (Have your flounder prepared at the fish market by cutting down the center of the fish and filleting the top fillets back.)
Start by dicing up the onion and peppers and then combine them in a pan with the butter and sauté until the onions become clear. While the onions and peppers are cooking, cut your shrimp into small chunks and add them to your crabmeat in a medium size bowl. Once you have your shrimp and crab mixed, add the cornbread, egg, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, onions and peppers.
After you have all of your ingredients together, open your flounder and begin adding your stuffing. You can add as much as you like, but if you have any leftovers I would suggest making crab cakes out of it for appetizers.
Close your flounder around the stuffing. I suggest putting three bamboo skewers through the fillets and stuffing, holding the sides together and keeping the fish closed. Now that your flounder is prepared, brush it with a little melted butter to help keep it moist. Place the flounder in the oven at 325 degrees for 30 minutes until the shrimp are cooked. Remove and serve. This should feed 4 people.
[To read the original Christmas Flounder story see this year’s December 24th StarNews]
The History Center is proud to feature A & G Bar-B-Que, an island icon, located just past the Carolina Beach Lake at 800 South Lake Park Boulevard, as our business of the month.
The original owner, Alton Riggs, opened its doors in 1988. Alton retired at which time his daughter, Angela and her husband, Robert Stalnaker, took over the restaurant.
Their menu features BBQ, fried chicken, fish, hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and lots more. They have the best old fashioned “Southern” style hamburgers and hot dogs on the island. Their fried chicken is just “the best” as well as their Brunswick stew, which is a southern favorite.
Don’t forget catering!! With the holidays coming up, they are the perfect choice for your party or event.
For the greatest food at a very reasonable price, make A & G your first stop!
Located adjacent to Carolina Beach Municipal Complex
Our thoughts and prayers go to the McKee family upon the passing of Beattie McKee. Our thoughts and prayers, also, go to Punky and Jean Kure upon the passing of their daughter, Linda Danner.
Thanks to Juanita Winner and Helen James for providing refreshments at the November meeting.
The History Center recorded 70 visitors in October. We had 39 in attendance at the November meeting.
The History Center was used for meetings held by the Got-Em-On Live Bait Fishing Club and the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Welcome to new members Elizabeth Abdo of Laguna Hills, California; Gerry Mullen of Hobe Sound, Florida; Karen Sullivan of Carolina Beach; Louise Colvert of Carolina Beach, and Wesley Moore of Kure Beach.
The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, November, 20, 7:30 pm at the Federal Point History Center, 1121-A North Lake Park Blvd., adjacent to Carolina Beach Town Hall.
The mission of the Coastal Land Trust is to enrich the coastal communities of North Carolina through conservation of natural areas and working landscapes, education, and the promotion of good land stewardship. In short, we save the lands you love along the North Carolina Coast.
Founded in 1992, on a shoestring and a dream, the Coastal Land Trust has become the largest land trust geographically in the state of North Carolina, serving 31 counties along the entire coastal plain. One of 24 land trusts in the state, our focus is saving and restoring special places in the coastal plain like barrier islands, nature parks and preserves, family farms, and longleaf pine forests.
Vann oversees marketing, fundraising, and outreach activities of the Coastal Land Trust, building relationships with our current members and educating the community about the importance of investing in coastal conservation.
Vann joined the Land Trust in 2010, returning to Wilmington after 10 years as a non-profit executive in Bethesda, Maryland and Wilson, NC. A 1996 Graduate of UNC Wilmington,
Vann grew up in Pender County, where he spent many days swimming and fishing on the Northeast Cape Fear River with his family and friends and many nights scouting in the fields and forests of southeastern NC. Vann’s wife and two kids keep him pretty busy outside of work, but he still finds time to play around on the guitar and attend concerts and festivals. He loves cooking, camping, and is an avid sports fan.
His favorite NCCLT preserve is the BW Wells Savannah, located about 5 miles from his childhood home.
This month we will take one last look at the empty lots at the boardwalk that are home to the rides each summer.
The empty corner lot at Cape Fear Boulevard and Canal Drive used to be the site of the Bame Gulf Station.
The station was managed by Ernest “Tite” Bame whose parents, J.R. and Amanda Bame, owned the Bame Hotel diagonally across the street. World War II took Ernest away in the early 1940’s to serve in the Army Air Corps so he asked his brother-in-law, Jim Knox, to manage the station while he was gone. Jim and Ernest’s sister, Ruby Bame Knox, had recently moved to Carolina Beach to live year round.
At the end of the war Jim Knox and Ernest Bame became partners and also opened an appliance store next to the station. It was housed in the bottom floor of a two story white building next to the Gulf station as seen in the photo above. Cooks and other employees of the Bame Hotel lived upstairs during the summer season.
“Hurricane Hazel. It really took my husband’s business – the Gulf station and the appliances.
During Hurricane Hazel, he stayed down at the business. I was living at the corner of Hamlet Avenue at the time. I wondered why he didn’t come home…. During the height of the hurricane the ocean and the canal were almost ready to meet. And it did eventually.
And he was trying to save the appliances. He had just put in a car load of GE appliances. And they stayed down there and tried to save those appliances until it just got hopeless. The building was almost demolished. That’s another reason they had to get rid of the hotel later – so much water came in. All that area just flooded something awful.”
After Hazel Jim and Ernest decided to move their business to the 1000 block of North Lake Park Boulevard. They also decided to go into the building supply/hardware and furniture trade erecting a building large enough for both in 1955. Ernest and Rachel’s son, Phil Bame, still runs Bame Ace Hardware in that block today.
Masonboro Island is the largest undisturbed barrier island along the southern part of the North Carolina coast and is located approximately five miles southeast of Wilmington, in the most populous part of the North Carolina coast. The Masonboro site is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway to the west, Masonboro Inlet to the north, and Carolina Beach Inlet to the south.
The Masonboro Island component is the largest site, at 5,653 acres, within the NCNERR system and was designated in 1991. Eighty-seven percent of the 8.4 mile long island is covered with marsh and tidal flats. The remaining portions are composed of beach uplands and dredge material islands. Masonboro Island is an essentially pristine barrier island and estuarine system.
The various salinity patterns found in the extensive subtidal and intertidal areas along the sound side of the island support a myriad of estuarine species.
The habitats found within this site include subtidal soft bottoms, tidal flats, hard surfaces, salt marshes, shrub thicket, maritime forest, dredge spoil areas, grasslands, ocean beach, and sand dunes. Loggerhead and green sea turtles nest on the beaches, where seabeach amaranth plants grow on the foredunes.
All of these species are listed as threatened by the Federal Government. Species of concern are the black skimmers, Wilson’s plovers, and least terns that nest on the island. Sound sediments are home to two state watch list species – Hartmans Echiurid and a polycheate worm in the genus Notomastus.
The nutrient rich waters of Masonboro Sound are an important nursery area for spot, mullet, summer flounder, pompano, menhaden, and bluefish.
Island Reserve has more than 5,500 acres of natural barrier island habitat, estuary habitat and dredge spoil islands. Creation of the Reserve Masonboro Island was privately owned throughout most of the 20th century.
Increased development pressure prompted early conservation efforts by local citizens with the creation of the Society of Masonboro Island and involvement of the N.C. Coastal Land Trust during the 1980s.
Designation as the fourth component of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve occurred in 1991. This natural area is one of 10 sites that make up the North Carolina Coastal Reserve & National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Preservation of the Masonboro Island Reserve allows this coastal ecosystem to be available as a natural outdoor laboratory where scientists, students and the general public can learn about coastal processes, functions and influences that shape and sustain the coastal area.
Traditional recreational uses are allowed as long as they do not disturb the environment or organisms or interfere with research and educational activities.
The Masonboro Island Reserve is managed through a federal-state partnership between NOAA and the N.C. Division of Coastal Management to protect the island’s ecosystems for research and education. The support of ongoing stewardship of the site by a community of partner organizations is gratefully acknowledged. This site is also a dedicated state nature preserve.