December Meeting – Holiday Potluck

Monday, December 16, 2019

6:30 PM –
one hour early!

 

The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, December 16 at 6:30 pm at the Federal Point History Center, 1121-A North Lake Park Blvd., adjacent to Carolina Beach Town Hall.

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.

This event is one of our most popular and the evening is full of great food, songs, games and fellowship.

Why not invite a new neighbor or local friend and show them how great a group we are!

 

Holiday Shopping – Federal Point History Center Gift Shop

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Holiday Shopping

Does everyone in your extended family have one of our Local Flavor Cookbooks?  How about friends and neighbors? At $25.00 it’s the perfect homegrown gift for every cook you know.

It is full of “cookable” recipes mostly built from ingredients you already have in your pantry or can pick up at any local grocery store.  And, it has a section with historic highlights of well known restaurants of Federal Point.

 

Don’t forget our t-shirts are a real bargain at  $12.00 each.  We’ve got plenty of the Society shirts in every size and color.  We’re also well stocked with the Ocean Plaza BIRTHPLACE of the SHAG shirts.  Anyone with a history of the Boardwalk would love this reflection of  our history.

Carolina Beach in Postcards

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Books, Books, Books! We have lots of books that relate to the history and culture of our area.  The two most important are

Elaine Henson’s Carolina Beach in Postcards and Brenda Coffey’s Images of America: Kure Beach.  Both are well researched and would be a great present to anyone who’s interested in the history of our local area.

 

 

 

President’s Letter – December, 2019

By Elaine Henson

The Ocean Inn and Café at Kure Beach

Kure Beach founders Hans and Ellen Kure emigrated to Wilmington via Charleston, S.C. from Denmark in the 1880s. They had four sons, William Ludwig, Hans Adolph, Lawrence Christian, Andrew Emile and a daughter, Elene H. Kure Shands.

Their son, Lawrence, who built the Kure Pier in 1923, later built a two-story, white frame building he named the Ocean Inn and Café, south of the pier.  The café took up most of the first floor with rooms to rent on the second floor.  This early linen post card, c. early 1940s, shows the Inn and pier.

In 1944, our region was brushed with an unnamed hurricane referred to as the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944. The worst damage was sustained at the Outer Banks. At Kure, the pier suffered a lot of damage and so did the Ocean Inn.  The pier’s pilings slammed into it and left the building sitting on the beach.

After the storm, Lawrence decided to move it just north of the pier facing the ocean.  He bought the lot from his brother Andrew Emile Kure offering him $5,000 when most lots were going for a few hundred dollars.

Later he built an addition to the Ocean Inn that faced K Avenue across from Smitty’s, the Post Office and Arcade.  It was named the Trading Center which housed three businesses.

On the end near the ocean was Mrs. Davis “Home Cooked Meals featuring her famous ‘Mrs. Davis’ Homemade Hush Puppies’.

Left of her restaurant was the Trading Center where you could buy beachwear, novelties and drug store items.  On the other end was the Fishing Hole Tackle Shop with everything you needed to fish in the surf or on the pier.

Above the businesses were rooms to rent on the second floor of the old Ocean Inn.  The little girl sitting on the bench on the far right is Linda Kure, daughter of A.E. “Punky” and Jean Kure.  Linda later married Clarence “Sonny” Danner whose father had Danner’s Fish Market which was located a couple of doors left of the tackle shop in the card above.

 

Wilmington, NC,  Orton Hotel Fire, January, 1949

WILMINGTON HOTEL AND BUSINESS PLACES BURN

 [from The Robesonian, Lumberton, North Carolina]

Wilmington, Jan. 21. — (AP) — Fire roared through a 100-room hotel and destroyed six adjacent stores here early today. Loss was estimated at more than $1,000,000.

MRS. HORACE T. KING of Wilmington, reported that her uncle, J. R. MALLARD of Charlotte, had occupied a room in the hotel and that he was unaccounted for. She said her uncle, about 70 years old, was in Wilmington visiting her father, E. F. MALLARD, 67, who is in a hospital here. Whether the aged man had reached safety and failed to notify his relatives, could not be immediately determined.

Forty guests of the 75-year-old five-story Orton hotel were routed from their beds but nobody was hurt. The four-hour general alarm fire was checked shortly before dawn, but firemen continued pouring streams of water on the smoking remains.

Other destroyed buildings housed the Royal Theater, the GLEN MORE clothing store, PAYNE’S Men’s shop, the SALLY ANN dress shop, the Fashion Center and the Cinderella Bootery.

Patrolmen discovered the fire shortly after midnight in the Cinderella Bootery. The flames spread rapidly. All firefighting apparatus and off-duty firemen and policemen were called in.

Sparks from the wind-fanned conflagration set afire a tug boat in the Cape Fear River and woods across the river from the city. Those fires burned only briefly until extinguished.

Firemen described the fire as one of the worst in the history of this river port.

The 40 guests registered in the hotel had ample time to reach safety, said A. Abrams, owner of the building. Police said no one was injured in the fire, which was brought under control about 4:30 a.m. (EST), but two firemen were overcome by smoke and required hospital treatment.

Abrams said the hotel, of brick construction, was a complete loss. He valued the building at $200,000. The loss was only partly covered by insurance, he said.

Firemen gave no estimate of the damage to the adjacent buildings. Unofficial estimates, however, said the damage to these structures probably would range up to between $700,000 and $800,000.

The hotel, on North Front Street immediately opposite the post office in the heart of the downtown business district, recently had undergone an extensive refurnishing.

Two Marines, who assisted in combating the conflagration, suffered minor burns. They were treated at a Wilmington hospital and discharged.

The Red Cross set up an emergency station with a nurse on duty. Coffee was given to weary firemen and hotel guests.

  

The Ghost of the Orton Hotel

To view a great video that explains all about the ghost of the Orton Hotel done by WWAY go to:

https://www.wwaytv3.com/2017/10/19/cape-fear-history-mysteries-the-orton-hotel-fire/

Or just google “Orton Hotel Fire”

 

Society Notes – December, 2019

By Darlene Bright, History Center Director

 We need your Pictures!

Hurricanes Diana, Bertha, Fran, Dennis, Floyd and even Florence!

We’ve been organizing and cataloging all the photos in our collection. We’ve got lots and lots of pictures from the days right after Hurricane Hazel and the damage caused by what’s called the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944, but we have almost no pictures from our “modern” storms.

If you have pictures please consider LOANING them to us to scan and add to our digital archives.  We’ll give them back, and give you a digital copy as well.  So dig out those scrapbooks or boxes of photos stashed in the closet and help us document an important historic aspect of life on our coast.

 

  • The History Center recorded 92 visitors in November. There were 35 people at the November meeting.
  • Elaine Henson and Steve Arthur led one Boardwalk Walking Tour for a group of 21. Donation $200.00.
  • The History Center was used by the Got-Em-On Live Bait Club and the UDC.
  • Welcome to new members Allison and Jonathan Rankin of Carolina Beach, Amanda and Nestor of Carolina Beach, and Shelley Wiltshire of Wilmington.
  • Welcome to new Business Member, Kristen Dunn of BlueCoast Realty Corp.
  • Thanks to Pam Capel, Karen Sullivan, and Kathy Schultz for providing refreshments for the October meeting.

November Meeting – Travis Souther Speaks on the Orton Hotel Fire

The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, November 18, 7:30 pm at the Federal Point History Center, 1121-A North Lake Park Blvd., adjacent to Carolina Beach Town Hall.

Travis Souther is our speaker this month. He will be speaking on the Orton Hotel fire that happened in Wilmington, in January of 1949.

Travis Souther has spent most of his life in North Carolina and has lived in all three regions of the state. Born and raised in the Piedmont, Travis attended school at Appalachian State University in the mountains, and now lives here at the coast. At Appalachian State, he graduated with a Bachelors in History and Education. He earned his Masters of Library and Information Science at UNC-Greensboro in 2015.

When not working in the North Carolina Room at the New Hanover County Public Library, he enjoys many hobbies including participating in living history events from both the Revolutionary War and World War II eras.

Travis’ presentation tells the story of the lovely Orton Hotel. Located in downtown Wilmington, the hotel housed many guests from the time of its construction in 1885 until a disastrous fire in 1949. Utilizing materials from the New Hanover County Public Library, this presentation looks at the 1949 Orton Hotel Fire through a number of different lenses. These lenses are ways that anyone, not just historians and researchers, can use in telling a fuller story of any given historical event.

In 1885 Colonel Kenneth M. Murchison opened the Orton Hotel in the top floors of the Murchison & Giles building at 109 N. Front St. The hotel, named for Murchison’s Brunswick County plantation, expanded in 1888 with a larger building to the north of the original structure that included a two story porch. The two buildings were connected by an arched opening and had 100 guest rooms.

In 1905, a year after Murchison died; Joseph H. Hinton acquired the property and started renovations including the addition of a high-speed electric elevator, electric lights, running water and telephones in each room. — Wilmington StarNews

 

President’s Letter – November, 2019

Kure Memorial Lutheran Church Part VII

By Elaine Henson

The Rev. Jacob Young has the distinction of being the longest serving pastor of Kure Memorial Lutheran having served 15 years from 1975 to 1990.  Pastor Frank Perry followed him as interim until Rev. Charles Britton came in November of 1991. He stayed until 1993 followed by interim pastors Rev. Ron Wedekind, Rev. Lawrence Koss and Rev. Frank Ebert from 1993-1997. During that time the church and parsonage sustained damages from back to back hurricanes Bertha on July 12, 1996 and Fran on September 5, 1996.

After that the church devised a hurricane preparedness plan, got a computer and began a monthly newsletter to keep parishioners informed. Later they began recording attendance with pew pads.

Rev. Robert Matthias served from 1997-2000.  During his tenure the congregation formed a Fiftieth Anniversary Committee and began planning for a celebration in August of 2001.  Members were Judy Arndt, Margaret Ford, Joel McKean, Ted & Ellen Prevatte, Tammy Ebersole, Tracy Goodrich, Barbara Vought and Beth Wrenn.

Rev. Paul E. Christ came in 2001 and was installed at the Fiftieth Anniversary service in August of that year by Bishop Leonard H. Bolick.  A special guest attending was Rev. Jack Martin who had served Kure Chapel in the summer of 1951 as a seminarian. He was there when Kure Chapel became allied with the N.C. Lutheran Synod and was also present at their August 26, 1951, first service as Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran. The Fiftieth celebration continued after the service with a dinner on the grounds under a big tent.

Rev. Christ served until 2007.  Rev. Richard Graf came in 2008 to 2011 followed by Pastor Dan Keck who came in 2008 and remains as pastor to Kure Beach Memorial Lutheran Church.

Pastors from 1991 to the present 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Graf 2007-2011

2012-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the last in the series of seven parts of Kure Memorial Lutheran Church history.

 

Salisbury Confederate Prison

(Excerpt from Encyclopedia of North Carolina)

by Louis A. Brown, 2006

On July 9, 1861, six weeks after North Carolina seceded from the Union, the Confederate government asked Governor Henry T. Clark if the state could provide a place to hold prisoners of war (POWs). The 20-year-old Maxwell Chambers textile mill in Salisbury, then vacant, was hurriedly fitted for that purpose.

On 9 December, 120 prisoners were  transferred from the Raleigh State Fairgrounds where they became the first prisoners to enter the Salisbury Prison, the first and only Civil War prison in North Carolina.

The prison population increased to about 1,400 by late May, 1862, when the inmates were paroled and returned to the Union. These POWs lived in relative comfort, passing the time by making trinkets, playing baseball, and even engaging in theatrical productions.  After their departure, POWs at Salisbury Prison were outnumbered by Yankee deserters and dissident Confederates.

This period of “normalcy” suddenly ended in early October 1864, when 10,000 prisoners began arriving at a facility that was intended to hold only 2,500. This huge increase, which resulted from the fall of Atlanta and the ongoing siege of Richmond, made it easier for the Union army to rescue its POWs. Salisbury received some of the Richmond prisoners, and after October 1864, the majority of newly captured Union POWs.

The most painful period for the Salisbury prisoners was from October 1864, until their release in February 1865.

Accounts from POW diaries indicate that the prisoners took in about 1,600 calories per day, whereas, 2,000 calories was considered the minimum for survival under the adverse conditions that existed at Salisbury.

It is not surprising that diarrhea was the most common disease as well as the most deadly, due in large part to the overcrowding and unsanitary conditions.

From December 1861, when it opened, through September, 1864, Salisbury Prison experienced a 2 percent death rate (about 100 deaths). But between October, 1864, and February 15, 1865, the rate soared to 28 percent.

An estimated 4,000 prisoners died at the prison during its existence, for an overall death rate of 26 percent. Bodies were collected daily at the “dead house” and hauled in a one-horse wagon to trenches in a nearby “old cornfield.”

A visitor to the cemetery today finds these 18 trenches to be the most somber, painful, and shocking part of the Salisbury National Cemetery. The total death rate in Union and Confederate prisons is considered to have been about the same at 12 percent.

In the fall of 1864, escape from Salisbury Prison was considered almost necessary to save one’s life. Many POWs escaped, but only about 300 reached Union lines. During an attempted mass escape on  November 25, 1864, none got away and about 200 prisoners lost their lives.

Tunneling became popular with the POWs. The most famous tunnel escape took place in mid-January, 1865, when an estimated 100 managed to flee the prison. According to one prisoner, the easiest way to get “out of this cursed place” was to defect to the Confederacy. Although about 2,100 POWs reportedly defected, these soldiers contributed little to the Confederate cause.

The morale of the prisoners was usually very low. Muggers plagued all Civil War prisons. Prisoners’ diaries often mention their faith in God, and Christian services were held at the prison in the fall of 1864. Occasionally, Salisbury residents would hear the sound of a familiar hymn coming from the prison; as one citizen recalled, it was like “a thought of heaven from a field of graves.” Fraternal organizations such as the Masons and Oddfellows provided some moral support for the prisoners.

All POWs were transferred from Salisbury in February, 1865, about six weeks before Maj. Gen. George H. Stoneman, on 12-13 April 1865, destroyed the prison and other Confederate installations collectively known as the Salisbury Arsenal.

In May Federal troops occupied the town, but in early September, 1865, the Union commander turned over civil control of Salisbury to duly elected town officials. At the end of the war all Confederate property fell into Union hands and in September, 1866, was sold at auction by the Freedmen’s Bureau to the Holmes brothers for $1,600.

In 1866, a U.S. military commission charged Maj. John H. Gee, commandant of the Salisbury Prison during late 1864, with murder and “violation of the laws and customs of war.” After a lengthy trial, Gee was acquitted of both charges.

 

Society Notes – November, 2019

By Darlene Bright,  History Center Director

Several people requested the recipe for the dessert that Cheri made for the September meeting:

Berry Nut Crunch

INGREDIENTS

1 large can crushed pineapple and juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick margarine
3 cups fruit (fresh, frozen or any type)
1 box yellow cake mix (plain not flavored)
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup pecans or walnuts

DIRECTIONS

Grease a 9 X 13 inch pan; spread un-drained pineapple over bottom of the pan. Add the layer of berries and the 3/4 cup sugar. Sprinkle the box of cake mix over the fruit mix, then drizzle the melted butter all over the dry cake mix. Top with pecans. For the glaze, sprinkle the 1/4 cup sugar on top. Bake in preheated oven at 350° for 50 minutes or until the cake is done. After it has baked 25 minutes, cut through the cake to the bottom of the pan to allow the juice to run through and then bake the remaining 25 minutes. Yields: 12-15 servings.

by Yvonne Thompson (FPHPS Cookbook)


We need your Pictures!

Hurricanes Diana, Bertha, Fran, Dennis, Floyd and even Florence!

We’ve been organizing and cataloging all the photos in our collection. We’ve got lots and lots of pictures from the days right after Hurricane Hazel and the damage caused by what’s called the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944, but we have almost no pictures from our “modern” storms.

If you have pictures please consider LOANING them to us to scan and add to our digital archives.  We’ll give them back, and give you a digital copy as well.

So dig out those scrapbooks or boxes of photos stashed in the closet and help us document an important historic aspect of life on our coast.


  • The History Center recorded 79 visitors in October. There were 35 people at the October meeting.
  • The History Center was used by the Got-Em-On Live Bait Club and the UDC.
  • Welcome to new member Eric Howell of Carolina Beach.
  • Thanks to Steve Arthur and Juanita Winner for providing refreshments for the October meeting.