President’s Message – March, 2020

Andrew Emile “Punky” Kure, Jr.    Part 2

By Elaine Henson

During WWII Punky was a student at New Hanover High School.  The war was much on his mind and he wanted to drop out of school and join the Marine Corps.  It took ardent pleading with his parents but, they finally consented. It was 1944, and he was 17 years old.  He did his basic training at Paris Island, S.C., and Advanced Infantry and Demolition training at Camp Lejeune, N.C. (his favorite). Then he was on to San Diego, California for Anti-Aircraft training.

Punky in his lifeguarding days, 1944, with the Kure Pier in the background.

By 1945, he was stationed on the light cruiser ship, USS Birmingham, in Okinawa, Japan.  On May 7th, the Birmingham, with 38 marines among the 900 sailors on board, was hit by a suicide plane.  Two of the marines and forty-five sailors were killed with 5 missing. Punky suffered a knee injury that would affect him for the rest of his life. After that the Birmingham went to Pearl Harbor for repairs.

Three and a half months later, they were enroute back to Okinawa, when they received word of a cease fire.  After that they sailed to Australia where the lady folks met the ship with open arms to the delight of the war weary men on board.

Then it was back to the states, first to San Francisco and then San Diego.  From there he went home for 30 days leave before a three month stay at the hospital in Camp Lejeune and treatment for his leg injuries before being discharged. Coming home he went back to NHHS graduating in 1946.

He was glad to be back at the beach with his family and friends.  One of those friends was Andy “Hose Nose” Canoutas.  Andy’s parents, George and Lola Canoutas, had the Plaza Grill and Bingo on the K Avenue corner where Jack Mackerels is now.

Punky and Andy got certified at the Red Cross to be lifeguards with Andy being the first one at Kure Beach. In later years, they also went diving together with air tanks and scuba gear on Civil War blockade runners bringing up artifacts.

About this time, Punky decided to take advantage of the G.I. Bill and take flying lessons.  His cousin, Hall Watters, who got his flight training in the Army Air Force during the war, was teaching at Pennington’s Flying Service at the airport then called Bluethanthal Field. Hall and his brother, Robert, were living with the Andrew Kures who were living on the highway which is now Fort Fisher Boulevard. The three cousins rode the Queen City bus to Pennington’s every day and back to the beach.  Punky received a commercial flying license in 1947, but his intention was to just fly for fun.

L-R, Ed Lewis, Bob Orr, Judson George and Punky  at The Carolina Beach Boardwalk photo booth.

Over the next few years he worked as a welder, fisherman, and a security guard at the Loran Station on River Road.  He always had a good time and, as a bachelor he “played the field” with the ladies.  He would take dates down to Fort Fisher and drive out on the Rocks over to Zeke’s Island for his own private parking space.  But his dating days would end in 1952, when he married Jean Ammenhauser in the Kure Memorial Lutheran barracks church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President’s Message – February 2020

By Elaine Henson

Andrew Emile “Punky” Kure, Jr.   – Part 1

Andrew and Betty Kure

Punky Kure was born February 13, 1927, at James Walker Memorial Hospital in Wilmington.  His parents were Andrew Emile Kure, Sr. (b. 3-30-1893- d. 3-3-1950) and Elizabeth Hall Singletary Kure (b. 5-1907- d. 11-28-1958).

When Punky’s grandmother, Ellen Kure, first saw him as a baby she said, “He’s a punky little thing” and the name stuck.

His family lived in Wilmington at 1504 Nun Street and spent summers at Kure Beach. In those days the only road to Carolina and Kure Beaches was the one completed in 1916 which is now called Dow Road.

To get to the Carolina Beach Boardwalk area you had to turn off this road onto Harper Avenue or Cape Fear Boulevard. It continued on to Kure and ended at the Kure Pier. Then it went for a couple of blocks along the ocean to his Uncle Hans Kure’s house, known as Kure Cottage, which is still there and has a FPHPS plaque.

His father worked at the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad as auditor in the freight department.  As a boy his father would take him to see the dredging at Snows Cut during the Intracoastal Waterway project (1929-1932).  He remembers the temporary wooden bridge over the cut being one lane.

He also remembers his mother telling him about her Grandfather George Washington Hall, who served the Confederacy being captured at Fort Fisher during the Civil War and taken to the Federal prison at Point Lookout, Maryland.  The prison was known for its harsh living conditions. Point Lookout was on the Potomac River which flooded the camp at high tides daily.  The prisoners were often fed rats, miraculously he survived and returned home to Elizabethtown.

Summers at Kure Beach in the 1930s were mostly spent with family since the 4 or 5 houses there were occupied by Kures and other relatives. The Andrew Kure’s first home at the beach was a two-story cottage on Third Street about where the gazebo is between Kure Memorial Lutheran Church and the parsonage.  Their second home was at 217 L Avenue on the corner of Third and L Avenue and is still there.  Their third home was in the first block of K Avenue near the corner of the main street now named Fort Fisher Boulevard. Punky had a great time playing with his cousins Son, Hall and Robert Waters.  Their mother Mae Singletary Waters was Betty Kure’s sister.

The Kures cooked on a kerosene stove which was a big improvement over a wood cook stove.  Their ice box was made of oak with a metal lining and held a large block of ice.  “Big Charlie” came daily selling blocks of ice cut to order. Most of their groceries came from stores in Carolina Beach, but “Uncle Frank” and his wife rode the bus from Sea Breeze selling fresh fish, shrimp, crabs and seasonal vegetables.

The only phone was at the Kure Pier; it cost ten cents to call Wilmington which was considered long distance. Since there were only a few houses in those years, electricity was provided by generators.  There was one for the houses and another for the Kure Pier and parking lot. They usually turned them on at dusk and off at bedtime.  Crawford Lewis, who lived just before the Fort Fisher gates, would come up and get the one for the houses started.  Uncle Lawrence handled the one for the pier.

Since the family lived in town during the school year, Punky went to Isaac Bear School for grades 1-8.  It was on Market Street across from present day Brodgen Hall.  He usually walked to school or rode his bike and took lunch until he was old enough to bike home for lunch and ride back to school.  If the family happened to be at the beach on a school day, he rode with beach resident, Mrs. L. W. Fickling, to Wilmington.  She taught at Washington Catlett School which served the Delgado/Spofford Mills area. In 9th grade Punky went to New Hanover High School.

L-R, J.R. Hewett, Robert Waters, Punky Kure, Son Waters, Jr., and Hall Waters at Kure Beach in 1936

 

Next month: Andrew Emile “Punky” Kure, Jr.  Part 2

 

President’s Letter – January, 2020

Kure Beach – K Avenue Business District c. 1947-1953

By Elaine Henson

In 1937, Andrew Emile Kure, Sr. sold 40 acres of his land to the Dow Plant off what is now Dow Road. With part of the proceeds he bought a 1938 Chevrolet specially ordered with a heater and a radio, neither of which came with the car in those days.  His new Chevy was black, the only color available at that time. After the car purchase, he built two houses and a garage apartment facing K Avenue west of the pier.  Each cost $500 to build and $500 to furnish.

In the photograph above, the house with the black roof (3) was where his family lived. There was a living room and kitchen on the right with a bathroom behind the kitchen.  There were two bedrooms on the left and a back porch behind them which was converted into a bedroom for Mary Rose who lived in to look after his wife, Betty Kure, who had heart trouble. Mary was descended from slaves at Orton Plantation.  Her husband, Johnny Rose, built both houses and the garage apartment.  Mary’s little daughter, Shirley, was born while she was caring for Betty and shared the room with her mother.  Betty, dressed in her gown and robe, would walk across the street holding toddler Shirley’s hand to go to the Post Office.  It was located between where the Arcade and Jack Mackerels are now.

Johnny Rose lived in town and would come on the weekends and sometimes weekdays. He was later in a serious brawl and lost his life.  Their son, Emile Rose, is a retired longshoreman at Sunny Point. Andrew Emile Kure, Jr. better known as Punky, saw Emile about a year ago.  Both men noted that they shared the same name and surmised that the Roses named him for the senior and junior A. E. Kures.

The second house was built with the same floor plan as the Kure home, but with an open front porch (4). It was used as a rental home.  Behind that was the garage apartment (7). The downstairs had an efficiency apartment with bedroom, kitchen and living space.  The upstairs had a kitchen/living room, bath, bedroom and a glassed-in front porch.  Punky and Jean Kure  lived there after they were married in 1952.  They put in an oil heater and water heater.  During Hurricane Hazel in October of 1954, there were whitecaps in the apartment’s bathtub.  The storm surge was 17-18 feet.

Next to the rental house were two long buildings, most likely former barracks from Fort Fisher, that remain to this day. The first one (5) had John Flower’s Barber Shop in the back with Clarence Danner’s Fish Market in the front.  Since 1972, it has been Bud and Joe’s Sandbar.

The second one (6) had an ABC Store in the front from 1949 to the mid-1960s and Kure Beach Town Hall in the back. East of those two buildings was the two-story white frame Ocean Inn (8) which had been moved there from its original location across the street after the Great Storm of 1944.

In 1947, Andrew Emile Kure, Sr. built a service station/café on the corner of K Avenue and Fort Fisher Boulevard (1).  Punky Kure ran the station for two years which was on the left end of the building. The Café was on the right end. There was a garage (2) built at an angle to the service station.  It was used for lubes and washing cars.

East of the station, garage, houses, barracks buildings and Ocean Inn were two rows of little guest houses (13) built by Fred Futch. He and Mrs. Futch also had a home among guest houses.  Fred was an Air Raid Warden during WWII and was killed during a black out when a car ran over him.

At the end of K Avenue was the iconic Kure Pier (9) which was built in 1923 by Lawrence Kure, A.E. Kure, Sr.’s brother.  He also served as the first mayor of Kure Beach when it was incorporated in 1947. Across the street was the Smitty’s building (10).  Smitty’s was a restaurant that specialized in seafood, no surprise there. On the end of that building near the pier was Taft Russ’ Tackle Shop.

Number 11 shows three little one story buildings.  The one on the left was the 400 sq. ft. post office.  The next was Fry’s Fundy Café and the third was a small grocery store run by Linwood Flowers at the time.

Building #12 was the Plaza Grill, owned and operated by George & Lola Canoutas.  The Plaza Grill had a restaurant on the end near Fort Fisher Boulevard, which also served as a bus stop for school children and Trailways/City buses. The building also had a Bingo Hall and at Beauty Shop on the main floor with apartments and rooms to rent on the second floor. Their son, Andy Canoutas, is the attorney for the Town of Kure Beach and has held that post for many years.

 

President’s Letter – December, 2019

By Elaine Henson

The Ocean Inn and Café at Kure Beach

Kure Beach founders Hans and Ellen Kure emigrated to Wilmington via Charleston, S.C. from Denmark in the 1880s. They had four sons, William Ludwig, Hans Adolph, Lawrence Christian, Andrew Emile and a daughter, Elene H. Kure Shands.

Their son, Lawrence, who built the Kure Pier in 1923, later built a two-story, white frame building he named the Ocean Inn and Café, south of the pier.  The café took up most of the first floor with rooms to rent on the second floor.  This early linen post card, c. early 1940s, shows the Inn and pier.

In 1944, our region was brushed with an unnamed hurricane referred to as the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944. The worst damage was sustained at the Outer Banks. At Kure, the pier suffered a lot of damage and so did the Ocean Inn.  The pier’s pilings slammed into it and left the building sitting on the beach.

After the storm, Lawrence decided to move it just north of the pier facing the ocean.  He bought the lot from his brother Andrew Emile Kure offering him $5,000 when most lots were going for a few hundred dollars.

Later he built an addition to the Ocean Inn that faced K Avenue across from Smitty’s, the Post Office and Arcade.  It was named the Trading Center which housed three businesses.

On the end near the ocean was Mrs. Davis “Home Cooked Meals featuring her famous ‘Mrs. Davis’ Homemade Hush Puppies’.

Left of her restaurant was the Trading Center where you could buy beachwear, novelties and drug store items.  On the other end was the Fishing Hole Tackle Shop with everything you needed to fish in the surf or on the pier.

Above the businesses were rooms to rent on the second floor of the old Ocean Inn.  The little girl sitting on the bench on the far right is Linda Kure, daughter of A.E. “Punky” and Jean Kure.  Linda later married Clarence “Sonny” Danner whose father had Danner’s Fish Market which was located a couple of doors left of the tackle shop in the card above.

 

President’s Letter – November, 2019

Kure Memorial Lutheran Church Part VII

By Elaine Henson

The Rev. Jacob Young has the distinction of being the longest serving pastor of Kure Memorial Lutheran having served 15 years from 1975 to 1990.  Pastor Frank Perry followed him as interim until Rev. Charles Britton came in November of 1991. He stayed until 1993 followed by interim pastors Rev. Ron Wedekind, Rev. Lawrence Koss and Rev. Frank Ebert from 1993-1997. During that time the church and parsonage sustained damages from back to back hurricanes Bertha on July 12, 1996 and Fran on September 5, 1996.

After that the church devised a hurricane preparedness plan, got a computer and began a monthly newsletter to keep parishioners informed. Later they began recording attendance with pew pads.

Rev. Robert Matthias served from 1997-2000.  During his tenure the congregation formed a Fiftieth Anniversary Committee and began planning for a celebration in August of 2001.  Members were Judy Arndt, Margaret Ford, Joel McKean, Ted & Ellen Prevatte, Tammy Ebersole, Tracy Goodrich, Barbara Vought and Beth Wrenn.

Rev. Paul E. Christ came in 2001 and was installed at the Fiftieth Anniversary service in August of that year by Bishop Leonard H. Bolick.  A special guest attending was Rev. Jack Martin who had served Kure Chapel in the summer of 1951 as a seminarian. He was there when Kure Chapel became allied with the N.C. Lutheran Synod and was also present at their August 26, 1951, first service as Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran. The Fiftieth celebration continued after the service with a dinner on the grounds under a big tent.

Rev. Christ served until 2007.  Rev. Richard Graf came in 2008 to 2011 followed by Pastor Dan Keck who came in 2008 and remains as pastor to Kure Beach Memorial Lutheran Church.

Pastors from 1991 to the present 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Graf 2007-2011

2012-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the last in the series of seven parts of Kure Memorial Lutheran Church history.

 

President’s Letter – October, 2019

By Elaine Henson

Kure Memorial Lutheran Church Part VI

Kure Memorial continued to grow during the 1970s, 80s and into the 90s.

Pastors during those years were: Rev. John B. Barringer 1970-1973; Rev. Everette E. Horne 1974-1975 and Rev. Jacob H. Young 1975-1990.

A highlight of the 70s was the church’s Twenty-Fifth Anniversary celebrated in August, 1976.  Rev. Jacob Young suggested that they invite Rev. David F. Johnson to deliver the sermon since he was the first full time pastor.  Also invited was Dr. F. L. Conrad, who was still president of the Synod and also conducted the first service in the 1955 building.  The Lutheran Church Women provided lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the service.

The archive does not include any photos from the Twenty Fifth Anniversary..  If anyone has photos, please contact FPHPS.

Pastors from 1952 – 1990

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the years before the Kure Beach Community Building was built, several organizations utilized the church’s Fellowship Hall.  The Town of Kure Beach used it along with the Kure Beach Fire Department and the Carolina Beach Recreation Department also used it for exercise classes.  Later it was used by AA and Girl Scouts.  Kure Lutheran was truly an integral part of the Federal Point beach communities.

Next month:  Kure Memorial Lutheran Church, Part VII

President’s Letter – September, 2019

Kure Memorial Lutheran Church, Part V

June 26, 1955, members of the Church Council are pictured in front of the cross in the new church:  L-R Oscar Wren, Merritt Foushee, Jason Lentz, Rev. David Johnson, Bob Ford, Lawrence C. Kure, Bob Hooker, Fred Schenk and Bill Williford. (The photo was taken by Bill Robertson, son in law of Lawrence Kure and then owner of the Kure Pier). These men had not only planned and raised the funds for the new building, but were also literally the driving force behind the construction and must have felt a great sense of pride on that dedication Sunday.

The church already had a Luther League for the youth and they sponsored a Boy Scout Troop.  They also had a weekday church school on Tuesday afternoons, a Women of the Church group with 34 members and basketball teams for boys and girls that played the other church teams on the island. Rev. David Johnson left in 1956 and was replaced by Rev. William Johnson, Jr. who served until 1957.  Rev. Corley Lineberger came next serving from 1957 till 1960.

In the 60’s, Kure Lutheran started a kindergarten that met weekday mornings during the public school year. In 1962, they built a new Fellowship Hall and air conditioned the sanctuary.  There was a fire in the nave in 1964 that burned the back set of arches and part of the roof that had to be repaired. Two years later they  remodeled and air conditioned the parsonage.  Pastors during the 60’s were Rev. Donald Loadholdt, 1961-62 and Rev. Ronald Weinelt, 1962-1970.

Next month: Kure Memorial Lutheran Church, Part VI

 

President’s Letter – August 2019

Kure Memorial Lutheran Church – Part IV

By Elaine Henson

Construction on the new church was rolling along at a very fast pace considering that all but one of the workers were volunteers. By early May of 1955, they had the roof on and had bricked the exterior.  In the photo below you can see the classroom building built in 1953 with a flat black roof.

Work on the interior progressed while the congregation continued to worship in the barracks church building. Over the altar in the back wall they installed the ruby red Belgium glass cross with Martin Luther’s coat of arms in the center.

They put up the elm wood paneling in the chancel and installed the elm pews, both of which remain to this day. You can see them in the photo on the right, from the dedication service which was held on  June 26, 1955.

NC Lutheran Synod President, Dr. F.L. Conrad, Lawrence Kure, Bill Williford and Pastor Johnson laid the cornerstone before worshipers went inside for the service.  Several memorial gifts were dedicated and Boy Scout Bobby Ford was given the God and Country award for his work helping to get the church ready.

It was a wonderful day for the congregation as they celebrated with dinner on the grounds after the Dedication Service. Due to their fund raising, donations and the volunteer work force, they also celebrated that Kure Lutheran’s new building opened debt free.

 

 

 

 

Next month:

Kure Memorial Lutheran Church, Part V

 

 

President’s Letter – July, 2019

By Elaine Henson

Kure Memorial Lutheran Church Part III

In 1953, the growing congregation began planning for a new church building to replace the barracks church.  Their first full time pastor, Rev. David Johnson, had a background in building design and construction, so he took a lead role in planning the new church. He designed a traditional cruciform, cross-shaped, floor plan and building with modern low lines, a Roman brick exterior and contemporary windows. Interior walls would be masonry painted concrete block.  The roof was to be supported with arches and purlins laminated on the job from three quarter inch Douglas fir timbers.

Everything was put on hold until after clean up from Hurricane Hazel, which came ashore on October 15, 1954. Hazel is the only Category Four Hurricane to hit our area in all of the 20th Century to date. It came in on a lunar high tide, wreaking havoc and leaving much devastation.

On February 6, 1955, groundbreaking ceremonies were held with Dr. F. L. Conrad, President of the North Carolina Synod.  Assisting him were Mrs. Ernest Lineberger of the United Lutheran Church Women and Miss Judy Lewis from the Kure’s Luther League.  The barracks church was moved to the back of the lot and they laid out the foundation.

Again, the men of the church were the volunteer labor.  The only paid full time worker was Bob Ford as Construction Supervisor with Rev. Johnson acting as advisor. Construction went quickly and soon cranes were lifting the arches and purlins into place.

Next: Kure Memorial Lutheran Church, Part IV

President’s Letter – June, 2019

by Elaine Henson

Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church – Part II

Kure Memorial Chapel was “Serving the Savior by the Sea” and almost five years old when members and Kure Beach residents were invited to a meeting on August 21, 1951, to discuss its future.  Those attending voted that the Chapel would become Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church and affiliated with North Carolina Synod of the United Lutheran Church of America. That organizational meeting marks the birthday of Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Eighteen adults were present at that meeting including Mrs. Laura Kure Williford, Miss Anne Kure, Margaret and Robert Ford, Bessie and Fred Schenk, Lawrence C. Kure, Oscar and Anna Lee Wren, Isabell and Merritt Foushee, Betty Kure (Mrs. A. E. Sr.) and Jean Gore (later Jean Kure, Mrs. A. E. Jr.).  The group adopted a constitution and elected the following church council members: Lawrence C. Kure, Vice Chairman, Margaret Ford, Secretary, Anne Kure, Treasurer and W. E. Williford, Sunday School Superintendent and Council Members Robert Ford, Oscar Wrenn, Merritt Foushee and Fred Schenk.  The council decided to leave the charter membership open until one month after the arrival of a full time Pastor.

On Sunday evening, August 26, 1951, the new church held a special service to mark the organization of Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran in the barracks church building.  Celebrants were Rev. K.Y. Huddle of St. Matthews Lutheran, Rev. J. Frank Davis of St. Paul’s Lutheran and seminarian, Jack Martin.  The congregation applied for membership in the North Carolina Synod on October 7, 1951.  Rev. Huddle and Rev. Davis continued with Sunday evening services throughout the winter months.

The first congregational meeting was held on January 9, 1952.  There was $227.14 in the general fund and $86.10 in the building fund.  75 members were on the roll with an average Sunday School attendance of 64.  The Council voted to budget $1,000 toward a pastor’s annual salary of $3,600.

In early 1952, men of the congregation began building a parsonage on the lot next door to the church.  It was completed in time for their first pastor, the Rev. David Johnson and his family who arrived in June.

Attendance increased with Pastor Johnson’s ministry. In 1953, the church built its first educational building.  It was brick with four classrooms and two bathrooms.  Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Kure donated $1,300 for the building with matching funds coming from the N.C. Synod and labor from the men of the church.  Dedication services were held for the classroom building on August 30, 1953.

Later that year plans for a new church building began with a fundraising campaign.

Next month:  Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church, Part III