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


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




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


 [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:

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.