The Ladies’ Memorial Association and the Civil War

By Nancy Gadzuk

Travis John Gilbert, manager of the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society’s Latimer House, spoke at the November 21, 2016 meeting of the Federal Point Historic Preservation Society. Travis talked about the Ladies’ Memorial Association and the role of women during and after the Civil War.

The notion of a so-called “good death” vanished with the realities of the Civil War and that change translated into women’s roles, particularly Southern women’s roles, changing dramatically as well.

While Southern women were supposed to be protected and taken care of, the war presented a new reality.

The unprecedented casualty rate of the Civil War meant that almost everyone was mourning loved ones who died alone and far from home rather than in the comfort of their families’ arms, in an honorable or good death.

In 1865, nearly every family plot in Wilmington’s Oakdale Cemetery had a fresh grave. War beckoned the ladies from their homes and they tried to mitigate the overwhelming death and destruction of war by leading the city’s mourning process.

The Ladies’ Memorial Association formed to take good care of Confederate graves. They held benefits and the 19th century equivalent of bake sales to make money for their efforts. May 8, 1868, marked Wilmington’s first Confederate Memorial Day, held outside Oakdale Cemetery with “graceful flowering offerings.”

By 1872, the Ladies’ Memorial Association had constructed the Confederate Soldiers Mound in Oakdale Cemetery as they shaped Wilmington’s post-war rebirth.

This plaque dedicated to the Confederate dead lies at the base of the mound:

THIS MONUMENT WAS DEDICATED MAY 10, 1872 / TO PERPETUATE DEEDS OF THE BRAVE AND IN GRATEFUL / TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF 550 HONORED UNKNOWN / CONFEDERATE DEAD AT THE BATTLE OF FORT FISHER / WHO LIE BURIED HERE / SPONSORED BY THE LADIES MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION LATER MERGED WITH DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY / SELF DENIAL – WORK – PRAYERS – TEARS – HEARTS BLOOD / ENTERED INTO ITS BUILDING

Under the auspices of flowers and community healing, the women of the confederacy became agents of local politics and power. Eventually this new gender strength and consciousness would find its way into the women’s suffrage movement, where these same elements would be crucial.

Self denial. Work. Prayers. Tears. Hearts blood.

 

 

 

January Meeting – World War I Commemoration

The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, January 16, 7:30 p.m. at the Federal Point History Center, 1121-A North Lake Park Blvd., adjacent to Carolina Beach Town Hall.

This month’s speaker will be Jan Davidson, historian at the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science.  She will discuss World War I and New Hanover County’s role in the fight.

We will hear about men and women who served their country, the folks they left at home, and the ways that the community memorialized the men who died in World War I.

Jan has worked at the Cape Fear Museum for 11 years, doing a wide range of research projects.  She curates exhibits (including Reflections in Black and White on display through February 20, 2017), writes the Museum’s “This Month in History” each month, and gives public programs on a wide range of historical subjects.

Lately she has been working on the history of World War I due to the upcoming anniversary, as well as a more long-term project exploring the census and slavery in the 19th century.

She has a PhD and has previously worked at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History before coming to Wilmington.

 

HELP US Commemorate WWI!

April 6, 1917 – Spring 2017

World War I, “The War to End all Wars,” is often overshadowed by WWII. However, there are many historical lessons to be learned from this period of history.

This Spring the Federal Point History Center will mount an exhibit commemorating the 100th anniversary of the US involvement in World War 1.

We are looking for artifacts, uniforms, papers, letters, and personal items from that period to BORROW for the length of the exhibit. If you have an item that you would consider lending to us, please call Rebecca at 910-458-0502.

 

Fort Fisher 152nd Reenactment

Saturday January 14, 2017

Fundraiser!

We’ll be selling hot dogs, sodas, snacks and homemade cookies again this year.  The reenactment is on Saturday January 14, from 10am – 4pm.

We need volunteers to “work the line” serving food as well as people to help set up and tear down.  We also need donations of homemade cookies to go with the meals for the reenactors.

If you can volunteer your time and/or bake a batch of cookies please call the History Center at 458-0502. Leave a message on the machine if Rebecca or Cheri isn’t there.

 

From the President – January, 2017

By Elaine Henson

The grand, new, three story Carolina Beach Hotel opened for the 1926 beach season near the Carolina Beach Lake where Carolina Beach School is today.  But by September of 1927 it was gone. It had lasted for only two summer seasons.

It all began when the Carolina Beach Corporation announced plans for a hotel in mid-1925, you can see the planned site in this April, 1925 map of the beach.

The CB Corporation’s president was S.C. Ogbourne of Winston Salem, NC.  He and Mrs. Ogbourne purchased the Loughlin home on the corner of Lake Park Blvd. and Cape Fear Blvd. as their summer residence.  The house later became The Cottage Restaurant and is presently Havana’s.

Mr. Ogbourne awarded a contract to W.A. Simon on October 27, 1925 to build the hotel which was designed by Wilmington architect Leslie Boney.  By December 7th the hotel’s foundation was laid making it certain to be open by beach season 1926. Also planned was a golf course and a pier for mooring yachts on the Cape Fear River.

The hotel’s location was a big draw as it overlooked a fresh water lake a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean thus affording guests “still water” bathing in the lake as well as the ocean bathing.

Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Ogbourne are seen here enjoying the gardenias at their home on the corner of Lake Park and Cape Fear Boulevard

Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Ogbourne are seen here enjoying the gardenias at their home on the corner of Lake Park and Cape Fear Boulevard.

The hotel’s formal opening was held on June 4, 1926. Its manager was J.L. Fagan formerly of the Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida and the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia.

There were 75 rooms with adjoining baths, a 150 capacity formal dining room overlooking the verandas, a smaller private dining room and a room for children’s dining. The lobby and mezzanine were furnished with cream colored wicker with print upholstery.  Enclosed porches had orange hued wicker.

Guests could dance the night away to the Meyers Davis Orchestra. The rates were $6 per day or $36 for a week, both rates included meals.

Carolina Beach had its formal opening on June 12 with many Wilmington, New Hanover County and beach dignitaries.

Carolina Beach Hotel from the May 30, 1926 edition of the Wilmington Morning Star

Carolina Beach Hotel from the May 30, 1926 edition of the Wilmington Morning Star

Among the guests at the Carolina Beach Hotel that weekend was the Honorable J.F.A. Cecil and Mrs. Cecil, the former Cornelia Vanderbilt of Biltmore.  The Cecils were married in April of 1924 with a lavish reception at the mansion.  Nearly a hundred years later their grandson, William Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil, continues to oversee the day to day operations of the largest private residence in the United States.

Coming next month, Part II

 

World War One “The War to End All Wars”

In conjunction with our WWI exhibit, we will be publishing a short brochure on the causes and history of WWI. 

The text is from American Political and Social History by Harold Underwood Faulkner, published in May 1937 by F.S. Crofs & Co., New York

 A WORLD POWER

…. As the nations of Western Europe became industrialized, they sought an outlet for manufactured goods in the less developed regions of the world.  Great Britain had obtained the lion’s share, but in the decade after 1870 other nations moved aggressively to obtain what was left.

Behind this imperialistic rivalry were France seeking to restore her national spirit after her defeat in 1870; Germany, with an amazing industrial development and with the most powerful army in the world, demanding “a place in the sun”; Russia in search of an ice-free port on the Pacific; and Japan looking for markets to support her teeming population; while smaller nations sought to pick up the crumbs of imperialism let fall from the feast of their more powerful neighbors.

In this scramble for markets and territories Africa had been carved up into colonies and protectorates, and there was every indication that the same fate awaited Asia.

While colonial rivalries kept the chancelleries of Europe on the qui vive and precipitated numerous diplomatic crises, serious European rivalries were a continuous menace to peace.

France had never been reconciled to the separation of Alsace-Lorraine, and the more warlike of her statesmen awaited only the right moment to regain the lost provinces; Russia, without an outlet to the Mediterranean, had her eyes fixed on Constantinople and sought to dominate the Balkans. Italy, since her unification, would extend her boundaries to include Italian-speaking peoples to the north and east; Austria-Hungary, cut off from expansion to the west, looked upon the Balkans as a normal region for expansion and thus came in conflict with Russia.

Obviously there was enough tinder here for a dozen conflagrations, and it is amazing that, with the exception of the Balkans, Europe maintained peace over a long period.  For this period of peace Germany was primarily responsible.  Wedged in between hostile nations and anxious to maintain the status quo in Europe, she constructed in 1882 the Triple Alliance with Austria-Hungary and Italy.  To protect herself, France achieved an alliance with Russia in the early nineties and a close understanding with Great Britain, while the latter attempted to iron out her conflicting imperialistic rivalries with Russia and Japan.

With Europe indulging in an orgy of militarism, imperialism, and nationalism, it was unlikely that this balance of power could be indefinitely maintained.

It was finally upset in the Balkans, where racial hatreds and nationalist strivings were complicated by the conflicting ambitions of Austria and Russia.  One of the Serbian intrigues against Austria, encouraged by Russia, came to a head on June 28, 1914, when Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, was assassinated while visiting the city of Sarajevo in the Austrian province of Bosnia.  Given a free hand by Germany, Austria was determined to punish Serbia, and Russia, similarly encouraged by France, mobilized for the defense of the fellow Slavs.

Mobilization, in the eyes of Germany, was tantamount to war, and, when Russia refused to order demobilization, Germany declared war (August 1).  Two days later she declared war on France, and, when the German army invaded Belgium, Great Britain entered the war (August 4).  Before many months all Europe, with the exception of Spain, Holland, Switzerland, Denmark, and the Scandinavian Peninsula, was involved.

Forsaking the Triple Alliance, Italy remained neutral until 1915, when she joined the Allies, followed by Rumania and Portugal (1916) and Greece (1917).

Turkey (1914) and Bulgaria (1915) were brought into the war on the side of the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, and Bulgaria).

 

Island Athletic Club

Featured Business Member
January, 2017

By Tony (Lem) Phillips

Our Featured Business Member this month is Island Athletic Club located at 105 Winner Avenue right behind Hop Lite Pub.

We thought that after the wonderful holidays, you might be interested in getting back in shape or just working out a little in a close, clean, quiet environment made just for you.

Go by and take a look. If you are interested in joining, here is what you can expect; a great membership price to begin with which varies because of the great deals offered each month depending on your needs.

Included in this membership is one FREE Training Session which includes easy steps on how to clean the equipment after it has been used. Clean after yourself is a rule posted everywhere in the gym. I like the fact that even families work out there along with Policemen, Firemen, and EMT’s. The gym even has a basketball goal on the patio.

They clean the bathrooms three times daily. There are lockers available in the bathrooms as well. Along every wall are personal items trays for your use. You will also find clean wash cloths to keep the sweat out of your eyes!

They supply a large bottle water cooler, a fridge, and several televisions if you like to watch while you exercise. There is music piped out speakers which is great to keep you going. Open 24/7/365, there is every machine you can imagine and two of some like treadmills and elliptical. Barbells, dumbbells, and free weights abound.

The Island Athletic Club really is a gym where anyone can come and workout anytime.  Their facility is open 24/7 and offers a wide variety of equipment to accommodate the diverse needs in our community.

You can come in and train on your own or be assisted by certified trainers.  Outside of general gym etiquette, there are only a couple of ‘rules’.  The culture is easy-going, clean, and functional.  Additional information can be found on their Facebook page.  Of course, we suggest you stop in and check them out!” Also, watch their Facebook and web page for specials each month!

Drive, walk, or bike over to the gym and look around. The door is always open. Tell them that you saw our article in the Federal Point History Center newsletter and thank them for their support of the Federal Point History Center. We are extremely proud to have Island Athletic Club on our banner of Business Members.

105 Winner Ave.
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
910-707-1616

IACFITNESS.COM
facebook.com/islandathleticclub1/

 

Society Notes – January, 2017

By Darlene Bright, History Center Director

  • The History Center recorded 91 visitors in December. We had 32 in attendance at the December Party. The gift shop took in $73.94.
  • A big thanks to John Golden and Jay and Deborah Hockenbury for their inspiring entertainment at the Christmas Party.
  • The History Center was used for meetings held by the Got-Em-On Live Bait Fishing Club, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy this month.