Compiled and edited by Ann Hertzler
Before they’d even start oystering, they’d eat a full bate of oysters, raw. A full bate is a full bellyful. They were getting $2.00 a bushel. They would oyster around Buzzard’s Bay, the same with clams. They’d go on the shoals, at low tide when the shoals fall out flat. We didn’t dig like they do now. If you know what the spit sign looks like, all you do is take a potato hoe. You’re looking at a spit sign that looks like a streak. It’s a hole in there; it’s kinda raised. You don’t see the clam, you see the hole and then it spreads out.
That’s what you’ll see first. Now we’re talking about 3 or 4 feet and you follow that back to the spit sound and there’s your clam. Take that potato hoe and go down, there’s your clam! Pile ‘em up cause they were on land, they’d make pyramids. We were on land, and when the tide came in, we’d float the boat up and load the clams in the boat.
It gets wider as it goes out. read more
President’s Message – May, 2013
In the Works: A committee has been convened to look at the preservation of the remaining embankments of the Civil War “Sugar Loaf Line of Defense” located on land the Town of Carolina Beach owns, and is exploring options to develop.
The committee now has representatives from the Carolina Beach Planning Department, FPHPS, NC Underwater Archaeology Lab, Fort Fisher State Historic Site, and UNCW History Department. Stay tuned for future developments.
Cape Fear River Cruise/Fundraiser
Sunday May 19, 2:00 to 4:00 pm
Black Water Adventure!
This year we’re going to try something different.
Working with Wilmington Water Tours, we will travel up the Cape Fear River from downtown Wilmington with Doug Springer, former Cape Fear Riverkeeper, narrating the history and natural features of the downtown waterfront and the Cape Fear River above Wilmington.
Sunday May 19, 2:00-4:00 pm (2 hours)
Light refreshments will be served
Tickets $30.00 per person
Call the Federal Point History Center 910-458-0502 to reserve tickets
We do take credit cards
Monthly Meeting Report – April, 2013
Our April speaker was Billy Ray Morris
, the new director of the North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Unit. Morris grew up on Carolina Beach and has degrees from both UNCW and ECU. He has spent his career exploring underwater wrecks around the world, but especially along the Virginia, North Carolina and Florida coasts.
Billy Ray Morris discussed the ongoing re-examination and interpretation of the maritime aspects of the Fort Fisher campaign.
His program included pictures of many of the blockade runners which were wrecked in our local waters. He said these ships were among the most sophisticated on the seas. A percent of every load was dedicated to war material, but many consumer goods and finery were also carried from Europe.
The wreck of the Modern Greece was the first explored, and the Underwater Archaeology Unit was established at Fort Fisher to deal with the artifacts recovered from that ship. The Unit will begin an exhaustive re-mapping project on all the Civil War era wrecks this summer.
In 2012 Morris was appointed Deputy State Archaeologist to direct and supervise all aspects of the North Carolina maritime archaeology program including the Queen Anne’s Revenge Project, and ongoing research and protection of shipwrecks of all types including Civil War blockade runners, merchant vessels, locally-built sail and steam-powered fishing and river boats.
Museum Of The Cape Fear Historical Complex
801 Arsenal Avenue, Fayetteville NC. Saturday April 6, 2013
“SKIRMISHES AND SHORTAGES: NC IN 1863” Living history featuring musical performances by the Huckleberry Brothers Band, tintype/ambrotype photographer Harry Taylor, and guest speaker Raina Kellerman presenting on “Women in Civil War Arsenals.” Discover the story of “Long Grabs” McSween, the unofficial war correspondent for the Fayetteville Observer. Learn more about his extraordinary life and listen to an interpretive reading of his letters. Musket firings at 10:30, 12:30, and 2:30. Hands on activities: Cartridge Rolling.
Bennett Place State Historic Site
4409 Bennett Memorial Rd, Durham, NC. Saturday, April 20, 2013 10:00 to 4:00. Sunday, April 21 10:00 to 3:00pm
“WAR AND SURRENDER DEPICTED THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY, ART, AND JOURNALISM” Join us as we showcase the American Civil War throughout history and how it has been portrayed through photography, art, and journalism. Historians, artists, and authors will share their artwork, books, and exhibits on how the war has been viewed and preserved. Civil War soldiers will be encamped around the Bennett Farm demonstrating life as it was during the Civil War.. The annual Unity Monument wreath laying ceremony will take place with special presentations and guest speakers.
NC Museum of History
5 E. Edenton Street Raleigh NC Sunday April 28, 2013 2pm.
“THE POWER AND POPULARITY OF MUSIC IN THE CIVIL WAR” Christian L. McWhirter, Assistant Editor for the Papers of Abraham Lincoln will speak from published and archival material from the National Archives. McWhirter analyzes the numerous ways music influenced popular culture in the years surrounding the war and discusses its deep meaning for both whites and blacks, South and North.
Friends Of Oakdale Cemetery – April, 2013
Saturday, April 27, 2013, 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. – Bird Tour
Enjoy a morning of birding at Oakdale with Dr. James Parnell, noted ornithologist and author of numerous books and articles about birds. Dr. Parnell is a retired professor of biology at UNC-W. Tour cancelled in event of inclement weather. Admission is $10 for non-members; free for members.
Saturday, May 18, 2013, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon – Walking Tour
Ms. Robin Triplett will delight the group with a general historical tour of the cemetery. She will enlighten you with stories such as the Fireman and his dog,a murder in Cary that still remains unsolved just to name a few. Tour cancelled in event of inclement weather. Admission is $10.00 for non-members; free for members
Saturday, June 15, 2013, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon – Walking Tour
Mr. Chris Nelson will lead the tour about most notable people of public service. He will give the details of the men who served as firemen in Wilmington and their events which may have led them to their final resting place in Oakdale. Tour cancelled in event of inclement weather. Admission is $10.00 for non-members; free for members.
Saturday, July 20, 2013, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon – Walking Tour
Mr. Eric Kozen, Superintendent will take you on a special tour of the cemetery explaining its 150 + year old history. Give you a taste of horticulture specimens along with funerary art. Tour cancelled in event of inclement weather. Admission is $10.00 for non- members; free for members.
Darlene Bright, History Center Director
- This month we recorded 39 members and guests at our February meeting. The History Center recorded 55 visitors. The gift shop took in $ 57.40.
- A huge thanks to Chris Fonvielle for leading the Walk to Sugar Loaf again this year. We netted $225 in donations.
- Please welcome new member Tony Phillips of Carolina Beach.
- 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.
- 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.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Rebecca has been madly clipping almost 10 years of old newspapers that had accumulated in our archives. Now we have lots and lots of clippings and new subject folders that need to be filed. No computer experience required.
If you have a couple of hours a week for a short-term project, please consider helping us get all our resources in tip-top shape. We also need people with some basic computer experience to enter these subject records into our online catalog, which is a much more long-term project.
The Society desperately needs one or two people to revitalize the Historic Building Plaque Program! A number of the plaques need to be refurbished and new properties scouted for future documentation.
Compiled and edited by Ann Hertzler
High Rock was northeast of Corncake Inlet approximately 2 1⁄2 to 3 miles below Ft. Fisher pier. You don’t see it. They all had their own separate marks – shoreline…you could see across the river…a tree… and you’d put that in with another one here and where they cross, that’s where you anchor.
Six or seven Freemen fishermen fished with a rowboat. They’d go out to a place called High Rock in the early fall time of year. June, July and August, just forget it. It’s not like it used to because the mullet don’t run. Each fisherman would keep his own fish on a stringer, so when he came back in, he took his fish and sold ‘em. There was always a crowd waiting. The man who owned the boat would take a percentage of each man’s catch.
Fishing the seasons:
- Early fall was mullet, Black Trout or Speckled Trout. You catch them in nets, too.
- Winter was Roe mullet. You catch catfish in the river on trout lines.
- Spring was Virginia mullet, also known as Whiting. Spots don’t come in until early August. You have to go off shore now to catch mackerel, King mackerel and Spanish mackerel.
- Summertime was black fish and gray trout. Sometimes you’re trolling; other times bottom fished anchored in places that you’d found through experience.
President’s Message – April, 2013
We learned a tremendous amount about Captain John Harper at March’s meeting. Thanks go to Ann Hutteman for all the time she put into researching and preparing her talk. After the meeting everyone talked about how much they had learned about the very beginnings of “the beach.”
Read more about Ann Hutterman’s presentation here.
Capt. John Harper
Last Month’s Meeting – April, 2013
At our March meeting, Ann Hutteman, a local historian and writer spoke about the life and times of Captain John Harper, ship captain, land developer, and an important figure in the founding of Carolina Beach.
Capt. John Harper, ran the steamship Wilmington from 1891- 1917. John’s older brother ran daily trips from Smithville to Wilmington first, and then the brothers joined to bring the steamship Passport from the mouth of the river to Wilmington for a fare of 50 cents a head.
In 1891 the Harper brothers bought a steamer, already named Wilmington, in Philadelphia. The ship could carry 500 passengers. At that time a small railroad ran from Sugar Loaf to the beach for 25 cents. The Harper’s also owned a dance pavillion at the end of the rail line and other properties at the Beach.
John Harper died in 1917 and is buried in Oakdale Cemetery. His granddaughter, Catherine Stribling, is alive and a resident at Autumn Care and eagerly talks about her family and grandfather. The steamer Wilmington became a fishing excursion ship in Tampa Bay until 1930, and is rumored to still be actively running in Brazil today.
Ann Hewlett Hutteman, local historian and writer is a sixth-generation Wilmingtonian, Ann attended Wilmington College and taught school in this area. Her father’s family, the Hewletts, have lived in the Masonboro Sound area since the American Revolution. Ann calls them “real clam diggers.” Ann’s book ‘Wilmington, NC A Postcard History’ is a significant resource for people doing local history research. She has also written a number of local church histories and is an expert genealogist.
Darlene Bright, History Center Director
- Active member and longtime Social Committee chair, Virginia Frances, passed away Thursday March 7 after a long struggle with a number of health issues. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers.
- This month we recorded 23 members and guests at our February meeting. The History Center recorded 32 visitors. The gift shop took in $100.99.
- Please welcome new business member Cynthia Remahl, Realtor, with Intracoastal Realty Corporation of Carolina Beach.
- Thanks to our History Center Volunteers Demetria Sapienza and Lois Taylor for keeping the History Center open when Rebecca needed a day off. And, thanks to Cheri McNeill for her always thorough proofing of the newsletter and Lois Taylor for her help getting the Newsletter in the mail.
- Thanks to Carl Filipiak who has begun cataloging all our subject files on Friday mornings! It’s going to be great to have those files indexed in our regular catalog.
Rebecca has been madly clipping almost 10 years of old newspapers that had accumulated in our archives. Now we have lots and lots of clippings and new subject folders that need to be filed. No computer experience required.
If you have a couple of hours a week for a short term project please consider helping us get all our resources in tip-top shape. We also need people with some basic computer experience to enter these subject records into our online catalog, which is a much more long term project.