Howard Hewett’s Legacy

from James Hewett:
“My cousin Howard Hewett passed away Monday Oct 6th in Vermont. His funeral will be Saturday in Texas.”

Howard Hewett

Between 2014 and 2015 from his home in Jones Creek, TX, Howard actively wrote many articles for the Federal Point History Center recalling his childhood years living just outside the gates to Fort Fisher.

Howard was a great writer with the amazing ability to recall details from his younger years on Federal Point.

Howard last visited Carolina and Kure Beach in November, 2015 and was the guest speaker at the Federal Point History Center.

Share some of Howard’s memories of Federal Point here.

From the President – June, 2017

By Elaine Henson

Andrew Emile Kure was born March 30, 1893, the youngest child to Hans Anderson and Ellen Miller Kure.  His parents had emigrated from Denmark in the late 1880s, first to Charleston, SC, and later Wilmington where they formed a ship chandler business.

When Carolina Beach was begun as a resort in 1887, the family bought property and started businesses in the new beach community.  In early 1900s they purchased large tracts of land near Fort Fisher.

Hans and Ellen Kure formed the Kure Land and Development Company in 1915 with their four sons, William Ludwig, Hans Adolph, Lawrence Christian and Andrew Emile, thus becoming the founders of Kure Beach.  They also had a daughter, Elene H. Kure Shands.

Twenty-four year old Andrew E. Kure enlisted in WWI on December, 15, 1917, in Lumberton, NC, leaving his job at the Atlantic Coast Line.

He served with the American Expeditionary Force in France, being promoted to Corporal in the Signal Corps in July, 1918, and then to Sergeant in the Air Service in September, 1918.  He was discharged June 9th of 1919.

He returned to his job as auditor in the freight receipt department at ACL and remained there until 1945.

In 1925 he married Elizabeth Hall Singletary.  The couple welcomed their only child, Andrew E. Kure, Jr., in 1927.  Andrew’s mother, Ellen, declared that the baby looked “punky” the first time she saw him. The nickname stuck and has followed their son for 90 years at this writing.

After retiring from the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, Andrew became more involved in the family land and rental businesses and helping to care for his oldest Uncle William L. “Cap” Kure.

Andrew died in 1950 and is buried in the family plot at Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington.

(right) Andrew Emile Kure, Sr. and Betty Singletary Kure, parents of Andrew E. Kure, Jr, better known as “Punky” of Kure Beach, NC

 

 

 

Kure Beach Fishing Pier

By Tony (Lem) Phillips

Kure Beach Fishing Pier has been around since 1923. It was first built by L.C. Kure whose father owned most of what is now Kure Beach, NC. It is officially the oldest pier on the Atlantic coast. The pier is currently owned by descendent Mike Robertson.

We at the Federal Point History Center take great pride in that Kure Beach Fishing Pier is one of the Society’s longtime Business Members. Mike and his crew just reopened the pier for the 2017 season on Friday, March 31st to a huge turnout. Anthony, Ronny, Russ, Jim, Kris, and Amy are just a few of the great folks who take care of us when we visit.

We encourage you to stop by the pier to go in and look around. The pier has the long walk out to the “Tee” with a spectacular view looking north all the way to Wrightsville Beach and south to Fort Fisher. Try their popular ice cream or have their newly offered Snow Cones of many flavors! Their gift shop is open daily until 11 PM. A Kure Beach Fishing Pier Tee Shirt is a must for any one visiting Federal Point!! Browse the collection of photos hanging up showing their many fishing tournaments there each year like the King Mackerel tournament.

We are proud of the pier and their good work done each year by allowing several groups to sponsor charity fishing tournaments such as the upcoming Cape Fear Disabled Sportsman’s Fishing Tournament on May 11th of this year.

The following week will be the Step Up for Soldiers Fishing Tournament. The folks running the pier are the nicest around. Always smiling, always helpful.

You can find Kure Beach Fishing Pier at 100 K Ave. Kure Beach, NC 28449. They are on Facebook. Their webpage is www.kurebeachfishingpier.com and their phone number is (910) 458-5524, 24 hours a day.

When you visit, please thank them for being such an upstanding Business Member of Federal Point Historical Preservation Society! We wish the Kure Beach Fishing Pier and the staff a great 2017 season!!

 

Thank You – Towns of Carolina Beach & Kure Beach

August, 2016

Resolution:

The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society would like to thank the towns of Carolina Beach and Kure Beach for their generous donations to be used for the operation of the Federal Point History Center which is a function of the Society. 

We appreciate their continued support of our mission to preserve, protect, and promote the rich history of the Federal Point area.

 
 
 
 

Big Daddy’s

Featured Business Member
May, 2016

“They’re Open for the Season”Big Daddy Caddy

by Tony Lem Phillips

We are very proud to salute Big Daddy’s of Kure Beach as this months Business Member. Not only does Big Daddy’s support the History Center, they also purchased an entire case of our Local Flavor Cookbooks.

Since 1970 Big Daddy’s has been a Southern tradition for people who enjoy great food, fun times and friends! Big Daddy’s offers only the best in seafood, steak, and traditional favorites cooked to order. You will find inside dining as well as roadside.

Big Daddy's #1Right across from Kure Beach Pier, they are conveniently located next to Dow Road which can whisk you right back to Carolina Beach or Wilmington. Shop their gift store while there and don’t forget that they have a fully licensed bar.

Please visit them soon and thank them for being loyal supporters of The Federal Point History Center. Pick up a Local Flavor Cookbook while you are there.

Address:
206 K Avenue, Kure Beach, NC 28449
Phone:(910) 458-8622
Hours: 12–8:30PM

http://www.bigdaddys-nc.com/

From the President: October, 2015

From: Elaine HensonKure Pier Postcard

 Fall brings good fishing weather and lots of fishermen to our piers. This post card shows Lawrence Kure (1886-1957) dressed in a tie and hat on the Kure Pier, maybe to conduct town business since he was Kure Beach’s first mayor after the town was incorporated in 1947.

Kure Beach was founded in the early 1900s by Hans Christian Kure (1851-1914) who was Lawrence’s father. Lawrence built the pier in 1923 and used pine poles from trees along the Cape Fear River.

Within one year, wood-boring ship worms caused the pilings to collapse. Not to be outdone, he rebuilt the pier in 1924, this time with reinforced concrete supports with inner cores of steel made from molds he designed.

Elaine Henson

Elaine Henson

In 1930 Lawrence’s brother, Hans A. Kure, Jr., died. Sometime later he married his brother’s widow, Jennie Linder Kure, and his five nieces became his stepdaughters. One of those daughters, Jennie Kure, became the next owner of the pier along with her husband Bill Robertson who bought it from Lawrence in 1952.

Two years later they had to rebuild as Hurricane Hazel washed the pier away when she came in on October 15, 1954. Hazel hit on a lunar high tide as a Category Four hurricane causing massive damage to beaches along the Carolinas and the eastern seaboard.

Robertson was a colorful character and with a promotion/retail background. He enlarged the tackle shop with space for souvenirs and other merchandise. He also built a dance floor and bingo hall. Bill used his writing background to write a book of fishing pier stories called Man! You Should Have Been Here Last Week

Bill and Jennie’s son, Mike Robertson, bought the pier from his father in September, 1984 after Hurricane Diana took out about half the pier. He started his ownership by rebuilding the pier and making his own improvements.

In July, 1996, Hurricane Bertha again destroyed the pier followed in September by Hurricane Fran. Mike rebuilt again and continues to make repairs from the weather and other storms every winter as this grand old pier and landmark graces Kure Beach in her ninety second year.

 

From the President: July, 2015

From: Elaine HensonElaine Henson

Last month I wrote about Big Daddy’s at Kure Beach on the corner of K Avenue and Fort Fisher Boulevard. If you look closely you can see that the restaurant was actually two buildings housing a seafood restaurant (behind Tommy Lancaster) and steak house (one story on extreme right) sandwiched together. The family lived upstairs.

In 1963 Tommy Lancaster started out on that corner serving short order food in a much smaller building called the Sea Isle Pavilion. He also had a miniature golf course, an arcade with pool tables and rented motor scooters and bicycles. It quickly became a hangout for local and visiting teenagers. They thought that Tommy resembled the “Big Daddy” character, played by Burl Ives, in the 1958 movie Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and began calling him by that name. It stuck and he changed the name to Big Daddy’s Pavilion and later it became the name for the new restaurants he built on that same corner.

Big Daddy'sTommy Bryant Lancaster was born in Wayne County on June 20, 1918. As a husband and father, he would take his family to Kure Beach for summer vacations and decided to open a business there which grew into Big Daddy’s Restaurant. His son Bryant Fred Lancaster or “Bud” grew up working in the restaurant at Kure Beach. Tommy bought a restaurant at Lake Norman near Mooresville, NC sight unseen in 1974 and named it Big Daddy’s too.

Bud’s son and Tommy’s grandson, Freddie Lancaster, grew up in the Lake Norman restaurant and is the present owner/operator. Freddie is assisted by his wife Susie and two daughters Sarah and Nikki and son-in-law, Marcus Young.

The family sold the Kure Beach Big Daddy’s in 1981 to Doris and Joe Eakes.

Their patriarch, Tommy Lancaster, died March 28, 1995 in Wayne County and is buried in the Pikeville Cemetery.

Many thanks to Nikki Lancaster Young and her dad, Freddie Lancaster, who are my sources for much of the information in this article.

Downtown Kure Beach Postcard

From the President: June, 2015

Big Daddy's

Tommy “Big Daddy” Lancaster

This summer Big Daddy’s at Kure Beach is open under new management launching a new chapter in its history.

This post card shows Tommy “Big Daddy” Lancaster in front of the original restaurant on the corner of K Avenue and Fort Fisher Boulevard that opened in 1963. The family’s living quarters were upstairs.

Elaine Henson

Elaine Henson

His traveling billboard Cadillac with a real longhorn hood ornament must have turned heads wherever it went enticing diners to try his fare.

Tommy Lancaster was from Pikeville, North Carolina, where there is a Big Daddy’s Road named for him.   He later opened another Big Daddy’s at Lake Norman near Charlotte, NC, which is still in operation, run by his grandson.

 

 

Oral History – Ed Neidens – Kure Beach Police Department, Kure Beach Development

Ed NiedensPart 2 – Ed Neidens Oral History
Interviewed by Ann Hertzler and Jeannie Gordon

In the early ‘70s we had a problem with finances with the police. They actually turned the police over to the sheriffs. Then there was actually no police in town. It was done by the County Sheriff’s Department. Then we had a problem with that because of speeders and different things. We activated or reactivated the town police to stop the speeding going through town. And we needed our own police department. For years police communications was done by Carolina Beach. Carolina Beach handled the police department, the radio communications and all.

Then when I was mayor, it became a problem with Carolina Beach because Carolina Beach wanted to have Kure Beach pay for one position in Carolina Beach for the dispatcher. Our budget would not handle that. They originally wanted $18,000 a year, the best I can remember, for us to pay for a dispatcher.

Then we had a meeting with them and then they wanted to increase it to $30,000 a year. We told them we could give them $12,000 a year which was $1000 a month. But at that time the administration at Carolina Beach wasn’t responsive to that at all. So I had a meeting with the Sheriff and he said they could provide the dispatcher for Kure Beach. And I said how much is that going to cost? And he said zero. So I went back to the council at Kure Beach and told them what we were encountering and all that. And they said “Let’s go with the County.”

The police station was a little room behind the old Town Hall which is now the Community Center. And the Community Center at that time housed one side was the town business and meeting room (the left), and had the fire department and 2 bays on the right. Behind the fire department back there was a little add-on room back there and that was the police department.Kure Beach seal cropped

I was Mayor of Kure Beach in ‘90 and ‘91 or ‘89 and ‘90. I was on council for 2 years and the last 2 years I was on council, I was mayor. That’s when the mayor was chosen from the council.

I was on the board of adjustments, chairman for 10 years and on Planning and Zoning end of it. So I was associated with the town for quite a few years. I felt like I would like to serve just as a town council person. I didn’t get on council to be a mayor. The first 2 years I was on council Frank Link was mayor. And prior to him, Red Doty. Everybody called him Red – probably because of his red hair.

Being mayor was challenging. We done a lot. There was a lot going on while I was mayor and on the council. Kure Beach Village was there but in the other part of Kure Beach, developers wanted to put like 700 units up there – high rise buildings. The economy done away with a lot of that. They wanted to divide it up into this and that and so forth. They had big ideas; 4, 5, or 6 stories. The large buildings they wanted to put up that the economy wouldn’t support. So those never got off ground.Kure Beach sign

Beachwalk would have been part of the area they were going to put high rises on. That was the original intent before I was on council. But this was back when they wanted to develop that, they wanted to put larger buildings, and condos, and units and so forth. But the economics at the time done away with that and didn’t support it. What the economics supported was single family homes. And we held the developers to the contract that they had with the town of providing the water tank, the lagoon, and other things, and sewer upgrades. We had a lot of meetings with the developers to get the developments to do what we wanted rather than what they wanted to do.

The 35 foot height limit has been there for a long time. That was written into the original ordinances. It came before the board of adjustments at one point. Ocean Dunes wanted to build that executive building three stories plus which would have put it over the 35 foot limit. They came before the board of adjustments. And the board of adjustments voted they can build 35 feet. They said we can do it with a flat roof, which is fine as long as you stay below the 35 foot level. So that executive building down there has three floors over plus the pilings underneath. But they had to stay at 35 feet. Because the ordinance reads that it shall not exceed 35 feet.