From the President – August, 2021

Carolina Beach Incorporation 1925/Centennial 2025

By: Elaine Henson

A Centennial Committee has been formed to make plans for Carolina Beach’s Centennial coming up in 2025.  Even though the history of the resort goes back to 1887, the Town was not incorporated until 1925.

The celebration will kick off Friday, March 7, 2025, which is the day after the actual March 6, 1925, date of incorporation.  It will wrap up September 5, 6 & 7, 2025, which commemorates the September 5, 1925, date when the government actually began.  This month we are taking a look at the history of the incorporation and our first government officials.

In the 1920s a group of Carolina Beach property owners and residents approached State Representative J.E.L. Wade about introducing a bill to incorporate the beach community.  Mr.Wade introduced the bill in the North Carolina House of Representatives on February 21, 1925.  It went through committees in the House and Senate until it was ratified and sent to the Secretary of State’s Office  on March 6, 1925.

 

Map of Carolina Beach, 1925 (FPHPS Collection)

 

Parker Quince Moore

The bill named three commissioners of Carolina Beach to be Parker Quince Moore, Mayor of Wilmington from 1913-1920 and brother to Louis T. Moore, famed for his early (1925-1930) photographs of Wilmington and beaches.  Mr. P.Q. Moore’s son, Maurice Moore was also named a commissioner along with former ice cream manufacturer and Carolina Beach business owner,  John W. Plummer, Jr.

All three owned property on the beach, with the elder Moore having extensive holdings. Even though the incorporation had taken place in March, the three commissioners did not get together to decide who would be mayor and hold the other offices, as the incorporation dictated, until September 5, 1925. So, the town of Carolina Beach government began, then, and that is the reason for the second and ending date of our celebration in 2025.

John W. Plummer, Jr. was chosen to be mayor and Commissioner of Public Safety.  Parker Quince Moore took the post of Commissioner of Public Works and his son, Maurice H. Moore, became Commissioner of Finance. Mr. Plummer was the lessee of Carolina Beach in 1923, and managed the pavilion and amusements for the summer season that year. He also owned and operated a general store on the boardwalk.

In the post card below the Plummers’ store is the white house with a red roof and front porch. This post card that was published by John Plummer to sell in his store.  Their summer cottage is the white house with gray roof next to the store. Behind them is the Pavilion, the large building with blue roof with “Bath House” painted on it. The triangular space pictured behind the Pavilion with tall poles is an early miniature golf course.

Across the street from that is the Greystone Hotel, built in 1916, with rooftop deck in front.  The deck later became the Greystone Roof Garden, a very popular dancing spot. North of the Greystone is the Bame Hotel, built in 1930, and depicted as being yellow with a green roof.

And, just look at all those cars!  For many years Carolina Beach was known as “The beach you can reach by automobile” as Wrightsville Beach was only accessible by train/trolley until 1936, when a vehicular bridge was constructed over Banks Channel.

Next month: John W. Plummer, Jr. First Mayor of Carolina Beach.