From the President: December, 2014

Presbyterian Church - 205 Charlotte Aveby Elaine Henson

This card shows the Carolina Beach Presbyterian Church at 205 Charlotte Avenue.

The first service in this building was held on March 17, 1946.  The congregation worshiped there until they built a new church at 1209 North Lake Park Boulevard which was dedicated November 10, 1985.  The church’s web site has an interesting link detailing their history.  Check it out at – under “About Us / History”.

Steeple Restaurant 1987 adThe old church was converted into a restaurant in the mid-1980s by Pete Herring.  He named it The Steeple Restaurant and Lounge and was the chef there for a number of years.

Pete was the son of Allen Herring and Juniata Bame Herring who owned and operated the Center Pier and Ocean View Restaurant. Juanita was also the librarian at Roland Grice Junior High School.  Pete’s grandparents were J.R. Bame and Mandy Ludwig Bame, owners of the Bame Hotel.


J.Council'sThe converted church became J. Council’s French American Restaurant and Lounge in the late 90s and later the popular Deck House Restaurant we know today.





From the President: November, 2014

Click - More Detail

Click – More Detail

by Elaine Henson

This card gives us a glimpse of downtown Carolina Beach in the early 1940s at the corner of Lake Park Boulevard and Harper Avenue.

The building on the right is the Carolina Beach Drugstore showing its distinctive battlement parapet; some of the druggists who operated it over the years were Luther Bunch, Wilbur Adams, Neil and Nancy Adams Musselwhite and former mayor Neil Pharr.

You can see a sign near the street which confirms that the drug store also housed a bus station during WWII and beyond. Laney Real Estate now occupies the former drug store.

Carolina Beach’s post office, at that time, was located in the tan building across the street called Brewer’s Inn. Bank of America and its parking lot are now in that spot.

The three and a half story building just left of the drug store (on the card) was Risley’s Cottages and Rooms. It was on the corner of Harper Avenue and Canal Drive and had a grocery store on the bottom level. It sat across the street from the Royal Palm Hotel on the southwest corner of Harper and Canal.

The Royal Palm was remodeled and reopened as the Hotel Astor in 1983. The Astor burned in 2005; its site remains a vacant lot used by the amusement rides in the summer season.

From the President: October, 2014

Elaine Henson

Elaine Henson

Shoe Fly at Pavilion PostcardIn 1887 the pavilion in this postcard opened to excursionists at Carolina Beach. It was located near the end of Harper Avenue on the ocean. That street was named for Captain John Harper, a steamboat captain and one of the partners of the New Hanover Transit Company that operated the new resort.

Captain Harper brought the beach visitors from Wilmington down the Cape Fear River by steamer to a wharf first at Sugar Loaf and later Doctor’s Point. At the wharf they boarded the Shoo Fly train for the rest of the trip to the sea beach with the train taking them right to the back door of the pavilion.

Henry Bonitz, who designed the famous Lumina at Wrightsville Beach, also designed the 1887 pavilion at Carolina Beach. It burned in 1910 and was replaced in the same location with a new pavilion also designed by Bonitz that opened in 1911. This post card shows the 1911 building with swings, slides and other playground equipment for the kiddies.

On the Beach PostcardThe pavilion was the center of activity at the beach during the season with a bath house where you could rent bathing suits and get a shower after a dip in the ocean.

Evenings and weekend afternoons, orchestras played for dancing and concerts. Holiday activities and celebrations were also held there, even boxing exhibitions.

On September 19, 1940 a fire began in the pavilion that destroyed it and over two blocks of the boardwalk including the Bame Hotel.

Amazingly the boardwalk businesses rebuilt in time for the opening of the 1941 season earning the nickname “The South’s Miracle Beach”.

Interestingly, the arcade that burned September 25, 2014 was in the same location as the pavilions and was one of those buildings reconstructed in 1941.

Both fires were in September and 73 years apart, thankfully our recent one was way less serious.



From the President – August, 2014

Elaine Henson

Elaine Henson

I am delighted to begin my tenure as president of FPHPS and welcome your ideas and suggestions.

CB Boardwalk

Click for larger image

Many of you may know that post cards are my passion and I hope to share one from my collection each month.

This one of two lucky soldiers and a bevy of bathing beauties is one of my favorites. You can see many of the boardwalk businesses along each side including Benway’s, Wave Theater, Frank’s, Shooting Gallery, Henderson’s and the irrepressible Britt’s DoNuts.

An August 9, 1941 article in the Carolina Beach Sun stated that an average of 25,000 postcards were being mailed from the beach every week, many from soldiers visiting from nearby Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune and Camp Davis, hard to believe isn’t it? — Elaine Henson

Federal Point Historic Preservation Society


President:          Elaine Henson
Vice President:  Tony Phillips
Treasurer:          Demetria Sapienza
Secretary:          Juanita Winner

 Board of Directors:

John Gordon      (2014-2016)
Skippy Winner   (2013-2015)
Jim Dugan         (2013-2015)
Leslie Bright      (2013-2015)
John Moseley    (2013-2015)

Andre Blouin     (2014-2016)
Barry Nelder      (2014-2016)
Jean Stewart     (2014-2016)
Byron Moore     (2014-2016)


From the President – July, 2014

Barry Nelder

Barry Nelder

The June potluck was well attended and the food was, as always, spectacular.

Thanks to Darlene and Leslie for doing the shopping and set up! We really do need someone to take over the monthly “hosting duties” that Virginia Francis carried out so well.

And remember we will be voting on officers and board members for the 2014-2015 year. The slate proposed by the nominating committee is as follows:

President: Elaine Henson

Secretary: Juanita Winner

Vice President: Tony Phillips

Treasurer: Demetria Sapienza

Nominees for the Board of Directors: John Gordon, Byron Moore, Barry Nelder, Jean Stewart and Andre’ Blouin.


From the President – June, 2014

Barry Nelder

Barry Nelder

The nominating committee, consisting of Darlene Bright, Lois Taylor and myself, has been hard at work filling the positions for Officers and Board members for the 2014-2015 year.

We will vote on the slate of nominees at our July meeting.

President: Elaine Henson

Vice President: Tony Phillips

Secretary: Juanita Winner

Treasurer: Demetria Sapienza

Nominees for the Board of Directors:
John Gordon, Byron Moore, Barry Nelder, Jean Stewart and Andre’ Blouin.


Join us on Facebook:  “Federal Point History Center”
And join the conversation!

Federal Point Historic Preservation Society

Current Officers – 6/1/14

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

Current Directors – 6/1/14
John Gordon (Chairman)
Elaine Henson
Byron Moore
Jean Stewart
Cheri McNeill
Skippy Winner
John Moseley
Leslie Bright
Jim Dugan

From the President – May, 2014

Barry Nelder

Barry Nelder


The Sugar Loaf Civil War Earthworks Preservation Group is moving along with work on the Lewis property. Recently we’ve had another work day clearing the earthworks and Leslie and I would like to thank Marie Metcalf, Richard Both, and Mary Jo Stewart and her husband, for their hard work on Saturday May 3.

The Nominating Committee is hard at work preparing a slate of officers and board members to be voted on at the July meeting. It will be an important meeting, so please plan to attend. Anyone who would like to serve please give Darlene a call.

From the President – April, 2014

Barry Nelder

Barry Nelder

President’s Message:

The Society would like to express our thanks to Chris Fonvielle for conducting the walk of the Sugar Loaf line again this year. We had 37 people register and take the walk and it was a beautiful and outstanding day. The money collected from the walkers will go into a special fund to be used for preservation of the earthworks on the east side of N. Lake Park. Blvd.

Over the years Chris has been more than generous in giving his time and expertise in support of many projects and programs sponsored by the Society. He is also working closely with our Society and the Town of Carolina Beach on the plans for the Lewis Park.

Speaking of the Sugar Loaf line… We NEED VOLUNTEERS who are willing to help out on “work days” on the Lewis property. Please call Rebecca (458-0502) and let her know if you are available to “cut brush” and “saw trees” or other general cleanup.


From the President – March, 2014

Barry Nelder

Barry Nelder

President’s Message:

How time flies!Federal Point History Center

It’s time to make our requests for financial support to the towns of Carolina Beach and Kure Beach for the fiscal year 2014/2015!

Demetria and Darlene are busy getting our applications prepared and turned in on time – but WE NEED YOU to support our applications by speaking to, or writing, or emailing, our local town officials.

They need to hear from their constituents just how important the Federal Point History Center is to our community and what their support enables us to accomplish.

Remember, we are asking for funds to keep the History Center open to the general public – not for money for the operation the Society.


From the Editor:

Thanks to Tony Phillips for taking the time and effort to correspond with our local Town Councils – reminding them of the role that the Federal Point History Center serves in our community.

Tony’s letter to Carolina Beach Town Council.

His letter to the Kure Beach Town Council.

Please consider using his example (and emails) in requesting the town’s financial support for the History Center.