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.