Oral History – Dub and Hazel Heglar – Part 4: ‘Police – Fire Department – Town Hall’

by Ann Hertzer

Dub was the only man that did every job in Kure Beach except the office work. Dub worked for a construction company until a replacement was needed at Kure Beach. When Dub first went to work, there were 2 others –Ed Smith and a man named Fisher who had been a policeman. One day a week trash was collected on a flat bed truck from residents and the few businesses that were here. Summertime pickup was 4 or 5 times a week for restaurants who paid extra. All trash went to the private trash landfill near the end of H St.. They kept that flatbed truck until the latter part of the ’60s when they hauled trash to the landfill on the other side of Wilmington.

Dub joined the fire department to help fight fires when he first went to work for the town. They already had the fire truck – old, but it was a fire truck. A lieutenant from the Wilmington fire department came about every year to hold up-date classes on how to fight fires and how to take care of the equipment. They still do that. The fire department was in the community building on third street – the kitchen was the town hall; the big area was the fire department where the truck was housed, and the police department was behind it all.

After a while KB got 2 trucks. If a fire was happening, they’d blow the siren and use telephones. They didn‟t have radios. Most of the volunteers worked or lived on the beach – a lot of them worked and couldn’t come. They wanted as many as they could get that lived at Kure Beach to back it up.

Dub has been chief of police in Kure Beach 5 times! All the town was required to do was have a Chief of Police- no training required. Dub’s longest stint was 6 months. Every time a policeman quit or was fired, they’d swear Dub in until one was hired. The only thing furnished Dub was the little police station back of the fire truck in the Community Building. For a serious crime Dub would have called the County Sheriff’s Department for qualified people.
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Oral History – Dub and Hazel Heglar – Part 3: ‘Ocean View Restaurant’

by Ann Hertzer

Dub and Hazel Heglar

Dub and Hazel Heglar

Hazel Heglar owned and ran the Ocean View Restaurant, a favorite Kure Beach restaurant from 1979 to 1989. It’s the old Pier House in 2010. Heglars didn’t own the building. The restaurant was opened in the summer. Business slowed down after Labor Day so was closed Thanksgiving through March. Local families did not eat out often. It was mostly tourists and fishermen. Hazel was a very good cook.

The menu had sandwiches – hamburger, hot dogs, and French fries – and home cooked meals such as fish, shrimp, steak, and fried chicken. Everybody wanted chicken. Hushpuppies were served with every meal. Beverages were mostly sweet tea and coffee. Banana and vanilla pudding were popular desserts. Vegetables were her most important item – all kinds – green beans, peas, blackeye peas, creamed potatoes, corn, squash, okra, collards, mustard and turnip greens.

Hazel served breakfast at the Ocean View Restaurant at 7:00 a.m. read more

Oral History – Dub and Hazel Heglar – Part 2: ‘Kure Beach Public Works’

by Ann Hertzer

Dub Heglar was Superintendent of Public Works for Kure Beach from 1961 to 1986 in charge of water, sewer, streets, and sanitation (trash). The town switched from septic systems to the sewer system when Kure Beach incorporated. They had permission to pump raw sewerage to the river. Henicker Ditch drained all of Wilmington Beach and the overflow from the Carolina Beach Lake. EPA stopped that.

Kure_Beach_WatertowerDub put in water and sewer lines as Kure Beach added on. A lagoon treatment plant was built right after Dub went to work for the town about ’64 or ’65. Kure Beach still has one down there. Everything from Kure Beach Village and Hanby goes into that modern one and is much cheaper.

Ft. Fisher Blvd., Atlantic Ave, 3rd Street, 4th Street, 5th Street, over to 7th had water and sewer put in about 1953. These 3 and 4-inch foot pieces of old terra cotta pipe are the lines that they’re updating. Joints have come loose, draining water. Hopefully, water bills will come down when all the work is done in Kure Beach because so much surface water collecting in the old sewer lines has been pumped to Carolina Beach. Kure Beach pays for Carolina Beach treatment. read more

Oral History – Dub and Hazel Heglar – Part 1: ‘Moving Houses’

by Ann Hertzler

Dub HeglerThe moving cost to a family was $50. The barracks cost $250, the lot $200. Thus, for $500 total, many early KB families started their first home.

Dub and Hazel Heglar were married in 1942 before Dub went off to war (WWII). Dub’s nickname resulted from his sister not being able to pronounce his initials – J. W. It’s been Dub ever since. Dub spent almost 3 years in the Navy in World War II in the Pacific. The Heglars came to Kure Beach on vacation in 1946 after Dub came out of the service.

Moving Houses-  In September ’48, after meeting Walter Winner at Ft. Fisher, they stayed permanently and Dub went into partnership with Winner doing commercial fishing, construction work, and moving houses.

They bought two Army 4-wheel drive vehicles, weapons carriers from the Army, and built a trailer to move the tiny match box houses. The moving cost to a family was $50. The barracks cost $250, the lot $200. Thus, for $500 total, many early KB families started their first home.

When the Heglars moved to Kure Beach in 1948, son Harold was almost a year old. Harold went to New Hanover and is now fire chief of Kure Beach. Son Jerry, born in New Hanover County at James Walker Hospital in 1951, was in the first Hoggard graduating class. Heber Johnston was a doctor at Carolina Beach in the 50s. Dr. Sharon, a Carolina Beach doctor before moving to Wilmington, was around the yacht basin all the time. When someone got hurt around the boats, he had needles and thread in his pocket to sew them up right there.

Fort Fisher Blvd was called Second Street when the Heglars moved here in the 40s. Most buildings in the old part of Kure Beach from N Street to Hanby Beach were owned by International Nickel. It was first owned by Ethel Dow Chemical Company with a big plant over on the river shore on the back road with test stations at LaQue. Ocean water was pumped from the Atlantic Ocean to the plant for bromide. Jack Lewis worked and retired from there. Dub remembers when that area was all trees and very beautiful.

The Hanby area and much of Wilmington Beach were owned by Lawrence Kure and Glenn Tucker.

When the Heglars came here, they lived in Wilmington Beach for about two months; then moved to Spartanburg Avenue; and later across the street from the Lutheran Outdoor Ministry. The building just north of it is where army buildings were moved from Battle Acre at Ft. Fisher. They lived in one of the inner’s frame houses until ’49 and sold the business across the street from the Lutheran Church in 1964 where the Outdoor Ministry is now. They then built rooms to rent and a 5-room house on the ocean.

One of their 12 or 13 year old sons got caught in the ocean rip current. Dub swam out to get him. Dub had to relax till the current carried them all the way out. When the rip current turned Dub lose, he swam with an arm lock bringing the child to shore. Dub Hegler

There were two houses just alike near the northern extension fishing pier in Carolina Beach. Hurricane Hazel put one house in the marsh near the inland waterway and the other about a block away from where it was supposed to be. The owner said she’d give him one house if he’d put the other one back on the foundation where it belonged. People didn’t have a lot of money, so they traded for services. His house has been moved 3 times.

Dub wanted off that highway after heart surgery. They had an air conditioning window unit over on the ocean but got central air just after they moved the house off the highway about the mid 80’s.

When Dub went to work for Kure Beach, the only streets from the south of Kure Beach to the north end were E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M and N. The furthest over, 7th Street, was only one block long. It stopped the other side of the Baptist Church. The government line came through that next block, down to I Street, but was never developed as a street. And the line came where there are 3 houses on 6th Street. The government line goes way down to the only house on that side of 5th street. Then the government line cuts back into 5th Street and comes straight down here. 7th Street used to be over to 9th Street. The government line went from E to N and from Atlantic to about 7th in odd shapes.

Before Dub went to work, you could go over to 9th Street. But the government took all houses built over there for a buffer zone, so most houses were moved. The land grew back into vegetation. Most of the Museum and the Air Force Base are in the buffer zone.

World War II The Army during World War II had a few houses on the ocean front and a lot of cottages on that side of the road. They patrolled all around there. People who lived here could see burning ships that German submarines had torpedoed at night. The Air Force wanted to put in radar. They got a Fayetteville outfit to do the construction work. Some of the buildings are left from the Army days.

The Air Force Recreation Center was part of the World War II base for advanced training for soldiers getting ready to go to the war zone. Some of the original buildings are still there. The state owns a chunk of land – Ft. Fisher State Park, the Aquarium, and the Civil War battle historic site.

Hugh Morton owned the land where the Aquarium is and gave that to the State. He owned Grandfather Mountain and he also owned the shopping center where K & W Cafeteria is located.

Sunny Point came in about 1955 and condemned and declared a no-building zone or bought all the land. All that property back of Dub’s house, all the way to the river, was owned by Davis Brothers (around a hundred acres of farm land). Dub’s house is only 30 feet from the buffer zone. Carolina Beach had a lot of houses in there. There is also a Baptist church; a Methodist church cemetery and the Newton family cemetery.

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