Winner’s RV Park

Winner RV Park

Featured Business of the Month
April, 2015

by Tony (Lem) Phillips

We would like to recognize our Business Member, Winner RV Park this month. Winner’s RV Park, on the coast of North Carolina in scenic Carolina Beach was begun way back in the 1950’s and 60’s by Martin Winner as a year-round trailer park. It is now managed by his grandson, Troy Slaughter.

As the only dedicated RV Park on the island, they offer full hook-ups and are conveniently located in the heart of Carolina Beach, within walking distance of the beach, fishing fleet, dining, and nightlife.

Located just 15 miles south of I-40 and historic Wilmington, North Carolina, their guests enjoy such attractions as the Battleship USS North Carolina, historic downtown Wilmington, the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, the Fort Fisher Confederate Museum and Battleground, the Southport Ferry, fishing piers, the Winner Fishing Fleet, charter fishing boats, miles of beaches, Freeman Park and the North Carolina State Park at Fort Fisher.

Situated on land that has been in the Winner family since the 1800s, the goal of the Winner family is to provide an enjoyable RV experience for your family during your stay at Carolina Beach. They warmly welcome families, pets on leashes, fishermen (and women), vacationers and tourists. If your RV requires 50 amp service, they will be happy to accommodate you.

Reservations are suggested, especially during Memorial Day, the Azalea Festival, July 4th, and Labor Day. Looking forward to having you as their guest!

Contact them at: 601 N. Lake Park Blvd.,Carolina Beach, NC 28428. Office:910-458-1098, Mobile: 910-538-5666

Carolina Beach Pavilion, Largest on South Atlantic Coast – 1911

[‘Wilmington Morning Star’,  January 22, 1911]

Shoo Fly Trainarriving at Carolina Beach Pavilion

Shoo Fly Train
arriving at the original Pavilion
from the steamer ‘Wilmington’

Without a doubt the largest strictly pleasure Pavilion on the south Atlantic coast will be erected within the next few weeks [Jan, 1911] on Carolina Beach. The plans and specifications for the magnificent new summer retreat were recently drawn for Captain John W. Harper, owner of the property and the splendid steamer, Wilmington, by which it is reached, by Architect H. E. Bonitz, of Wilmington.

It was Architect Bonitz who designed and supervised the construction of Lumina Pavilion at Wrightsville Beach, which has been so much admired, but in the structure at Carolina Beach, he has gone a step further and provided the largest and most completely equipped Pavilion on the south Atlantic coast – a thing of beauty and a joy forever when it is completed and ready for occupancy about May 1st.

Carolina Moon Pavilion c. 1912 NHC Library - LT Moore Collection

Carolina Moon Pavilion c. 1912   (click)
Louis T. Moore Collection – NHC Library

The contract for building of the new Pavilion has recently been let to Mr. W. B. Bevill, while the plumbing work will be executed by Dosher Bros, of Wilmington. The material will soon be on the ground and Contractor Bevill will send down a large force of hands who will remain on the beach until the splendid new structure is finished.

A 14-foot veranda will encircle the entire Pavilion, which will have all told 13,000 feet of floor space, “40-foot beam and 14 feet depth of hold,” as Captain Harper expresses it in the parlance of the sea with which he is quite as familiar as with the land.

Overall the structure will be 164 feet in length. The ballroom proper will be the largest south of Washington, DC, and as someone has said, the steamer Wilmington, could be put down in the middle of the floor and couples could dance around both ends. The floor will be of select material and will be smooth and highly polished to admit of the most delightful dances.

There will be large and commodious lavatories, toilet rooms and dressing room for ladies and children while another end of the structure Will be a refreshment booth. The design of the building is of the bungalow type and the roof and sides will be shingled.

The Carolina Beach pavilion in 1934 stood almost alone on the beach strandLouis T. Moore Collection, NHC Library

The Carolina Beach pavilion in 1934
stood almost alone on the beach strand.
Louis T. Moore Collection, NHC Library (click)

An entirely new acetylene lighting system will be provided and nothing in the way of expense and comfort for all visitors will be spared. The building will be six feet above the beach, amply protecting it from the highest tides, while provision is made so that trains from the Cape Fear River pier will run directly alongside. Visitors may step right from the cars into the Pavilion and there enjoy the pleasure that awaits them.

Hotel and bathing facilities will be provided at the beach independently of the pavilion which will be devoted exclusively to “have a good time.” Captain Harper is never so happy as when providing for others the means of enjoying themselves, and in the construction of the new Pavilion, he seems to have reached the climax.

Everything at the beach is now being put in good shape and the approaching season promises to be one of the most successful in the history of the resort.

[Editor, 1997:  This Pavilion was later known as the “Carolina Moon” Pavilion and burned in the big fire in September, 1940.  Later, in 1954 the boardwalk was destroyed by Hurricane Hazel.]

Mr. Reaves, a noted historian and member of the Federal Point Historical Preservation Society,  was involved in over fifty local history publications and genealogical abstracts, covering New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender and Duplin counties.  A charter member of the Southport Historical Society, he wrote a remarkable four volume history of Southport.

Mr Reaves was the author of Strength Through Struggle, The Chronological and Historical Record of the African-American Community in Wilmington, North Carolina, 1865-1950, for which he received a national award from the American Association of State and Local History. – New Hanover County Public Library


[Additional Resources – 2015]

Over the years, the Pavilion was called many names – by Elaine Blackmon Henson
‘Carolina Moon, Carolina Club Casino, Carolina Club’

Architect Bonitz, Henry E. (1872-1921) – for a list of Carolina Beach buildings designed by Bonitz – look for ‘Building Types’ then click ‘Recreational’

Henry Bonitz also designed the Lumina Pavillion in Wrightsville Beach – Our State Magazine

Captain John Harper – from the Bill Reaves Files – a FPHPS resource

Wilmington Morning Star,  January 22, 1911

[Text was originally published in the July 1997 – FPHPS Newsletter (pdf)]

 

Carolina Beach Opens for Season, June 11, 1927

[Wilmington Morning Star, June 5, 1927]
Carolina Beach Hotel - June 1927

[The newly built (1927) Carolina Beach HotelThe hotel was located on the western end of what is now called Carolina Beach Lake, where Carolina Beach Elementary School is now located]

Image caption:  ‘Nestling amid the pines yet commanding a magnificent flow of the broad reaches of the Atlantic Carolina Beach Hotel offers the tourist every advantage the modem hostelry knows. A beautiful fresh water lake studded with artificial islands lies between the hotel and the ocean.’


Carolina Beach Opens for Season, June 11, 1927

By Bill Reaves – from Wilmington Morning Star, June 5, 1927

Carolina Beach, premier of Wilmington’s southern mainland beaches, will officially open its 1927 season, June 11 with a burst of glory and gaiety that has never been equaled in the annals of the growing resort.

Improvements have been made and others are still in progress which will undoubtedly add considerably to the beauty and attractiveness of the resort, whose popularity is growing with each season. The beach has grown rapidly during the last few years and today it is the mecca for thousands annually.

Officials of the Carolina Beach Corporation are spending money lavishly in beautifying the fresh water lake that is within a stone’s throw of the mighty Atlantic and also to construct an adequate and modern roadway around the lake. A dredge is now at work in the lake and it is making rapid progress.

Beautification of the lake includes the construction of small crescent-shaped islands, dredging of a canal which will make possible boating and the formation of a sand beach which will enable fresh water bathing The bathing beach is being formed in front of the Carolina Beach Hotel.

Carolina Beach Lake - 2015

Carolina Beach Lake – 2015

The lake’s beach will undoubtedly appeal to hundreds who love the ocean, but who are afraid to “break” into tempting waves. It will be convenient to hotel guests and will also provide a place where small children can enjoy bathing.

Various depth will be formed, making possible simple bathing and also swimming and diving.

The last feature cannot be obtained in the ocean, therefore, those gifted with the ability to make beautiful dives will find the lake a place for many hours of real enjoyment.

Other improvements are contemplated which will add considerably to the attractiveness of the beach. Officials expect to install a complete and new line of amusements which will have a distinct appeal to the children and younger set. Arrangements for these, however, have not been definitely completed. Formal announcement of these plans will be made later.

Opening of the pavilion on June 11 will meet with favor of hundreds of this and other cities. Dancing always has been a real feature at the beach and it will hold sway again this year. Music will be furnished by the Carolina Aces, popular Wilmington orchestra.

Considerable holdings of the Carolina Beach Corporation, including the Carolina Beach Hotel, were recently sold to John R. Baker, of Winston-Salem, who contemplates improvements that will blend nicely with those of the beach corporation. The hotel will open shortly after the pavilion is thrown open. Definite date will be announced later.

[The above article was originally published in the October, 1997 FPHPS Newsletter]

… and then the infamous story of the Carolina Beach Hotel continues …

The following newspaper clips where all obtained from the Bill Reaves files, where we discover more details and a shadowy story about the Carolina Beach Hotel.

from the Bill Reaves Files – Federal Point News Articles – 1927

May 26, 1927
The Carolina Beach Hotel, all of its furnishing and its furnishings and 755 lots, a considerable portion of the holdings of the Carolina Beach Corporation, were sold to John R. Baker, of Winston-Salem. Wilmington Star, 5-27-1927

June 18, 1927
The handsome Carolina Beach Hotel, overlooking the fresh water lake, was formally opened at dinner this evening. [at the current location of the Carolina Beach Elementary School]

J.T. Webb, general manager of the Southern and Southwestern Hotels Company anticipated one of the most successful seasons at this beach. The management of the hotel was in the hands of W.A. Buckley, for many years connected with the William Foor organization, and now with the O. Henry Hotel in Greensboro.

Mr. Webb‘s company operated a number of successful hotels in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

He expected to make this hotel one of the company‘s leading resort hotels on the coast. The Carolina Aces Orchestra was to give a concert during the dinner tonight. Wilmington Star, 6-18-1927

June 27, 1927
A 300-pound alligator, the last of its tribe to haunt the cooling depths of the fresh water lake that lies between Carolina Beach Hotel and the ocean was killed by Capt. Charles H. Burnett. Capt. Burnett got him with an army rifle. The big fellow sank when fired at, remaining down a day and a half. He then came to the surface and was dragged out. Wilmington Star, 6-27-1927

July 25, 1927
The Carolina Beach Hotel, popular resort center, was sold by John R. Baker, of Winston-Salem, N.C., to Sam Jackson, of Mecklenburg County, and then sold again to the Highway Park West, Inc., of Greensboro. The bill of sale was filed in the New Hanover County register of deeds office.

The former owner, Mr. Baker, acquired the hotel from the Carolina Beach Corporation along with 700 choice lots. The hotel had previously been operated under lease.

John T. Webb, the present lessee, will continue operation for the remainder of the present year. Wilmington News Dispatch, 7-26-1927

July 28, 1927
It was announced today that the Carolina Beach Hotel, sold recently by J.R. Baker, of Winston-Salem, to a Greensboro concern, for a sum of $125,000, was to be operated in the future as a year-round resort hotel. Manager Webb, of the hotel, was now making plans for the operation of the hotel all year. Negotiations for the above sale was handled by Cap. C.H. Burnett, local real estate operator. Wilmington News Dispatch, 7-28-1927

September 13, 1927
While the charred ruins of the Carolina Beach Hotel were still smoldering, attorneys for H.T. Ireland, of Greensboro, one of the owners of the hotel, were busy with an investigation, which they admitted might result in the indictment of one or more persons on charges of arson with a possibility of other warrants being drawn. Capt. W.A. Scott, deputy attached to the office of Stacy W. Wade, fire insurance commissioner, arrived in Wilmington and went immediately into conference with Mr. Ireland and his attorneys.

In the hotel at the time of the fire were Mr. Ireland and J.L. Byrd, both of Greensboro, and their escape from the burning structure was miraculous. The men were at the hotel making an inventory of the hotel‘s property, and were planning to open soon for the winter season. The loss was estimated at $150,000. Wilmington Star, 9-14-1927

November 18, 1927
H.T. Ireland and J.L. Byrd, prominent Greensboro real estate men, were arrested in Greensboro under capias issued after the New Hanover County grand jury had returned indictments for house burning against them in connection with the destruction by fire of the Carolina Beach Hotel on the morning of September 13.

Each man gave bond of $5,000 for appearance at the January criminal term of the New Hanover County superior court. The indictments were returned following an exhaustive investigation by W.A. Scott, and inspector of the N.C. Insurance Department, who came to the hotel site after he was informed of the fire. He was accompanied by an inspector from the National Board of Fire Underwriters who assisted in assembling data and delving deep into the facts surrounding the hotel.

Carolina Beach LakeIreland and Byrd were the only occupants of the hotel on the night of the fire. They were rescued from the roof on the building on the night of the fire. Wilmington Star, 11-19-1927

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the President: March, 2015

Elaine Henson

Elaine Henson

This post card is called Beauties on Parade and shows two lucky soldiers flanked on either side with bathing beauties walking along the Carolina Beach boardwalk in the mid-20th century.

CB Boardwalk

Click any image – for higher resolution

In the background are many of the businesses on the boardwalk including the famous Britt’s Do-Nuts, Henderson’s Beach Wear, Benway’s Department Store, The Shooting Gallery and Wave Theater.

 

Under the theater’s marquee flutters a banner announcing to all that there is frosty cool air inside.

This was before the days of central air conditioning in homes and businesses but it was a standard in most theaters.

Many beach goers were enticed to get out of the sun and cool off while watching a movie. On Saturday, June 9, 1960 this was playing:

The Wave

 

Walk of Fame Recipient – Captain John Harper

By Elaine HensonCaptain Harper

Captain John William Harper was born in the Masonboro area of Wilmington, NC on November 28, 1856.  At age 16 John went to work as a deck hand on the Steamer Eastern owned by his brother James.  By 1883 the brothers formed the Harper Brothers Steamship Company and ran steamers between Southport, Fort Caswell and Wilmington carrying mail and cargo.

Later in the 1880s Captain Harper was at the wheel of the Steamer Passport and often made stops at the recently completed New Inlet Dam. Some say it was Captain Harper who first called the project “the rocks”.

In 1886 Captain Harper and others formed the New Hanover Transit Company with the idea of making a resort at Federal Point. The first step was a transportation system to access the pristine mostly undeveloped land that would become Carolina Beach. They planned to bring visitors downriver from Wilmington on a steamer.

The company constructed a pier on the Cape Fear River, first near Sugar Loaf, later at Doctor’s Point where steamship passengers could board a train to carry them over to the sea beach. The train, called the Shoo-Fly, had a wood burning steam engine and pulled open passenger cars as well as flatbed cargo cars. As they neared the beach, the tracks ran along present day Harper Avenue which is fittingly named for Captain Harper.

The transit company built a pavilion on the ocean just south of the terminus of Harper Avenue. The pavilion was designed by Henry Bonitz who also designed Lumina at Wrightsville Beach.

They also built the Oceanic Hotel and a restaurant and had all of them open for the first season in June of 1887. The new resort proved to be so popular that by the end of July the Passport’s 350 capacity was enhanced by pulling a 150 passenger barge called the Caroline. An article in the September 30, 1887 Wilmington Star reported that between 17,000 and 18,000 people had visited the beach by the end of that first season.

Steamer WilmingtonOver the next few years the resort grew by leaps and bounds with other business establishments and cottages.

Captain Harper bought the Sylvan Grove in 1888 to bring excursionists to the new resort.Three years later it burned to the water line while in winter storage near Eagles Island.

He replaced it with the handsome Steamer Wilmington in 1891 which he purchased in Wilmington, Delaware. It was the perfect choice since it was already named the Wilmington. She had three decks providing ample room for its 500 passengers to dance to the music of an on board band and made four round trips in the season of 1892 with the ticket price of 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for children. The Wilmington is the best known of his steamers and the one most often associated with Captain Harper.

James Sprunt has a picture of the steamer and its captain in the front of his book Tales and Traditions of the Lower Cape Fear. Sprunt published the volume as a tribute to his friend Captain Harper in 1896.

The Cape Fear Transit Company was later sold to other investors but the Steamer Wilmington and Shoo Fly train continued to bring visitors until about 1919 when a fire destroyed the pier at the river and improved roads made automobiles the preferred mode of travel.

Captain Harper died on September 18, 1917 and was mourned by all who had known the jovial and popular gentleman who was known by his generous deeds as well as his skills as a steamer captain. We remember him as one of the founders of Carolina Beach.

Walk of Fame Dedication – Jan. 2015

Frank’s Pizza

Featured Business of the MonthFranks Pizza
March, 2015

by Tony (Lem) Phillips

The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society would like to welcome Frank’s Pizza back to the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. After a devastating year in 2014, Frank’s Pizza has literally risen from the ashes to come back and continue to be one of the mainstays of our Boardwalk and a very welcome Business Member of the Federal Point History Center.

For twenty-two years Frank’s has opened for business selling New York Style pizza, calzones, and Stromboli on Carolina Beach Avenue North (Boardwalk) right across from Britt’s Donuts.

Mister Frank Tatey originally opened Frank’s Pizza around 1992. Mr. Tatey later sold it to one Frank Williamson who finally sold it to Debbie Whitley in 2003.

Debbie kept the name and slice by delicious slice, Frank’s became the “go to” place on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk for great pizza.

Last year, the owner, Debbie Whitley passed away. After that loss, the north end of the Boardwalk suffered an historic fire. While it may have looked like Frank’s Pizza was going to be a memory, Debbie’s son, Patrick Adair was working hard to bring it back better than ever.

Franks opening soonFrank’s Pizza aims to reopen by the end of March 2015.

Newly located beside Britt’s Donuts at #9 Carolina Beach Avenue North. They have a lot of new equipment and some great new ideas!

Keep your eyes and ears open for a new Frank’s Pizza website to develop by summer of 2015 advertising fresh pizza, calzones, and Stromboli. Look for later hours, dine in, carry out and the same delivery area as they had before. Do not forget to “like” their Facebook page.

Frank’s Pizza exemplifies the spirit of our community in Carolina Beach and the Federal Point Historic Preservation Society is extremely proud to have them as a Business Member. Welcome back Frank’s!!

 

Walking Tour of “The Sugar Loaf Line of Defense” with Dr. Chris Fonvielle

Chris Fonvielle Walking TourAgain this year, on Saturday March 21, 2015, our esteemed Society member and UNC-W History professor, Chris Fonvielle, will lead a fascinating walk through the remnants of General Robert Hoke’s Sugarloaf-line-of-defense.

These embankments and earthworks, which kept the Union army from taking Wilmington for over 30 days, is still largely intact and can be seen if you know where to look. Dr. Fonvielle’s walk will take the group through these lines and discuss Hoke’s defense of the east bank of the Cape Fear River.

This walking program will leave from the Federal Point History Center parking lot (just south of the Carolina Beach Town Hall at 2:00 pm.)

Due to the overwhelming popularity of this program we will be taking reservations (by phone or in person) this year. To reserve your spot call the History Center at 910-458-0502 and leave a message. We will call you back to confirm your reservation. Or e-mail your request to rebecca@federal-point-history.org.

A donation of $5.00 (minimum) is appreciated and will go to the Sugar Loaf Civil War Earthworks Preservation Group Project.

 

Carolina Beach in 1897 – A Delightful Ocean Resort

from: The Wilmington Messenger, August 22, 1897

The Wilmington - from 'A Colonial Apparition, A Story of the Cape Fear', 1898 – by James Sprunt

The Wilmington – from ‘A Colonial Apparition, A Story of the Cape Fear’, 1898 – by James Sprunt

Carolina Beach, as a seaside resort, has great advantages, as reported in The Wilmington Messenger, dated August 22, 1897. The best proof of this is that it is visited by thousands annually. It has become the Mecca of excursion parties.

In the summer of 1896, the steamer Wilmington, which conveys passengers to the beach from Wilmington, sold, as it is shown by its returns to the inspector of steamboats, 32,000 round trip tickets.

During this summer since the opening in May, 1897, to the present date, the steamer Wilmington, has taken up, in round numbers, 48,000 round trip tickets.

Of these, Captain Harper estimates that one-half were visitors from the Wilmington area and one-half were visitors from other section of North Carolina and other states, and this number of tickets does not represent the whole number of persons carried, for no charge is made for children under the age of 10 years, and there are thousands of these that annually visit the beach.

One might write volumes in description of Carolina Beach, and yet could write nothing that would praise in higher terms the attractions of this resort than this simple recital of facts.

Opened in 1885
Carolina Beach and Captain John W. Harper are associated together in the public mind. Previous to 1885, he commanded the steamer, Passport, plying between Wilmington and Southport, and during the summer months, carried many excursion parties and passengers down the river.

Capt John Harper

Capt John Harper

He conceived the idea of a seaside resort on the ocean beach, with a railroad across the narrow peninsula lying between the ocean and the river, there to connect by steamer with the City of Wilmington. He organized the New Hanover Transit Co., which constructed the railroad, and located the resort at the lower end of Masonboro Sound immediately on the Atlantic Ocean.

He named the place Carolina Beach and in the summer of 1885 the resort was first opened to the public. The little steamer, Passport, the pioneer in this river excursion parties, now out of service, is pleasantly remembered in association with the beach. From the first the resort was a favorite. At first, patronized chiefly by the Wilmington people, it has since grown into larger proportions and now includes in its frequent visitors people from all sections of this and other states.

How Reached – Steamer Wilmington
Steamer WilmingtonThe steamer, Wilmington, runs between Wilmington and the river pier, conveying passengers and freight. It is a comfortable, swift, and commodious steamer, designed especially for her present character of transportation.

She is in length 135 feet, breadth 23 feet, tonnage 110 net, double decked, compound engines, and is allowed by the United States steamboat inspection service to carry 600 passengers a trip.

She can carry 2,000 passengers a day, as she makes five trips daily. The steamer is owned and commanded by Captain Harper. He likewise owns a controlling interest in the beach and the railroad across from the river to the ocean. To this fact may be ascribed, for he is a man of executive capacity and experience, the safe, smooth, and easy system by which the large crowds are handled.

Captain Harper has had an experience of twenty-one summers in handling passenger steamers on the Cape Fear. In this time he has never lost a day in the service, nor ever had an accident on any of the boats under his command. He commands order and requires of his crew and passengers a courteous consideration for the pleasure, comfort and rights of the many who travel under his care.

Sail Down the River

The visitor boards the steamer, Wilmington, at her pier, in the City, the foot of Market Street, and the steamer having cast her moorings he finds himself swiftly gliding down the river, which is a broad and beautiful stream, passing on either side scenes of historic interest and natural attractiveness.

The sea breezes, which sweep up the river, refresh and invigorate, while passing ships, steamers, tugs, both domestic and foreign, which ply along the river, engaged in local, domestic and foreign commerce, enliven the scene, as the steamer speeds on to the pier of the New Hanover Transit Co. – a distance down the river of about fifteen miles.

New Hanover Transit Company

Shoo-fly Train at Carolina Beach

Shoo-fly Train at Carolina Beach

At the pier of the New Hanover Transit Co., which is the river terminus of the railroad running between the river and the Atlantic, Ocean, in length three miles, the passenger is transferred to the railroad car, and after a few moments ride on the train through woodland scenery, he is landed at Carolina Beach, in jumping distance of the great ocean.

He has made the trip from Wilmington in one hour and fifteen minutes.

 

from 'A Colonial Apparition, A Story of the Cape Fear' – by James Sprunt

from ‘A Colonial Apparition, A Story of the Cape Fear’, 1898 – by James Sprunt

Its Location
The site of Carolina Beach has been well selected. The hotel, pavilions and cottages are all situated on the beach, fronting the ocean. There is a stretch of twenty miles of beautiful beach. It is wide, hard, smooth and slopes gently to the ocean, extending northward to Masonboro Inlet, which divides this beach from the beach at Wrightsville, and southward as far as the celebrated Fort Fisher.

Behind the cottages lay the waters of the lower end of Masonboro Sound, which affords delightful still water bathing and opportunities for fishing and sailing; back of the site are pine groves, water oak and woodland scenery.

It is within one-half of a mile of what is known as Camp Wyatt. Here in the Civil War the Confederate soldiers stood guard of the coast defenses. As one looks out upon the Atlantic, he sees the wrecks, still two or three blockade runners, which failing in their attempt to run into New Inlet and escape the blockade, were destroyed rather than permit them to pass into the hands of the enemy.

Carolina Moon Pavillion NHC Library - LT Moore Collection

Carolina Moon Pavilion c. 1907
NHC Library – L.T. Moore Collection
Click

Its Advantages and Pleasures
It is perfectly healthy, for the land upon which it is situated is dry and well drained. The visitor breaths only the pure air of the ocean. The sea breezes make it always cool and refreshing. The surf bathing is rendered comparatively safe by the gentle slope of the beach.

To say that the ocean water is better here than elsewhere on the coast might strike an inland man as exaggerated. The fact is, however, the water of the ocean further south is too warm and insipid; farther north it is chilled and one can remain in it but a few moments. The temperature of the water here, as along this Carolina coast, is neither to warm or too cool; it has a delightful temperature.

It is nothing for surf bathers to remain in the surf for an hour, with impunity, and as in this time one is undergoing continuous active exercise, accompanied by the pleasure of bathing, the benefit is greater than where his bathing is made necessarily short by the discomfort of the water. there are all the facilities, of course, for surf bathing and protection to bathers while in the enjoyment of the sport.

There are splendid opportunities for fishing either in the ocean or in the sound, and sailing, either over the smooth waters of Masonboro or the rolling billows of the ocean. The sheep-head, drum and sea-trout are the fish usually landed by the sportsman. The beach excellent facilities for driving and bicycling, and is a play ground for the children of endless interest and amusement to them. All the pleasures of the sea are here.

Oceanic Hotel
Bill-Reaves-Carolina-Beach-The-Oceanic-Hotel-Rocks-May-15-1893The Oceanic Hotel is kept by Mr. R. A. Jenkins. It is the rendezvous of excursion parties. The proprietor does not undertake to serve Delmonico meals, but one may have at all times well served sheepshead, soft shell crabs, shrimps and, in season, oysters, as well as all the delicacies that come out of the sea. The hotel comfortably accommodates a limited number of transient boarders.

Cottage Life
There are forty private cottages at Carolina Beach, owned by residents at Wilmington, Charlotte and elsewhere. The housewife has comparatively little trouble in keeping house. Merchants of Wilmington send daily to the cottages for orders and deliver goods at the door. The fisherman and truckers deliver in like manner fish, game and vegetables. Water is supplied by water works and sanitation provided in modern methods.

The cottage life of this resort is one of the most agreeable and peculiar features. The afternoons and evenings are spent in many kinds of social enjoyment and in the interchange of hospitalities between the cottagers. Time passes among them, not in the nervous and enervating excitements of fashionable life, but in the quiet, peaceful life and occupation suggested by the fresh air and natural environments of the place.

The management reserves at all times the best of order, although there are few temptations to invite on the part of anyone the least disorderly conduct, and as a result of the excellent decorum alike among permanent and transient visitors, there is a feeling in the cottage life of security and protection that lends additional pleasure to the resort.

Of course, one is not here out of the world, as the newspapers are delivered to him by 7 o’clock in the morning and there are two mails a day each way to Wilmington.

Its Future
Carolina Beach is no longer an experiment. It is an assured success. Every year has marked an increase in visitors. The coming years will show it’s still greater development. Captain Harper realizes that another year will be under the necessity of running two instead of one boat to the beach. There is in contemplation the erection of a fine club house in another year. Enlarged hotel facilities will come. The prospect of this pioneer of seaside resorts along the Cape Fear shores is destined to become one of the famous resorts of the Atlantic seaboard.


[Feb. 2015: This article’s text was originally published in the May 1997 – FPHPS Newsletter (pdf)]Walk of Fame - Harper Marker

[Bill Reaves provided FPHPS with this story from ‘The Wilmington Messenger’, August 22, 1897 · Page 12]

(Editor’s Note, 1997:  Bill Reaves, a long time supporter of our Society and a foremost historian of the Cape Fear area, has recently completed Volume III of the History of Southport, the most recent of a long line of publications to his credit. Bill is a regular contributor of materials from his extensive research. The Southport Historical Society has declared June 1, 1997, to be ‘Bill Reaves Day’)

A noted historian, Mr. Reaves was involved in over fifty local history publications and genealogical abstracts, covering New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender and Duplin counties. A charter member of the Southport Historical Society, he wrote a remarkable four volume history of Southport. He was the author of Strength Through Struggle, The Chronological and Historical Record of the African-American Community in Wilmington, North Carolina, 1865-1950, for which he received a national award from the American Association of State and Local History. – (New Hanover County Public Library)


View excellent pictorial descriptions of Carolina Beach in the late 1890’s by local authors:
1.   Carolina Moon Pavilion – by Ann Hewlett Hutteman
and ..
2.   The Pavilion was called many names – by Elaine Blackmon Henson
‘Carolina Moon, Carolina Club Casino, Carolina Club’

Captain John Harper – from the Bill Reaves Files – a FPHPS webpage

A brief history of the steamer, Wilmington

 

 

Carolina Beach Walk of Fame – Dedication January 3, 2015

Walk of Fame - McKee Family

[Thanks to Island Gazette and WWAY for their great coverage of this event.]

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY)– A dedication of the Walk of Fame in Carolina Beach was held Saturday afternoon. Commemorative stones were placed around the lake to recognize the names of individuals who made major contributions in the history and development of the town.

Walk of Fame - Tom ConnollyAlthough it was a gloomy day on Pleasure Island, everyone had smiles across their faces as the community gathered together.

Chair of the Walk of Fame, Sarah Efird, said the event was “to honor all citizens or people of Carolina Beach that have done outstanding things for the town or for the community, or for the resort part.” The day was extra special for one man whose dream for many years finally came true.

Tom Connolly is the founder of the Walk of Fame. He was a police officer for 22 years and started many youth programs in Carolina Beach. His vision for the Walk of Fame came several years ago with the intention of bringing notoriety and acknowledgment to those who helped shape the community.

Connolly expressed his reasoning for the dedications by saying, “People in our past that were not recognized and I felt they needed recognition for all they have done for Carolina Beach and this is the way to pay them back.”

Walk of Fame - Harper MarkerWalk of Fame - Connolly MarkerWalk of Fame - Winner Marker

During the unveiling ceremony, 10 people were honored. The list includes Tom Connolly, Joseph and Anna Winner, Capt. John W. Harper, John W. Plummer, James R. and Amanda L. Bame and family, Glenn Tucker, Robert “Bob” Weeks, Pat Efird, Kimberly Barbour Munley and the McKee Family. Some people who were recognized dated back into the 1800’s and some who were there to share the memories with their loved ones.

Walk of Fame - Darlene BrightSarah Efird’s mom was honored at the ceremony. “My mother is being honored and she was on the town council for 34 years,” Efird said. “She’s really done a lot to help change this town, I think for the better, and she loved it.”

Each year 5 more people will be chosen for the award and the recipients will be honored with a granite stone.

Tax deductible donations for the continuing work on this project can be made to FPHPS/Walk of Fame and send to the Federal Point Historical Society at P.O. Box 623, Carolina Beach 28428


Walk of Fame - Elaine HensonDedication Remarks – January 3, 2015

Society President – Elaine Henson

 On behalf of the Federal Point Historic Preservation Society, I would like to welcome Mayor Dan Wilcox, town officials, Walk of Fame Committee, family and friends to the first Carolina Beach Walk of Fame presentation ceremony.

Our society is dedicated to the preservation of the history of Federal Point and our beaches. In addition to gathering and preserving historical records and archives, we also operate the History Center and Museum adjacent to Town Hall and invite you to visit us on Tuesday, Friday or Saturday from 10-4.

As I said, keeping our history is what we are about. This Walk of Fame is exactly the kind of project we are proud to support. The men and women we honor today have left their stamp on our community in many and varied ways. Some lived in the horse and buggy days of the late 1800s, some through the roaring 20s and the Great Depression, some through the second half of the twentieth century and some are living today. They have served as visionaries, business owners, government officials, civic workers, volunteers and heroes, but all have made this community a better place to live.

We want to thank the Town of Carolina Beach for their financial support for the Walk of Fame and the Walk of Fame Committee for doing the work of getting it started.   We are proud to be a part of honoring our recipients today and are so pleased you could all be here.

 

(For full-screen images or image slide-show – click any image)

Drifter’s Reef Motel

Drifter's Reef Motel

Drifter’s Reef Motel

Featured Business of the Month
January, 2015

by Tony (Lem) Phillips

The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society sends out a very warm welcome to our newest Business Member, Drifter’s Reef Motel in Carolina Beach.

Drifter’s Reef Motel is centrally located in Carolina Beach just a few blocks from our beautiful sandy beaches, old fashion boardwalk with amusement rides, fabulous restaurants, shopping, and great fishing.

At Drifter’s Reef Motel, they offer comfortable nicely decorated motel rooms at affordable prices and a friendly staff that treats you like family.

The Drifters Reef Motel In Carolina Beach offers a fun filled family vacation spot and a clean uncrowded beach. The Carolina Beach boardwalk offers great restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and a family Amusement Park with Thursday night fireworks and kids rides. The Carolina Beach boardwalk and beach are all within a few short blocks and easy walking distance.

Visitors love staying at the Drifters Reef Motel in Carolina Beach because it is convenient to everything that the beach has to offer, and there is so much to do. So, when you decide to come to Carolina Beach for vacation or some fishing, beach fun or just to breathe the fresh salt air, call the Drifters Reef Motel. Book your Carolina Beach Vacation at affordable prices!

And….they are located within a few blocks of the Federal Point History Center.

For reservations today! Call 910-458-5414