President’s Message – July 2013

by Barry Nelder

A huge thank-you to Dean Lambeth and the Kure Beach Town Council for approving $1,000 toward the operation of our History Center! Along with the $5,000 approved by the Carolina Beach Town Council these amounts will go a long way in keeping the History Center open for 150 days durng the 2013/2014
budget year; serving the general public, including both locals and visitors.

Nominations: We hold our annual election at the July meeting.

The Nominating Committee has proposed the following slate. Members are welcome to make other nominations from the floor at the meeting.

President: Barry Nelder
Vice President: Juanita Winner
Secretary: Lois Taylor
Treasurer: Demetria Sapienza

Board of Directors:
Thomas Gray
Skippy Winner
Jim Dugan
Leslie Bright

Nicole Tumbleson Morris – Speaks on Blackbeard’s History

v20NO8August2013 FINAL PDF-005The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, July 17. 7:30 pm at the Federal Point History Center, 1121-A North Lake Park Blvd., adjacent to Carolina Beach Town Hall.

Our July speaker will be Nicole Tumbleson Morris. She will update us on the current work begin done by the Underwater Archaeology Branch (UAB), as they began final recovery efforts of the remains of Blackbeard’s legendary flagship. The team has uncovered incredible artifacts from cannons, anchors and ammunition to the remains of the ship herself hidden in a watery grave for almost 300 years. Each relic from the past breathes new life into the true story of Blackbeard’s reign as history’s most legendary pirate.

Ms. Morris is currently involved in creating a seven part educational web series which will take audiences along for every step of this thrilling adventure. designed to be robust and relevant, providing real world archaeological experiences to reflect the knowledge and skills our young people need for success in college and careers. Students and teachers alike will be able to experience the thrill of discovery as they follow along with our web series and learn about archaeology, conservation, history and of course, pirates!

Ms. Morris is a Maritime Archaeologist currently working for South Eastern Archaeological Services, Inc. as the Project Director and Educational Coordinator. She received a BA in History and Anthropology from the University of Florida and a MA in Anthropology (Maritime Archaeology) from the University of West Florida. Since 2002, she has participated in field research projects on 16th-century Spanish ships, Civil War blockade-runners and blockade vessels and numerous 19th-century ship loss sites. She is currently the Project Director for the Tampa Bay Historical Shipwreck Survey, which resulted in the nomination of Florida’s 12th Underwater Archaeological Preserve. She is also a certified dive instructor who teaches vocational archaeological dive classes that allow divers to participate in ongoing archaeological field research.

4th Grade Essay Contest Winner: Joey Langhorst

by: Joey Langhorst  – June, 2013 Newsletter

“I think the lighthouse foundation that was found in 2009 should be preserved by covering it with a plastic covering and then nearby showing a movie of the history of the lighthouse.

I think this is a good idea because then people can see  part of North Carolina’s culture and then find out the history.  This could be a way to raise money for endangered species and future projects. Plus tons of people will have another tourist attraction to visit just in case they get bored of the other attractions. To make this possible there needs to be space to build the theater and luckily there’s a ton of space in Fort Fisher (that is available to use!)

Also it seems like this is a good idea because authors and historians have a really accurate place they can find information on the Federal Point Lighthouse. The completion of this idea could even lead to an ordinary kid growing up and then becoming a historian. To make this even better the keeper’s house foundation could be covered with plastic (that is not touching the foundation.)  

A small model of the lighthouse could also be made so people can see what it looked like.  This would definitely attract locals, tourists, historians, authors, and other people, too.”

Oral History – Earl Page – Part 9: ‘Fort Fisher’

Compiled and edited by Ann Hertzler

Just below the cement gates to Ft. Fisher was water. The Air Force base was a training base.  The parade ground was right when you come inside all those houses. On the other side of the parade ground is the river.  In between was the barracks and the chow hall.

Big guns were on the beach for target practice with targets off shore that the naked eye couldn’t see. The Army had a blimp that flew over the Ft. Fisher area for a spotter.  There were target practices for big guns. The blimp would sit up there and tell the military where the shells went.  It’s out of sight so you can’t see it from shore; but the blimp sitting up there could see them. They had a USO on the Air Force base grounds.  Southern Bell would send them down.

Starting in 1946 you couldn’t do anything until the Army got out.

The Orrell Brothers owned the pier—all of Ft. Fisher. The Orrell Brothers hired Earl Walter Winner as a building contractor.  Earl stayed down there because there was so much to do. The Army knew they weren’t going to keep the place and spend much money on something you’re fixin’ to leave.

Earl Page cleared sand off Fort Fisher Parking lot. Earl would grade the roads and put down boardwalk to each cottage so you didn’t have to get in the mud to go fishing. The Ft Fisher pier was further south.  Blue Top was up near the post. We had the pier and there were 8 cottages around the pier. People would come and stay at the cottage and go out on the pier and fish.

Airplane: This is a BT-13 plane, an Ex-Army air-force. This airplane is sitting right where the museum is at Ft Fisher.  When you walk in the front door of the museum and walk out the back door, you’re looking right down the airstrip.  The pilot is a friend of Earl Page and the other is Earl Page’s father.

They used to come in on that plane landing on the Ft. Fisher air strip – 4 of us in a 2-seater.  No lights, no nothing.  Cars would come down from the Blue Top with lights to help them see to land.  And that’s when Earl’s daddy said “You’re in love or you haven’t got a bit of sense.”

[Editor’s Note: This is the last of the oral histories summarized by Ann Hertzler. Thanks so much Ann!]

From the President – June, 2013

Barry Nelder

Barry Nelder

It’s great to report that we are receiving funding from both Carolina Beach and Kure Beach for the operation of the History Center for the 2013/2014 budget year. That will go a long way in helping us balance the budget for another year.  Please take time to let your elected political official how much we appreciate their ongoing support.

Our annual elections will be held at the July meeting.  The nominating committee has been hard a work on the new slate of officers and board members.  Nominations will be announced at the June meeting and listed in the July Newsletter.

Black Water Adventure

On Sunday May 19 forty-one people boarded Wilmington Water Tour’s cruiser the Wilmington for a Black Water Adventure up the Cape Fear from Wilmington.  From all reports this was a great event with masterful narration by Doug Springer, former Cape Fear Riverkeeper. 

A huge thanks to Doug and Diane and the whole staff at WWT for the smooth and seamless event. Plans are already underway to do another in the fall.

Monthly Meeting Report – May 2013

The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society held its monthly meeting on Monday, May 20, 7:30 pm at the Federal Point History Center, 1121-A North Lake Park Blvd., adjacent to Carolina Beach Town Hall.

Local historian, author and publisher Jack Fryar talked about the Revolutionary War period here in the Lower Cape Fear. Jack is the author or editor of twenty-two books about the history of the Cape Fear and North Carolina.

Jack is the publisher of Dram Tree Books, the local press specializing in books about the four centuries of history of the Tar Heel State, particularly the coastal regions. He lives in Wilmington with his wife, Cherie, and is currently working towards a Masters in History at UNC-Wilmington.

The always knowledgeable  and informative Jack Fryar talked about the run up to the Revolutionary War in the Lower Cape Fear.  He actually explained the “Regulators” rebellion and the events at Moores Creek Bridge where loyalists fought revolutionaries in a way that was comprehensible.  He also promised to return for another meeting were he will talk about the conclusion of the way, again with local emphasis.  

For those who want to learn more he suggested the book Redcats on the Cape Fear by Robert Dunkerly which was originally published by Dram Tree Books but has been revised and was reprinted by McFarland Press in 2012.  

Also suggested for understanding this period, particularly the issues for the Scottish immigrants, were the historical novels in the “Outlander” series of books by Diana Gabaldon as Jack served a historical consultant to the author particularly on books 4 and 5.


Low-Country Crab Boil

From the Cookbook Committee – May, 2013
We’re searching high and low for “local flavor” recipes to include.

Submitted by: Darlene Bright

Mrs. LaVan Spando ran a little restaurant in the 60s in Kure Beach now known as the “Old Pier House”. She insisted on only the freshest vegetables and fish – new potatoes, onions, corn on cob, bite size sausage pieces, clams, crab legs, shrimp, fish in season.

Low-Country Crab Boil
-Ingredient amount depends on the number of people to serve.


  • Step one is to invite at least a dozen friends!
  • Secondly, fill a large pot with enough water to cover all ingredients.
  • Add Crab Boil and bring to a boil (2 tsp per quart of water).
  • When boiling, add small red new potatoes and 3 to 4 pieces of smoked link sausage.
  • Cook about 20 minutes, then add ears of fresh corn and cook an additional 10 minutes, then crab legs, shrimp, etc. and cook about 3 minutes.
  • Do not overcook. Drain and serve.
  • Combine the following – Place items requiring the longest cooking in the bottom of the pot of water first and gradually add items requiring less cooking.
  • Cover with water as needed. Cover on table with newspaper.
  • Serve on newspaper and enjoy.


Donations! – May, 2013

Researchers Rejoice!

Last month, board member Tom Gray donated over 50 books on North Carolina History, Civil War History and Atlantic Coast shipwrecks to our library collection.

Among the new titles are:

  • From Antietam to Fort Fisher: The Civil War Letters of Edward King Wightman, 1862-1865 and Back Home in Oneida:
  • Hermon Clarke and His Letters. (Clarke fought at Fort Fisher.)
  • The complete Colonial Records of North Carolina
  • Earle J. Hess’s Lee’s Tar Heels: The Pettigrew-Kirkland-MacRae Brigade
  • and Zeb Vance: North Carolina‘s Civil War Governor and Gilded Age Political Leader.

These are really important additions to our collection and will be well used by researchers and writers over the coming years.


At last month’s meeting, the Fort Fisher Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy donated Civil War scholar, James McPherson’s new book, War on the Waters: The Union and Confederate Navies in memory of long time member of both the UDC and FPHPS, Virginia Frances.







Carolin Beach Lifeguards

From Left to right: Front Row: Bobby Sutton, Lanier Warwick, Grant Rogers Boogie Myers, Byron Moore. Back Row: Ron Conner, Pat Allen, Tommy Greene, Dickie Wolfe, Carl Lyon.


Board member Byron Moore has donated his Lifeguard helmet and whistle as well as a number of pictures of our stalwart lifeguards from the 1960’s







Society Notes – May, 2013

Darlene Bright, History Center Director

  • This month we recorded 39 members and guests at our April meeting. The History Center recorded 56 visitors. The gift shop took in $57.40.
  • Former Board Member Jack Travis died on May 2 at his home. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.
  • Our sympathies to Linda and the whole Newton family at the passing of Robert Newton. Linda and Bob were early active members of the Society and instrumental in the historical documentation of the Newton Cemetery and the role the Newton family played in the early settlement of the Federal Point area.
  • Please welcome new members John Mosley of Wilmington, Jerry Hall of Carolina Beach and Dennis Wrynn of Kure Beach. Also please welcome new business member Tom Sayre of Tom Sayre Construction, Inc.
  • Thanks to our History Center Volunteers Carl Filipiak and Ron Griffin for working on the cataloging of the subject files. That project is finally beginning to move ahead.
  • Thanks to all the members who helped out at the Kure Beach Grand Opening of the New Ocean Front Park. Barry Nelder and Darlene and Leslie Bright who organized our participation in the event as well as Jeannie Gordon, Frankie Jones, Juanita Winner, Luanna McGurren, Paul Slebodnik, and Judy Moore.
  • Newsletter: Thanks to Cheri McNeill for her always thorough proofing of the newsletter and Lois Taylor for her help getting the Newsletter in the mail.
  • Leslie Bright and Elaine Henson have agreed to help get the Historic Building Committee moving forward again. Now they need several more people to pitch in and help get this important project reinvigorated.


U.S.S. Constitution (Old Iron Sides)

A Little Known Tidbit of Naval History

The U.S.S. Constitution (Old Iron Sides), as a combat vessel, carried 48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers and men. This was sufficient to last six months of sustained operations at sea. She carried no evaporators (i.e. fresh water distillers).

However, let it be noted that according to her ship’s log, “On July 27, 1798, the U.S.S. Constitution sailed from Boston with a full complement of 475 officers and men, 48,600 gallons of fresh water, 7,400 cannon shot, 11,600 pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum”

Her mission: “To destroy and harass English shipping.” Making Jamaica on 6 October, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum.

Then she headed for the Azores, arriving there 12 November. She provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine. On 18 November, she set sail for England. In the ensuing days she defeated five British men-of-war and captured and scuttled 12 English merchant ships, salvaging only the rum aboard each.

By 26 January, her powder and shot were exhausted. Nevertheless, although unarmed she made a night raid up the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. Her landing party captured a whiskey distillery and transferred 40,000 gallons of single malt Scotch aboard by dawn. Then she headed home.

The U.S.S. Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February 1799, with no cannon shot, no food, no powder, no rum, no wine, no whiskey, and 38,600 gallons of water. GO NAVY!