News Articles – 1883

Federal Point, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher
– from the Wilmington Star, Wilmington News, Wilmington Post, Wilmington Dispatch, Wilmington Messenger

Source:
Bill Reaves files: Federal Point/Carolina Beach/Kure Beach/Fort Fisher 1725-1994

 

May 10, 1883
A party of gentlemen visited the large fishery of Messrs. W.E. Davis and Sons, on Zeke‘s Island. There were four or five families residing on the island, and there were six houses.

A pen was visited in which 600 terrapins of all sorts and sizes were confined. There was also a fine stock of poultry, including some 150 chickens, to say nothing of ducks, geese, etc. The fish traps were visited, and the Messrs. Davis explained their workings. They were fished at 5 a.m. and again at 5 p.m. Next the fertilizer establishment was inspected. Here all the refuse fish, such as cannot be sold, are cut up into fragments, put in a sort of press constructed for the purpose and all the oil extracted , after which the fragments were gathered up, spread out on a large platform to dry and are then bagged and sold for fertilizing purposes.

A railroad had been constructed from the ocean on one side of the island to the river on the other, and on and on his fish, after being taken from the traps, are hoisted from the sharpies by a derrick and placed in a car, are transported to the other side of the island and dumped into boats in the river. (Star, 5-12-1883)

 

May 13, 1883
The steamboat MINEHAHA was to make a trip to Federal Point on Sunday morning and would leave the Wilmington Wharf at 9 a.m. sharp The master of the vessel was Joseph Bisbee. (Star, 5-12-1883)

 

August 15, 1883
The steamer MINNEHAHA offered a moonlight excursion to Federal Point on Wednesday night, August 15th. There was to be a sheepshead supper at Mayo‘s Place, also music and dancing. The round trip fare was 50 cents. She would leave the Wilmington wharf at the 8 o‘clock sharp. (Star, 8-14-1883)

 

May 17, 1883
Two members of the Federal Point Fishing Club, organized last season, went down the “The Rocks” at New Inlet and succeeded in landing 84 sheepshead. This was considered a fine day‘s sport. (Star, 5-19-1883)

 

July 21, 1883
The storehouse of Messrs. W.E. Davis & Son, who had extensive fisheries in the vicinity, was burned to the ground. The fire destroyed all their nets, seines and other material. The building adjoining the storehouse was pulled down to save it. The fire created a big excitement among the fishermen and others on the Point, who with a whole ocean of water before them, could not stop the devouring element in its course. (Star, 7-24-1883)

 

July 21, 1883
The storehouse of Messrs. W.E. David & Son was destroyed by fire at Federal Point. The Davis Company owned large fisheries in the vicinity. Destroyed in the fire were all their nets, seines and other materials, which was to prove detrimental during the upcoming fish season. The fire could be seen from Smithville across the river. Another building adjacent to the storehouse had to be pulled down. An employee, Mr. Williamson, asleep in a room, escaped unhurt. The fire created a big excitement among the local fishermen and others on the Point. The Davis family estimated their losses at about $4,500 with about half covered by insurance. (Star, 7-27-1883)

 

August 9. 1883
The contracts for furnishing the necessary material on the improvements to the Cape Fear River were opened. The following were the lowest bidders: for rattling and spun yarn, John C. Springer and N. Jacobi; for brush and cane, Ross & Lara; for stone, G.Z. French; for the building of five scows, Geo. R. Sumerell. (Star, 8-10-1883)

 

August, 1883
Proposals for furnishing the necessary material for carrying on the improvements to the Cape Fear River, especially New Inlet Dam, were opened at the office of Major Henry Bacon, engineer in charge. The lowers bidders were: for brush and cane and stone – Messrs. Ross & Lara; for the building of five scows, George R. Sumerell. VOL.I.

 

August 14, 1883
A moonlight excursion was offered on the steamboat PASSPORT to Federal Point. Music and dancing, Sheepshead Supper at Mayo‘s Place. Fare for round trip 50 cents. One hour at Federal Point. John W. Harper and George N. Harriss, Managers. (Star, 8-14-1883)

 

September, 1883
A terrible hurricane struck the lower Cape Fear area. The destruction of Messrs. W.E. Davis & Sons fishery on Zeke‘s Island was fearful. Their loss was heavy, among which were 2200 terrapins waiting for shipment to the North, 13 gillnets, 3 fish sheds, 25 barrels of salt mullets, 30 sacks of salt, one new boat, a lot of fish stands. etc. VOL.I.

 

September 21, 1883
Chesley A, Craig, aged 25 years and 10 months, died on Federal Point. Funeral held from the residence of his father. (Star, 9-22-1883)

 

September 27, 1883
Messrs. W.E. Davis & Son, at their Federal Point fishery, caught over 400 large drum at one haul, averaging 40 pounds each; being pronounced the largest haul of drum on record. (Star, 9-28-1883)

 

October 4, 1883
Messrs. Ross & Lara, to whom the contract was awarded for supplying stone, brush and other necessary material for filling up or closing what is known as “Corncake Inlet,” near what was formerly New Inlet, were busy making preparation to begin the work.

Their base of operation was at the Keystone Quarry, at Gander Hall, opposite Orton. A short railroad track was under construction from the quarry to the river, about 1 1⁄2 miles long. A steamer named HAROLD was due soon to do the towing of the rock to the work site. Mr. Henry Bacon, Sr., a civilian employee of the U.S. Engineers, was building a large wharf at Gander Hall to facilitate the work. (Star, 10-4-1883)

 

October 15, 1883
The steam tug, HAROLD, Capt. Crawford, from Jacksonville, FL, arrived in the Cape Fear River. She was to be used by Messrs. Ross & Lara, the contactors at work at filling up “Corncake Inlet” with stone and brush. (Star, 10-16-1883)

 

October 21, 1883 …. Federal Point
Messrs. Ross & Lara, contractors, were receiving shipments of lumber at Gander Hall for the erection of “shanties” for the men working in the Keystone quarry at that place. Work on the short line of railroad was also underway. (Star, 10-21-1883; 11-15-1883. 10-9-1882)

The Federal Point Club prospected on Zeke‘s Island, examining the dam, fish weir, etc., and they traveled down as far as Corn-Cake Inlet. (Star, 10-12-1882)
Source:
Bill Reaves files: Federal Point/Carolina Beach/Kure Beach/Fort Fisher 1725-1994