What’s in a Name? “Federal Point”

The following appeared in the FPHPS Newsletter in 2002  

Federal Point: Monkey Junction to Fort Fisher

Federal Point:
Monkey Junction to Fort Fisher

The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society is named for Federal Point Township, which makes up a large portion of New Hanover County southward of Monkey Junction, bounded on the west by the Cape Fear River and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean.  

The peninsula includes many neighborhoods along River Road and Mrytle Grove Sound including Seabreeze.  South of Snow’s Cut lies Carolina Beach, Wilmington Beach, Hanby Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher.  

Wilmington Beach was recently annexed into Carolina Beach, and Hanby Beach was annexed into Kure Beach.  

Even though some of these communities are relatively new, this whole area is rich in history from prehistoric time, when native Indians frequented the area, through the period of colonization and early settlement, the Civil War and both World Wars.  

The earliest mention of Federal Point by name appears on a map engraved by Joshua Potts around 1777.  However, it is generally accepted that it was named during the 1790’s in honor of the new Federal Government and the ratificaion of the United States Constitution by North Carolina in 1789.  

In 1861, with the onset of the Civil War, the Confederates changed the name to Confederate Point, but it was changed back again in 1865 with the fall of Fort Fisher and the occupation of Wilmington.

Major Donation: Postcard Collection

[from December, 2009 FPHPS newsletter]

Thomas Gray

Thomas Gray

Santa came for real in early December when Thomas Gray donated FORTY-SEVEN postcards to our growing collection.  Framed beautifully in thematic groups and including a number Elaine Henson declared “rare,” they add significantly in our ability to provide iconic images to our visitors and researchers.

At the January Board meeting, board members unanimously accepted this generous donation and extended our most sincere appreciation to Thomas, a life-time member of the Society from Winston-Salem.

Thomas Gray - Elaine Henson

Thomas Gray – Elaine Henson

For now they’ve been hung on the back wall of the Library, the only large space we currently have to display them together in all their technicolor glory. The next time you’re at the History Center, take some time to look in the Library.  You’ll be transported in time by these glorious bits of histor. 




 Below: Two scanned cards from the Postard Collection donated by Thomas Gray


Sunday Crowd

Sunday Crowd



Waters Edge at Carolina Beach

Waters Edge at Carolina Beach

Louis T. Moore and Dr. Fales Photograph Collections

Fales - Pier

Fales:   Shoo-Fly Pier

by Rebecca Taylor

In working to catalog and organize the pictures we’ve collected here at the History Center, I’ve been reminded again of the wonderfully rich resource we have access to at the click of a mouse button.

Owned and published on the web by the New Hanover County Public Library are the Dr. Robert Fales  “A History of  Wilmington in Pictures Collection” and the L. T. Moore “Wilmington in Pictures Collection.”

Dr. Robert M. Fales M.D. was a long time area physician who spent his retirement years collecting well over 1000 images of the Lower Cape Fear area.

He originally intended to collect only photos of area physicians who had practiced in Wilmington during the early part of the twentieth century.  But as news got out that Dr. Fales was collecting old pictures, people began to loan and give him all kinds of “old photos.”  Originally Dr. Fales made slides of the pictures and spend a good deal of time doing slide shows throughout the community.

Louis T Moore, a descendant of THE Moore Family, was the secretary of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce from 1921 to 1941 He was a tenacious promoter of his hometown and the area surrounding it.  His daughter, Peggy, recalls: “It was a ritual every Sunday afternoon. Daddy had this great big box camera and every Sunday we would drive out and take pictures.”

Bame Hotel

Bame Hotel

Moore wrote numerous articles for such magazines as The World Traveler, and the Nautical Gazette promoting tourism to the Wilmington and New Hanover County.  His most famous literary effort was the publication in 1956 of Stories Old And New of the Cape Fear Region.

The photograph collection contains almost 1000 pictures and in 1982 the Friends of the Library funded a project to copy all the silver nitrate negatives and make contact prints of the entire collection.  The effort to digitize the collection was a joint project of the New Hanover Public Library and the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society.

Though Wilmington is the historic entity that appears in the title of both collections they each contain a large number of images of our own “Federal Point.”  They provide a wealth of information for anyone doing research on the area as well as being just plain fun to look at.

To find these wonderful resources and many more image collections start here – for a description (and link) to all of the New Hanover image collections.

To find the Fales photograph collections scroll down this list to find either the “Dr. Robert M. Fales MD Collection”  or the “Louis T. Moore Collection.”  Both are searchable by subject, the Fales collection can also be searched by date.  The Fales photos can be printed on your printer or by right clicking you can “copy” them to a file or into a document.  The Moore Pics are a bit more complicated to copy but you can do it if you are proficient with a program that can edit pictures.