Podcasts of Note

By Rebecca Taylor

What’s a podcast?  Basically, it’s a radio show that you listen to through an “app” on your phone, or you can just call them up on your computer. It’s taken me awhile to get into them but with nothing I want to watch on TV or listen to on the radio in my car, I’ve begun to explore what’s out there. Here are a few of my current favorites.

Cape Fear Unearthed

Created and narrated by Hunter Ingram, of the Star-News, “Cape Fear Unearthed” is now in its 2nd year of presenting curious, unusual, and often mysterious events in our local history. With each episode Hunter presents a historical event and then follows each story with an interview with a local historian about what is the REAL history.

Among the topics he’s covered are well known stories like the Maco Light, the Fort Fisher Hermit and The Lumina. Other topics were new stories to me including: The Suicide Club, Trouble the Wrightsville Beach whale, and the Ghosts of Gallows Hill. Among his commentators are Chris Fonvielle, Beverley Tetterton, Jan Davidson, Jim McKee, Eric Kozen, and Madeline Flagler.

And if you’d like a little preview of this month’s program be sure to listen to “The Downfall of Charles Town” that includes an interview with Jack Fryar. https://omny.fm/shows/cape-fear-unearthed/the-short-life-of-charles-town?in_playlist=cape-fear-unearthed!podcast


Stuff You Missed in History Class https://www.missedinhistory.com/podcasts

With hundreds of episodes of little known or misunderstood events and people in history, this weekly podcast covers an amazing variety of periods and cultures around the world. Among my favorites: “Fearless, Feisty and Unflagging: The Women of Gettysburg,” “Lakshmi Bai — Who is India’s Joan of Arc?,” and, “Laura Bridgman’s Education.”

Locals will be especially interested in the two part “The Wilmington Coup of 1898: https://www.missedinhistory.com/podcasts/wilmington-coup-part-one.htm. And, if you were at our program last month you may remember the mention of the Port Chicago disaster. This episode from July 2019 fills in a lot of questions: https://www.missedinhistory.com/podcasts/the-port-chicago-disaster.htm


History Chicks  http://thehistorychicks.com/

My favorite, and I think the most carefully and thoroughly researched, is History Chicks which focuses on sometimes famous but often misunderstood women throughout history. With over 100 episodes, it’s hard to choose which are my favorites, but they include an amazing scope of fascinating women including, Harriett Tubman, Audrey Hepburn, Anne Frank, Ida B. Wells, Eleanore of Aquitaine, Lizzie Borden, Beatrix Potter, Agatha Christie, Clara Barton, Jackie Kennedy, and Coco Chanel.  Who knew?


Port Chicago Disaster

Mentioned in the July 2019 program on MOTSU :

“An ammunition ship explodes in the Port Chicago disaster”

(from History.com, the web site of the History Channel)

An ammunition ship exploded while being loaded in Port Chicago, California, killing 332 people in 1944. The United States’ World War II military campaign in the Pacific was in full swing at the time. Poor procedures and lack of training led to the disaster.

Port Chicago, about 30 miles north of San Francisco, was developed into a munitions facility when the Naval Ammunition Depot at Mare Island, California, could not fully supply the war effort. By the summer of 1944, expansion of the Port Chicago facility allowed for loading two ships at once around the clock.

The Navy units assigned to the dangerous loading operations were generally segregated African-American units. For the most part, these men had not been trained in handling munitions. Additionally, safety standards were forgotten in the rush to keep up frenetic loading schedules.

On the evening of July 17, the SS Quinault Victory and SS E. A. Bryan, two merchant ships, were being loaded. The holds were being packed with 4,600 tons of explosives–bombs, depth charges and ammunition. Another 400 tons of explosives were nearby on rail cars.

Approximately 320 workers were on or near the pier when, at 10:18 p.m., a series of massive explosions over several seconds destroyed everything and everyone in the vicinity. The blasts were felt as far away as Nevada and the resulting damage extended as far as San Francisco. Every building in Port Chicago was damaged and people were literally knocked off their feet. Smoke and fire extended nearly two miles into the air. The pilot of a plane flying at 9,000 feet in the area claimed that metal chunks from the explosion flew past him.

Nearly two-thirds of the people killed at Port Chicago were African-American enlisted men in the Navy—15 percent of all African-Americans killed during World War II. The surviving men in these units, who helped put out the fires and saw the horrors firsthand, were quickly reassigned to Mare Island.

Less than a month later, when ordered to load more munitions, but still having received no training, 258 African-American sailors refused to carry out the orders. Two hundred and eight of them were then sentenced to bad conduct discharges and pay forfeiture. The remaining 50 men were put on trial for general court martial. They were sentenced to between 8 and 15 years of hard labor, though two years later all were given clemency. A 1994 review of the trials revealed race played a large factor in the harsh sentences. In December 1999, President Clinton pardoned Freddie Meeks, one of only three of the 50 convicted sailors known to be alive at the time.

The Port Chicago disaster eventually led to the implementation of far safer procedures for loading ammunition. In addition, greater emphasis was put on proper training in explosives handling and the munitions themselves were altered for greater safety. There is now a national memorial to the victims at the site.



Society Notes August, 2019

By Darlene Bright, History Center Director


We’re doing it again this Summer!

Guided Tour

Historic Carolina Beach Boardwalk

10 am every Tuesday!

June 18, 2019 – September 3, 2019

 50 minutes walking tour




Elected at the July Meeting  for the 2019-2020 Year.

President — Elaine Henson

Vice President — Lauren Gibbs

Secretary — vacant,

Treasurer-Eddie Capel.

Board Members for 2019-2021 – John Moseley, Byron Moore, Brenda Coffey, Jay Winner.


  • The History Center recorded 93 visitors in June. There were 71 people at the July meeting!
  • The History Center was used by the Got-Em-On Live Bait Club.
  • Welcome to new members James and Dianne Braswell of Carolina Beach, Jeffrey and Kathleen Bockert of Kinston, and new business member Bullard Realty of Carolina Beach.
  • Thanks to Jim Kohler for helping with the July Newsletter.
  • Thanks to Juanita Winner and Barbara Smith for providing refreshments for the July Meeting.

Plaque Program

Our Plaque program is back on track and we’re receiving almost one application a month! We want to especially thank Ned Barnes and his staff for volunteering to do the title searches on the properties.  This makes the approval of an application much easier on the property owner and on our review committee.

Ned is a longtime business member and supporter of the Society.  If you see Ned, be sure to give him a big thank you for all his support and we highly recommend him for any legal needs you may have.  He’s right on the island at Pleasure Island Plaza, 1009 Lake Park Boulevard, North or call at 910-458-4466.  Thanks again, Ned!


July Meeting — “Sunny Point” and the Buffer Zone

Monday, July 15, 2019   7:30 PM

The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, July 15, 7:30 pm at the Federal Point History Center, 1121-A North Lake Park Blvd., adjacent to Carolina Beach Town Hall.

What exactly is “Sunny Point?”  Why do we have a “Buffer Zone?”

A member of the US Army Command Staff at the Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point (MOTSU) will join us to talk about the major international port that lies quietly across the Cape Fear River in Brunswick County.

Questions will also be answered about what the Buffer Zone does on this side of the river.

The 16,000 acre (25 sq. mile) facility is bordered on both the east and south by the Cape Fear River and on the west by South East River Road. The northern border of Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point is marked by Orton Pond and the Brunswick Town State Historic Site, a major pre Revolutionary War era colonial port. The topography of the installation is heavily wooded and removed from populous urban areas. The base has several bodies of water within its borders including Governors Creek, Fishing Creek, the Cape Fear River and several small ponds. The coastal area of North Carolina where MOTSU is located, is classified as humid subtropical and generally experiences year round warm weather. The coast is prone to flooding with storm surges and is occasionally battered by Atlantic storms and hurricanes.

The area around Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point has been used as a strategic shipping and military hub since 1725 when then colonial governor, George Burrington, operated a plantation and small dock on the Cape Fear River.

In the pre-Revolutionary War era, the coastal area was used as a strategic point for British troops and merchants and then by Colonial forces. During the Civil War, the area served as a Confederate artillery battery protecting the Cape Fear River from Union naval forces. During this time its potential as an ammunition transportation point was realized due to its remote location, deep water, ocean access and predictable tides.

The Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point as it exists today, was established in 1955 by the Department of The Army. In every armed conflict since its creation MOTSU has played a role in supporting deployed units. During the Gulf War operations of Desert Shield, Desert Sortie and Desert Storm the Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point was tasked with handling over 90% of the resupply munitions for US forces. This task included everything from small arms ammunition up to 750 pound M 117 bombs.

The primary mission of the Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point to be the key ammunition shipping point on the Atlantic coast for United States forces worldwide.

Under command of the 1303rd Major Port Command and 596th Transportation Brigade, the Sunny Point Terminal is tasked with storing and shipping Department of Defense ammunition, dangerous cargo and explosives including but not limited to, small arms ammunition, artillery shells fuses and propellants, ammunition for vehicle systems and aircraft bombs and ammunition. The Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point is the only facility in the Department of Defense network that is equipped for and authorized to handle containerized ammunition.

The Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point is the largest military terminal anywhere in the world and can handle up to six ships simultaneously in its docks. The facility incorporates a network of railroad tracks covering 62 miles to move munitions across the area. The transportation infrastructure of Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point allows it to seamlessly transfer munitions between trucks, rails and ships.

In addition to serving as a munitions transfer point the Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point supports the 82nd Airborne Division of Fort Bragg North Carolina. In the event of rapid deployment, which the 82nd Airborne is designed for, Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point handles transportation of all its equipment and supplies. The command of Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point is also responsible for supervising the deployment of joint forces through the North Carolina State civilian ports of Morehead City and Wilmington.


President’s Letter – July, 2019

By Elaine Henson

Kure Memorial Lutheran Church Part III

In 1953, the growing congregation began planning for a new church building to replace the barracks church.  Their first full time pastor, Rev. David Johnson, had a background in building design and construction, so he took a lead role in planning the new church. He designed a traditional cruciform, cross-shaped, floor plan and building with modern low lines, a Roman brick exterior and contemporary windows. Interior walls would be masonry painted concrete block.  The roof was to be supported with arches and purlins laminated on the job from three quarter inch Douglas fir timbers.

Everything was put on hold until after clean up from Hurricane Hazel, which came ashore on October 15, 1954. Hazel is the only Category Four Hurricane to hit our area in all of the 20th Century to date. It came in on a lunar high tide, wreaking havoc and leaving much devastation.

On February 6, 1955, groundbreaking ceremonies were held with Dr. F. L. Conrad, President of the North Carolina Synod.  Assisting him were Mrs. Ernest Lineberger of the United Lutheran Church Women and Miss Judy Lewis from the Kure’s Luther League.  The barracks church was moved to the back of the lot and they laid out the foundation.

Again, the men of the church were the volunteer labor.  The only paid full time worker was Bob Ford as Construction Supervisor with Rev. Johnson acting as advisor. Construction went quickly and soon cranes were lifting the arches and purlins into place.

Next: Kure Memorial Lutheran Church, Part IV

Fort Fisher State Historic Site — Summer, 2019 Events

Friday, July 12, 2019, 10 am – 2 pm: Junior Reserves — ‘Attention Cannoneers’ a kid-friendly family activity in which participants learn about Civil War artillery and the skills needed to protect blockade runners. Using the site’s 12-pound bronze Napoleon field piece, costumed interpreters will be on hand to explain the field artillery drill.

Saturday, July 13, 2019, 10 am – 2 pm: Beat the Heat Summer Lecture Series “Running the Blockade: The Technology and the men of the Lifeline of the Confederacy” as presented by noted historian, author, and Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at UNC Wilmington, Dr. Chris E. Fonvielle, Jr.

Friday, July 19, 2019, 10 am – 2 pm: Junior Reserves – “Archaeology: Digging through the Past,” a kid-friendly family event, designed to introduce young participants to basic archaeology techniques with emphasis on the fun–and reward–of digging in the dirt. Explore the history of Fort Fisher through educational and hands-on activities that convey the history of Fort Fisher.

Saturday, July 20, 2019, 10 am – 2 pm: Beat the Heat Summer Lecture Series – “Federal Point Lighthouses” as presented by Fort Fisher interpreter, Becky Sawyer. By the late 18th century, the residents of the Lower Cape Fear River petitioned Congress for a needed navigational marker to assist ships entering New Inlet. For the next 100 years, a navigational lighted beacon was used on the tip of Federal Point to help these ships traverse the channel of New Inlet.

Friday, July 26, 2019, 10 am – 2 pm: Junior Reserves – “Art of the Sailor.” Participants will see how rope played a vital role in the life of a Civil War sailor, as it was used to anchor the ship, control sails, moor the vessel, and hoist materials on board. Come have some fun and learn some basic knots and other secrets of the Civil War sailor.

Saturday, July 27, 2019, 10 am – 2 pm: Beat the Heat Summer Lecture Series – “Tending to the Soldiers: Wilmington’s Civil War Hospitals,” as presented by noted historian and author, Wade Sokolosky. During the Civil War, soldiers on garrison duty and wounded from southern battlefields arrived in Wilmington for treatment. Spread throughout the Port City were numerous general military hospitals and wayside hospitals near the railroads.

Friday, August 2, 2019, 10 am – 2 pm: Junior Reserves – “Secret Codes and Ciphers,” a kid-friendly family activity. Ensuring your message reached its intended recipient accurately often meant the difference between victory or defeat. Today, we encrypt information to protect it from harm. Learn the encryption tools used during the 1860s and encrypt your own messages using codes and cipher disks that you can take home for domestic communication.

 Saturday, August 3, 2019, 10 am – 2 pm: Beat the Heat Summer Lecture Series — “Timothy O’Sullivan and the Photographing of Fort Fisher.” In February 1865, photographer Timothy O’Sullivan was sent to Fort Fisher to record the massive fortification. He created a photographic record of the earthworks and remnants of the January 15th battle. Join us as local photographer, Harry Taylor, discusses Timothy O’Sullivan and the wet plate photography process.

Friday, August 9, 2019, 10 am – 2 pm: Junior Reserves – “Civil War Communications,” a kid-friendly family activity. How did Civil War units send messages over large distances without texting or cell phones? During the Civil War, both sides used the same signaling system called ‘Wig-Wag’ for its movement of a flag. Learn to send the 1860s version of text messages by flag.

Saturday, August 10, 2019, 10 am – 2 pm: Beat the Heat Summer Lecture Series — “Attempting to Stop Sherman: The Battle of River’s Bridge, SC,” as presented by Mr. Jim Steele, site manager of Fort Fisher State Historic Site. In February, 1865, Confederate forces in South Carolina attempted to stop the Federal Army marching to Columbia.

Society Notes – July 2019

by Darlene Bright

We’re doing it again this Summer!

Guided Tour

Historic Carolina Beach Boardwalk

10 am every Tuesday!

June 18, 2019 – September 3, 2019

 50 minutes walking tour



At the July Meeting we will vote on the slate of Officers and Directors for the 2019-2020 Year.

Nominated: President — Elaine Henson, Vice President — Lauren Gibbs, Secretary — unfilled, Treasurer-Eddie Capel.

Board Members for 2019-2021 – John Moseley, Byron Moore, Brenda Coffey, Jay Winner.

  • The History Center recorded 79 visitors in June. There were 35 people at the June potluck.
  • The History Center was used by the Got-Em-On Live Bait Club.
  • Welcome to new members Albert and Susan Barbee of Carolina Beach.
  • Thanks to Ted and Mary Ann Targonski for taking the recyclable cans and bottles after each meeting.
  • Thanks to Jim Kohler for helping with the June Newsletter.
  • Thank you to Brandon Debnam for helping with the first Boardwalk Tour.
  • WE STILL NEED PEOPLE TO LEAD (and help lead) THE BOARDWALK TOURS. Call Cheri if you can take a Tuesday or two.

June Meeting – Friends and Family Potluck

The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, June 17, 6:30 pm at the Federal Point History Center, 1121-A North Lake Park Blvd., adjacent to Carolina Beach Town Hall.

In lieu of our usual program, we will enjoy our annual summer potluck. Please bring a favorite dish to share with the group.  This is always a wonderful time to visit with old friends, but also a great time to introduce new people. PLEASE bring a friend or neighbor who might be interested in joining.  Don’t forget we start one hour earlier, at 6:30 pm.


President’s Letter – June, 2019

by Elaine Henson

Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church – Part II

Kure Memorial Chapel was “Serving the Savior by the Sea” and almost five years old when members and Kure Beach residents were invited to a meeting on August 21, 1951, to discuss its future.  Those attending voted that the Chapel would become Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church and affiliated with North Carolina Synod of the United Lutheran Church of America. That organizational meeting marks the birthday of Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Eighteen adults were present at that meeting including Mrs. Laura Kure Williford, Miss Anne Kure, Margaret and Robert Ford, Bessie and Fred Schenk, Lawrence C. Kure, Oscar and Anna Lee Wren, Isabell and Merritt Foushee, Betty Kure (Mrs. A. E. Sr.) and Jean Gore (later Jean Kure, Mrs. A. E. Jr.).  The group adopted a constitution and elected the following church council members: Lawrence C. Kure, Vice Chairman, Margaret Ford, Secretary, Anne Kure, Treasurer and W. E. Williford, Sunday School Superintendent and Council Members Robert Ford, Oscar Wrenn, Merritt Foushee and Fred Schenk.  The council decided to leave the charter membership open until one month after the arrival of a full time Pastor.

On Sunday evening, August 26, 1951, the new church held a special service to mark the organization of Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran in the barracks church building.  Celebrants were Rev. K.Y. Huddle of St. Matthews Lutheran, Rev. J. Frank Davis of St. Paul’s Lutheran and seminarian, Jack Martin.  The congregation applied for membership in the North Carolina Synod on October 7, 1951.  Rev. Huddle and Rev. Davis continued with Sunday evening services throughout the winter months.

The first congregational meeting was held on January 9, 1952.  There was $227.14 in the general fund and $86.10 in the building fund.  75 members were on the roll with an average Sunday School attendance of 64.  The Council voted to budget $1,000 toward a pastor’s annual salary of $3,600.

In early 1952, men of the congregation began building a parsonage on the lot next door to the church.  It was completed in time for their first pastor, the Rev. David Johnson and his family who arrived in June.

Attendance increased with Pastor Johnson’s ministry. In 1953, the church built its first educational building.  It was brick with four classrooms and two bathrooms.  Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Kure donated $1,300 for the building with matching funds coming from the N.C. Synod and labor from the men of the church.  Dedication services were held for the classroom building on August 30, 1953.

Later that year plans for a new church building began with a fundraising campaign.

Next month:  Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church, Part III