News Articles – 1888

Federal Point, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher
– from the Wilmington Star, Wilmington News, Wilmington Post, Wilmington Dispatch, Wilmington Messenger

Bill Reaves files: Federal Point/Carolina Beach/Kure Beach/Fort Fisher 1725-1994


January 12, 1888
Capt. James Wells, who has charge of Messrs. W.F. Davis & Sons fishery on Zeke‘s Island, was seriously wounded while hunting. His gun fell and both barrels were discharged and he was wounded in the left thigh with the flesh torn from the bone. While hunting he was accompanied by Mr. Willie Mayo of the “Rocks”. Capt. Wells was taken to Wilmington on the steamer LOUISE and then taken to his home where he received the necessary surgical attention. (Star 1-13-1888)


February 1, 1888
Two cars and a quantity of steel rails were shipped down the river from Wilmington for the Carolina Beach Railway. (Star 2-2-1888)


February 2, 1888
Messrs. Burr & Bailey of Wilmington have just completed a new passenger car and also a flat car for freights for the Carolina Beach Railway. (Messenger 2-2-1888)


February 3, 1888
In view of the largely increased river travel last season, Capt. Harper and the New Hanover Transit Company was to put another vessel to serve all points on the lower Cape Fear River, in addition to the steamer PASSPORT. Capt. Snell was to take the wheel of the steamer PASSPORT. Capt. John Harper “gives due notice that if any man has red clay on his boots and a blue jeans suit, he will carry him on the steamer for nothing, provided it can be shown clearly after a judicial investigation before ‘Chief Justice’ Freeman that the man has no money and never had any, as the Captain is determined to bring our up-country friends to Wilmington and the nearby beach.” (Star 2-2-1888)


April 8, 1888
The Messrs Brown Brothers of the Diamond Saloon in Wilmington rented the Club House at Carolina Beach and will conduct a business there during the coming season. (Messenger 4-8-1888)


April 13, 1888
The Charlotte CHRONICLE newspaper in speaking of Carolina Beach said,

“Many of our people will be glad to learn that this season the SYLVAN GROVE, a fine excursion steamer from New York, will ply between Wilmington and Carolina Beach. The SYLVAN GROVE makes 16 miles an hour and was one of the finest boats in New York harbor. She is to be commanded by Capt. J.M. Harper, who was formerly the captain of the steamer PASSPORT. Crowds of Charlotte people will walk the decks of the SYLVAN GROVE this summer.” (Star 4-13-1888)


May, 1888
Capt. W.A. Snell, late captain of the MARIE, took charge of the PASSPORT as captain. Tiler Potter was named his mate. Trips from Wilmington to Orton, The Rocks and Southport would continue. VOL.II


May, 1888
Capt. John W. Harper purchased the steamer SYLVAN GROVE in New York for the run between Wilmington, Carolina Beach and Southport. She was a double-wheel vessel built in New York in 1858. VOL.II


May 5, 1888
Messrs. Burr & Bailey completed a handsome new summer car for the New Hanover Transit Company to be used on the railway from Harper‘s Landing to Carolina Beach. The car was rolled down to the Dock Street wharf where it was loaded on a lighter and shipped to its destination. (Messenger, 5-6-1888; Star, 5-6-1888)


May 8, 1888
A license was granted to George H. Brown to sell spirituous liquors at the Club House in Carolina Beach for the season. A license was also granted to A.B. Peterson to retail spirituous liquors in the Mayo House at the ‘Rocks’ for six months. (Messenger, 5-8-1888)


May 15, 1888
The Charlotte CHRONICLE newspaper reported, “There is no finer seaside resort along the Atlantic coast than Carolina Beach.” (Star, 5-15-1888)


May 17, 1888
A handsome lithograph picture of the popular resort, Carolina Beach, was sent to the Fayetteville JOURNAL. The newspaper commented that “the beach is equal in all respects to the more aristocratic watering places of the North.” (Messenger, 5-18-1888)


May 17, 1888
A large party of gentlemen got off the steamer PASSPORT AT “The Rocks” at 6:45 A.M., and they had fine sport catching sheepshead, pig fish and blackfish. Mr. W.E. Mayo had opened the hotel at “The Rocks” and was supplying the guests with all kinds of seafood, soft crabs, fish, clams, etc. “She certainly knows how to make it pleasant for all who pay her a visit.” (Messenger, 5-18-1888)


May 21, 1888
The Wilmington Light Infantry held their anniversary celebration at Carolina Beach. (Star, 5-15-1888)


June 7, 1888
The hotel at Carolina Beach had been reopened for the season. The building had been repainted and refitted, and it was now under new management. (Star, 6-7-1888)


June 7, 1888
C.A. Bache‘s Dining Parlors at Carolina Beach were now furnished with polite and attentive waiters. All patrons would be served promptly and to their satisfaction. The price of meals has been reduced to 35 cents. The price of bathing suits was now 15 cents. “All desiring a nice fish dinner would do well to pay us a visit.” (Messenger, 6-7-1888)


June 8, 1888
The Wilmington Light Infantry and the Cornet Band escaped the sweltering weather of the last few days in Wilmington with an excursion to Carolina Beach. The train at the beach had to make two trips to transfer all the passengers on the boat to the ocean. A target match was held and the judges for the match were Col. W.L. DeRosset, Col. W.C. Jones and Mr. L.S. Belden. The scorers were Lieut. George W. Doyle, Sgt. George W. Howey and Mr. Hubbard. There was an exciting contest among Messrs. Walker Taylor, Pen. Boatwright and W. P. Toomer, each one being allowed three shots. Mr. Toomer won a medal for his excellent shooting. Mr. Walker Taylor received a silver pitcher for the second best marksman. The Cornet Concert Band played lively music, and the selections by the Italian Strong Band were both pretty and appropriate. (Star, 6-9-1888)


June 21, 1888
A haul of 39 sturgeon was made at the fishery of Mr. W.E. Davis at Zeke‘s Island. This was the largest single catch that had been known for years. (Messenger, 6-22-1888)


June 21, 1888
Despite threatening weather, a great many visitors took the pleasant sail down the river and enjoyed the breezes and a refreshing surf bath at the beach. The recently painted hotel looked inviting and cool in its new garb. The celebrated pig-fish was being served at all times, and the charms of music have been added at the hotel. The Italian band plays during the boat trips up and down the river and from the hotel porch during the stay at the beach. (Star, 6-22-1888)


June 22, 1888
Two new bathhouses, one for ladies and one for gentlemen, have been built; partitioned off into twenty or more dressing rooms, with bathroom attached to each, so that a visitor after a plunge in the surf may take a fresh water bath in his or her dressing room.

The water for these fresh water baths is conveyed through pipes from reservoirs at the hotel. The supply comes from driven wells sunk on the beach to a depth of 50 feet and furnishing remarkably soft, clear cold water. Bathing suits and an unlimited supply of clean fresh towels, with the services of well-trained attendants, are furnished for a nominal charge at these new baths. The baths are under the control and management of Mr. Robert M. Houston of Wilmington. (Star, 6-22-1888)


June 27, 1888
The delegates of the Democratic Convention for the Sixth Congressional District, by invitation of the New Hanover delegates, visited Carolina Beach and were very much pleased with their trip. The SYLVAN GROVE had a large crowd of about 400 passengers on board. (Star, 6-28-1888)


June 30, 1888
Another alligator was captured at Carolina Beach. He took refuge in the woods and fought viciously, but after an exciting chase was cornered and had to surrender. Dan Smith, a colored citizen who took a prominent part in the chase, made this philosophical remark: “Talk bout gator can‘t run, Blessed Toney, dey run like a calf.” (Star, 7-1-1888)


June 30, 1888
A pair of alligators had been added to the attractions at Carolina Beach. They were about eight feet long and were caught in a net in the fresh water lake close to the beach yesterday morning. Besides these two another was caught but was drowned before the fishermen could extricate it from the net. Captain Harper has had a pen built for the aquatic monsters, and after they are thoroughly tamed will permit visitors to ride them up and down the beach. (Star, 6-30-1888)


July 4, 1888
A party of young men fishing at Carolina Beach caught 125 fine fish a short distance from the hotel in less than 2 hours. (Star, 7-6-1888)


July 4, 1888
A reunion of Confederate veterans – survivors of the Wilmington Rifle Guards, 18th N.C. Regiment, was held at old Camp Wyatt, near Carolina Beach. (Star, 6-30-1888)


July 4, 1888
The Fourth of July holiday was celebrated by hundreds of pleasure seekers at Carolina Beach. Throngs of bathers covered the beach in front of the hotel and a few wrestled with the tireless roaring ocean. Some people not caring for surf bathing roamed along the beach gathering shells and bits of seaweed cast up by the waves.

Others took a drive in the hack that plied hourly between Battery Gatlin on the north and the storm-beaten blockader wrecks on the south. The drive was refreshing, over a firm, smooth beach, and within the sweep of the surf at times. In the evening there was a grand display of fireworks sent off from the bow of the steamer SYLVAN GROVE under Captain Harper‘s direction. The fireworks continued on the river trip from the beach to Wilmington. (Star, 7-6-1888; Messenger, 7-6-1888)


July 6, 1888
Along the line of the Carolina Beach railroad (from river to the beach) may be seen huge 100-pound shot. These missiles of war are reminiscences of the attention paid to our coast by the Federal navy during the late unpleasantness. Quite a number of these shot were unearthed during the construction of the railroad. (Messenger, 7-6-1888)


July 6, 1888
Captain Harper added a pair of alligators to the attractions at Carolina Beach. He placed them in a special pen, and after they are thoroughly tamed he was planning to permit visitors to ride them up and down the beach. They were about 8 feet long and had been caught in a net in the fresh water lake close to the beach. Another alligator drowned before he could be extricated from the net by the fishermen. (Star, 7-6-1888)


July 13, 1888
An immense school of fish made their appearance right in the midst of the surf bathers within a few yards of the store. There were thousands of fish and there was no end to the fun. The bathers caught scores of fish, but they slipped from their hands like eels; and the only successful person was one who procured a basket with which he ‘scooped’ as many as he wanted. These unexpected visitors added much to the sport of the afternoon. (Star, 7-14-1888)


July 16, 1888
Between 400 and 500 persons went down to Carolina Beach on the excursion given under the auspices of the Young Catholic Friends Society complimentary to Cardinal Gibbons. The SYLVAN GROVE was decorated for the occasion with flags and bunting, and the band provided sweet strains of music on board the boat.

The trip was enjoyed heartily by all, especially by His Eminence the Cardinal, the Bishops and other clergy. A dinner was tendered their guests by the Society at the Oceanic Hotel, which was very much enjoyed. The dining room was tastily decorated with flowers, and the hotel itself was gay with flags and banners. (Star, 7-14-1888)


July 18, 1888
There was a large increase in the number of visitors to Carolina Beach this season over that of the last season. About this time in 1887 the steamer PASSPORT had carried down about 900 visitors, while the steamer SYLVAN GROVE up to this time this season, had already carried down 14,700. This showed an increased attendance of more than 50 per sent. “Under so excellent a management, there is little doubt that Carolina Beach will continue to grow in popularity.” (Messenger, 7-18-1888)


July 26, 1888
There were nearly 600 visitors at the beach today, among them a large number of members of the North Carolina State Guard. At 5 p.m. there were nearly 100 bathers in the surf. When Burris‘s fishing boats rode in gracefully over the breakers there was a rush of men, women and children to where they landed to see what luck the fishermen had. It was found that, in two hours, each crew had caught over 300 fish, which included a dozen choice varieties. (Star, 7-27-1888)


July 27, 1888
Lieutenant-Colonel Tipton performed on the slack rope again at Carolina Beach. He was to return to his home the next day. (Star, 7-28-1888)


August 1, 1888
One of the largest crowds of the season went to Carolina Beach on the steamer SYLVAN GROVE. In addition to the Brooklyn Baptist Church Sunday School, there were several hundred passengers from the city and county. (Star, 8-2-1888)


August 2, 1888
The train at Carolina Beach passed within a close gunshot of a bald-headed eagle. He was perched on a dead pine and seemed to understand that none of the passengers had a gun. (Star, 8-3-1888)


August 3, 1888
About 300 people went down to Carolina Beach from Wilmington. “The surf bathing was just splendid.” (Star, 8-4-1888)


August 8, 1888
About 350 persons went down to Carolina Beach. “They enjoyed the breeze and taking tumble in the surf.” (Star, 8-9-1888)


August 14, 1888
Nearly 1,000 persons visited Carolina Beach to hear a lecture by the Adventist Elder Cargyle during the Adventist Conference called to order by Elder Sherrill. During the Conference resolutions were adopted for the establishment of and Advent weekly newspaper. Elder Cargyle‘s lecture was based on the prophecies of Daniel. Elder DuBose concluded the services with prayer, after which the doors of the church were opened and one lady presented herself for baptism. After a short recess for dinner the people assembled at the Sound, near the hotel, where the ordinance of baptism was administered by Elder Cargyle. After this, a delegation from Myrtle Grove church gave Elder Cargyle a pleasant sail around to that place, were he preached that night. The delegates to the Conference deemed the excursion a complete success. Refreshments were furnished by the ladies of the church. (Star, 8-12-1888)


August 15, 1888
Bishop Haid, D.D., and Rev. F. Felix visited Carolina Beach. The Bishop and Father Felix left for Greensboro, N.C. the next day, where they were to be entertained by Col. Robert Douglas. Bishop Haid will then return to St. Mary‘s College, Belmont, N.C., his residence, and Father Felix was to visit friends at Raleigh till the opening of the college on September 1st, where he will again assume his duties as Professor of Divinity. (Star, 8-16-1888)


August 21, 1888
The old tram road at the Ross rock quarry on the Cape Fear River had been purchased by a Mr. Williams, of Red Springs, N.C. The iron was to be used in building a road from Red Springs to McNeill‘s. All of the wheelbarrows, spades, shovels, drills, etc., were to be sold in a few days at auction. (Messenger, 8-21-1888)


August 22, 1888
An excursion for the benefit of the Fifth Street Methodist Church was held on the steamer SYLVAN GROVE to Carolina Beach. Refreshments were served on board the steamer by the ladies of the church. (Star, 8-18-1888)


August 22, 1888
Life preservers had been placed along the shore at Carolina Beach so that they could be easily obtained in case of an accident. (Messenger, 8-22-1888)


August 28, 1888 …. Federal Point
All the implements from the old Ross rock quarry railroad, viz: 75 wheelbarrows, 20 steel drills, 7 iron bars, 50 drill hammers, 40 pickaxes, 75 shovels, 20 sets of harness, grindstones, and a large quantity of other goods pertaining to railroad building, were to be auctioned at Davis‘ fish house today. (Messenger, 8-26-1888)


September 7, 1888
Fireworks and a grand illumination was held at Carolina Beach. The steamer SYLVAN GROVE made two trips to the beach during the day. The last train at the beach was at 9 p.m. (Messenger, 9-5-1888)


September 13, 1888
A number of choice building lots were offered at auction at Carolina Beach. The auction was conducted by S.A. Schloss & Company, auctioneers, from Wilmington. “A grand opportunity to secure a seaside home.” (Star, 9-9-1888)


September 14, 1888
Several choice lots were offered for sale at St. Joseph‘s, near Carolina Beach by J.L. Winner. This was to be the only sale during the remainder of 1888. (Star, 9-4-1888)


September 16, 1888
The beach was still attracting visitors. They were enjoying the many attractions at this favorite resort. (Star, 9-16-1888)


A party of gentlemen will go down on the steamer BESSIE, this morning, for a day‘s fishing at Zeke‘s Island. (Messenger, 1888)


The delinquent property and taxes due for the year 1888. – FEDERAL POINT TOWNSHIP.

Craig, Heirs of Joseph — 100 acres —— $ 1.70
Davis, Joseph ————– 30 acres ——- $ 4.51
Grissom, Edgar A. ———-  2 acres ——- $ 1.03
Moore Elijah ————— 30 acres ——- $ 3.11
Reynolds, Eliza J. ——– 100 acres ——- $ 2.07
Winner, J. L. ————– 141 acres ——- $ 19.80
Harriss, Wm. J. ———-  80 acres ——– $ 3.20
Mayo, W.E. ————— 400 acres ——- $ 7.70
Wescott, John L. ——— 300 acres ——- $9.20
Bill Reaves files: Federal Point/Carolina Beach/Kure Beach/Fort Fisher 1725-1994