Oral History – Earl Page – Part 2: ‘Army Truck’

Compiled and edited by Ann Hertzler

Earl bought an Army truck when he got out of the service. He used it to pull vehicles out of the sand and help in fishing. The dirt road goes down to the Rocks. The picture shows just two ruts in the dirt road. The highway ended this side of the Museum. Then it became a cow path.

Earl was on his way to help a guy raise a sail boat. He had to get there across a ditch. He pulled lots of vehicles out of the sand. They’d get stuck at the beach. It looked like a car was sitting right in the water. Earl’s truck had front wheel drive.

No one had 4- wheel drive back then. There were only two 4-wheel drive vehicles on this beach – Earl’s and a garage at Carolina Beach. Earl drove in water going out in the Bay to get a jeep. A guy walked in front looking for holes.

He pulled a taxi cab out of the ocean. He took pictures and it’s a good thing because the insurance company didn’t believe it.


Earl pulled a tank out of the ocean. A ship barge lost it. When Earl contacted the owners, they said we could keep it because it would cost more for them to come get it. Three men rowed out in the ocean in a row boat and brought the tank in close enough that Earl could get a wench on it.

Earl sold it.

Many had to have vehicles pulled off the beach because they didn’t know how to drive on the beach. It was like Daytona Beach at low tide – someone went down to Corncake Inlet driving on the beach. To turn around, he drove down toward the ocean and then tried to back up in the soft sand; the wheels sunk and the tide came in. Thank goodness for that Army truck.

The beach was very wide. If you stand with your back to the Fort Fisher monument, look out into the ocean, and hold your hand at a 10 o’clock angle you can see how wide the beach was. But right there, at 60 degrees, it’s nothing but rocks. It looked like Coney Island. It was beautiful. But you couldn’t park and you had cliffs. You couldn’t get down right there unless you had an Army truck.

From the President – November, 2012

Barry Nelder

Barry Nelder

We had a rousing success with our Fall Fundraiser. We took in just over $250.00 and garnered some great visibility for our organization as the early voters lined up at Town Hall to vote on Saturday morning November 3.

A huge thanks to everyone who helped; Carol Ufferman, Donna Bernadio, Lois Taylor, Jean Stewart, Susan Foy, John Gordon, Jeannie Gordon, Don Snook, Cheri McNeill, Paul Slebodnik, Leslie Bright and Darlene Bright.


I also want to thank the great volunteer crew who worked at the History Center all day November 5. The first of our new archival shelving arrived in mid- October and Don Snook, Jim Dugan, Jeannie and John Gordon, Demetria and Phil Sapienza, and Darlene and Leslie Bright hauled almost everything out of the library, deep cleaned and then moved much of it back onto the new racks. Our new library shelving is due to ship the week before Thanksgiving so it will take one more day of effort sometime in late November or early December and we’ll have our re-designed library/archive up and running.

Christmas Party: Again this year Virginia Francis, our hospitality committee in-one-person, has arranged for us to have our Christmas potluck at Kure Memorial Lutheran Church. The date for the dinner is Monday December 17, which is our regular meeting night. Plan to be there by 6:30 and please bring a dish to share. We will also be making donations to their Christmas food drive so bring a few cans or boxes of food to be donated through them to the Help Center.


Monthly Meeting Report – October, 2012

The Swing Bridge at Snow’s Cut 1931-1962

The Swing Bridge at Snow’s Cut 1931-1962

Monthly Meeting – October, 2012

Elaine Henson, related the history of the Inland Waterway, especially the section from Beaufort, NC to the mouth of the Cape Fear River. This covered 93 miles and was 90 feet wide to a depth of 12 feet. A very popular Major Snow was sent to Wilmington in 1926 to oversee this cut which made us an island. A wooden highway bridge over the cut was built in 1930 to be replaced by a more permanent one in 1944. Local residents had to pay for this bridge. The total project cost $3 million and was completed in 3 1/2 years.

For the Record:
The summary as described above( in last month’s newsletter) of Elaine’s program in October was a bit confused. It should have read: “Major Snow was sent to Wilmington in 1926 to oversee the 93 miles of inland waterway from Beaufort to the Cape Fear River, part of which was the land cut that made Federal Point an island.

The temporary wooden bridge over Snow’s Cut was opened in March, 1930 and replaced with a steel swing bridge in September of 1931. The residents did not pay for it. (The Federal government required the Tidewater Power Company and the Wrightsville Causeway company to pay for the 1931 Wrightsville Beach draw bridge because they operated a railroad over the inland waterway).

In 1944 the Department of Interior Board of Geographic Names officially named the cut Snow’s Cut. Locals had called it that since it was made.”

Later, at the November, 2013 Monthly Meeting, more information on the Inland Waterway and Snow’s Cut Bridge was presented by Elaine Henson.


Cape Fear Lighthouse – presented by: Old Baldy Foundation

Cape Fear Lighthouse

Cape Fear Lighthouse

The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society held its monthly meeting on Monday, September 17, 2012 @ 7:30 pm at the Federal Point History Center, 1121-A North Lake Park Blvd., adjacent to Carolina Beach Town Hall.

Cape Fear Lighthouse

Cape Fear Lighthouse

From 1903-1958 the Cape Fear Lighthouse stood guard over Frying Pan Shoals from the SE corner of Bald Head Island. But with the opening of the Oak Island Lighthouse it was deemed obsolete and blown up.

Sometime after the light was destroyed it’s first order Fresnel Lens ended up in front of an antiques shop in Wilmington where the individual prisms were sold to tourists passing by.

A few years ago members of the Old Baldy Foundation “found” it and negotiated the purchase of the frame and the few prisms that were left from the children of the original owner.

Mary Beth Springmeier, Executive Director, Chris Webb, President, and Kim Gottshall, Chair of the Lens Restoration Committee of the Old Baldy Foundation visited us from Bald Head Island to tell us the story of how they are bringing the prisms back to the Island, and how we can help.

Gift Shop – New Vintage Postcards

New in the Gift Shop!

Last month (July, 2012) we featured the new Ocean Plaza t-shirts, which are selling well.

This month we’ve added a new line of vintage postcards, note cards and magnets. We’ve found a company in California that reprints postcards from the 1920’s to the 1940’s. Luckily they already had a number of images of Carolina Beach in their catalog and we are now carrying them in the gift shop. If these go well we may have others made from the postcards we have in our collection.

Magnets: $4.00

Magnets: $4.00


Notecards: $4.00

Note Cards: $4.00








Postcards $1.50

Postcards $1.50


We also have signed copies of Kevin Duffus’s two books The Last Days of Blackbeard the Pirate and War Zone: WWII off the Coast of North Carolina.

Kure Beach Progressive Association – Notes from 1940s

Reported by Ann Hertzler

These notes were extracted from a notebook from the 1940s stored at the KB town hall with minutes of the Kure Beach Progressive Association kept by Ma Fry (Brenda Coffey’s grandmother).


Dec 31, 1945
Fed Point History Assoc
– A meeting of the citizens of Kure Beach was held in the Kure Memorial Chapel Monday night, Dec 31, 1945 with 16 present. Mr. Weinburg, acting chairman, explained that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss ways and means of securing fire protection, as the only security now is the insurance carried.… Mr. L.C.Kure would furnish the water and fittings; decided that we purchase 500’ of hose. Property owners were contacted and informed of actions. ($200 pledged, $115 paid)

Jan 8, 1946 “Kure Beach Progressive Association”

  • Chairman Mr. L. E. Wienburg
  • Secretary Mrs. C B Fry
  • Treasurer Mr. L. C. Kure
  • Advisory Committee – Bob Ford, L. C. Kure, F. M. Steinfurth
  • Other Committees elected: By-Laws, Auditing, Financial, Maintenance
  • Mr. Kure reported the hose is expected next week. Cost $284.50

Jan 15, 1946
Mr. Kure made a trip to Fayetteville to look at a fire truck; not successful. Mr. Manning reported a ford truck has been sent to Camp Davis for sale.

Jan 22, 1946
A motion was made to photograph the ponds of water and take before the County Commissioners in regards to sanitary conditions in and around Kure Beach ….

Jan 29, 1946
5th meeting photographs of the ponds, ditches and other places of stagnation have been made by Mrs. Weinburg, to be taken to County Commissioners, … along with as many members as possible, especially the ladies, and ….a signed petition. read more

Jones “Neil” Pharr

Nov. 2011

We recently lost a loved and respected member of our community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of J. Neil Pharr, who died on October 19, 2011.

Neil owned the Carolina Beach Drug Store and was the pharmacist there for many years until it closed in the late 80’s.

He was also a two term mayor of Carolina Beach and the thing most remembered about him is that he always tried to help everyone who came to him for help and advice.

Neil grew up in Concord and graduated from the Pharmacy School at UNC-Chapel Hill and worked as a pharmacist at Pike‟s Pharmacy in Concord and then came to Carolina Beach where he became the town pharmacist and friend to all.

Digital Image Project

Digital Image Project – Moving Ahead   (Jan, 2011)

We have now scanned pictures from three families that have been long time residents of the Federal Point Area. The Kure’s, the Winner’s and the Burnett’s (see pictures below) We’d love to add some more families to our Digital Archive so please keep an eye out for a box of old pics you‟d be willing to have us archive.

What we do is BORROW your pictures for 4-6 weeks. We look through them and scan the ones that are most evocative of the Federal Point areas – Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Myrtle Grove Sound, Seabreeze. You give the Society the rights to use the scanned photos in our publications and projects but you get your originals back. We‟ll also give you a CD with all the pictures we scanned which you can pass on to the next generation.
read more

Films that Used Federal Point for Location Shots

Oral History Committee – Ann Hertzer

Calling All Movie Buffs!

We are working on a COMPLETE list of films that used Federal Point for location shots. Here’s what Ann Hertzler has collected for Kure Beach so far.

Wilmywood, the Hollywood name for Wilmington, has produced more than 300 films since the 1980s. More than a dozen have featured Kure Beach.  Favorite areas to film have been around the pier and the secluded areas of Fort Fisher. Prime spots are the ocean, the ferry, the boat basin, and the Aquarium.

1980s Week End at Bernie’s

1993 Linda
1993 Love, Honor, & Obey: Last Mata Marriage
1993 Twilight Zone: The Theater

1995 To Gilian on her 37th Birthday
1995  Traveler

… and ..