News Articles – 1936

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

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


January 28, 1936
Carolina Beach‘s main problem – automobile parking space – is being partly solved by widening and grading of streets by the W.P.A., according to Mayor R.C. Fergus.

Cape Fear Boulevard is being widened and several other streets are being graded with the result that there will be additional space for 500 cars next summer. Work of grading the streets was started sometime ago and construction of additional boardwalks will be started Jan. 29th.

About 50 men are engaged on the projects. Building of rest rooms will be started next week and this will call for enlargement of the work force with several carpenters. The resort has been allocated approx. $10,000 in WPA money and has supplemented the amount with a $2,000 contribution. WILM.NEWS, 1-28-1936.


February 4, 1936
Twenty new cottages were under construction and many more were planned at Carolina Beach. In addition to the construction of houses by private enterprise, the resort town, under WPA, was constructing many new boardwalks and extending others. WILM.NEWS, 2-5-1936.


February 6, 1936
The operations on two more Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects were started in New Hanover County. One of these projects was the construction of the rest rooms at Carolina Beach. The job was to give employment to 21 men. It was being financed with an appropriation of $2,930. According to the plans, the old town hall at the resort was to be enclosed, interior fixtures were to be removed, and four rest rooms, two of which will be for women, were to be built. WILM.NEWS, 2-4-1936.


March 9, 1936
The State WPA announced approval of an additional allocation of $6,570 for construction of boardwalks at Carolina Beach. This was estimated to provide employment for 32 persons. The building of a public rest room, costing $3,430 and employing 18 persons, was also approved. WILM.STAR, 3-10-1936.


March 16, 1936
The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners agreed to look into the matter of erosion at Carolina Beach, south of the Ethyl-Dow chemical plant intake, to see what, if anything, the commissioners could do to remedy serious damage to property being done there as reported to them by Lawrence Kure. Mr. Kure asked the board to appropriate approximately $600 for materials to construct two jetties below the intake, offering to provide for the construction and supervision is the commissioners would supply the materials. He explained the present erosion was endangering property worth $50,000 as taxable values. WILM.STAR, 3-17-1936.


March 16, 1936
The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners agreed to look into the matter of the overflow of the fresh water lake at Carolina Beach after several of the residents and Dudley Humphrey appeared before the board and explained the floods which occurred there which were damaging property.

One case was cited where a man, confined to his bed with sickness, had to be removed from his home when the flooding lake waters began to rise about the level of the floor of his house.

It was suggested it might be possible to divert some of the water which flows into the lake into channels which would take it to the Cape Fear River. WILM.STAR, 3-17-1936.


March 17, 1936
W.J. Smith left the Wilmington Police Department and resumed his position as chief of police of Carolina Beach. WILM.STAR, 3-17-1935.


March 25, 1936
A Works Progress Administration (WPA) force was scheduled to begin the next week on a drainage canal from the Carolina Beach lake to the Cape Fear River as a flood control measure.

The problem of floods in the southwestern part of the town had reached serious proportions. Several times the lake had overflowed, inundating land within a radius of one block and flooding several cottages.

Mayor Fergus was obtaining right-of-way for the ditch from persons owning property in that section. G.W. Morton, drainage supervisor of the Board of Health and supervisor of WPA mosquito control work, reported that the ditch would divert 40 to 50 percent of the flood water south of Spartanburg Street. The ditch was to be approximately 3,500 feet in length and would extend from the river to a point south of Spartanburg Street. A gang of 45 workers were to be engaged in the project. WILM.STAR, 3-26-1936.


May 3, 1936
Real Estate Transfers:

  • M.C. McIver to W.L. Farmer, Block G., Lots l6 and 7. E.E.
  • Southerland to W.L. Farmer, Block G., Lots 6 & 7. WILM.STAR, 5-3-1936.


May 13, 1936
A large forest fire consumed many trees along the east side of the Cape Fear River, opposite Orton Plantation. It was the third fire in the past two weeks. WILM.NEWS, 5-14-1936.


May 25, 1936
The reorganization of the volunteer fire department at Carolina Beach was underway, with Chief of Police Bill Smith as fire chief. The town planned to make provision in its 1936-37 budget for more fire fighting equipment. It now had 500 feet of hose and a LaFrance chemical and hose truck. The vehicle was formerly used by the town of Wake Forest, N.C. The resort‘s new water system gave every cottage hydrant protection. WILM.NEWS, 5-25-1936.


May 25, 1936
The zoning of the bathing area at Carolina Beach was to be started today. Markers were placed showing the area in which life guard protection was offered. The markers included red pipes extending across the strand to the water mark buoys. Three life guards were on duty at the beach. Mayor Fergus noted that every drowning at the resort in recent years had been at points ranging from one-half mile to a mile from the regular bathing area. WILM.NEWS 5-25-1936.


July 12, 1936
The Carolina Beach Playground, Inc, a new corporation, had filed its charter of incorporation in the office of Clerk of Court Thomas A. Henderson in Wilmington. The corporation was to conduct a playground and places of amusement for the public, with rides, swings, slides and other amusement equipment. The incorporators were J.O. Hinton, R.S. Rogers, R.C. Fergus, Horace t. King and A.L. Mansfield. WILM.STAR, 7-12-1936.


June 6, 1936
Tommy McDowell and his Orchestra furnished the music at the Carolina Club, Carolina Beach. Admission was 40 cents. An enjoyable evening of dancing and entertainment. WILM.NEWS, 6-5-1936.


June 26, 1936
Carolina Beach Notes:

  • Mr. and Mrs. H.M. Solomon and family had moved to their summer home, Carolyn Cottage.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Retchin and sons had arrived to spend the summer at their cottage.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Crook, of Albermarle, N.C., were spending the summer at the Betsy Bill.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Schwartz were spending the summer at their cottage. WILM.NEWS, 6-26-1936.


August 10, 1936
Mattie F. Raynor George, wife of Oscar E. George, died. Born October 6, 1868. Interment in Federal Point Cemetery


August 13, 1936
The aldermen of the Town of Carolina Beach adopted a 1936-37 budget of $17,719 and fixed the 1936 tax rate at $1, the rate in effect during 1935. The budget was approximately $2,000 larger than the past year. Richard S. Rogers, alderman in charge of finances, said that improved back tax collections and receipts from the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) board made the $1 rate possible. WILM.NEWS, 8-13-1936.


August 17, 1936
Dr. E. S. Carr, of Durham, N.C., was planning to build a theatre at Carolina Beach, to be located on a lot between the town hall and the Palais Royal Café. Building materials were already filling the lot., waiting for a building permit to be issued.

Some local interests were also interested in building a second theatre on a lot between the Pure Oil Station and the town post office and across the street from the Greystone Inn. WILM.NEWS, 8-17-1936.


August 20, 1936
The biennial convention of the North Carolina Association of the Deaf held its formal opening on the roof garden of the Greystone Inn at Carolina Beach. Addresses were made by Mayor R.C. Fergus and others. The convention was to last three days.

During the first evening there was a moving picture exhibition at the town hall. The sign language was used in the films. The pictures were mostly concerned with activities among the deaf, and there was featured a picture of the Dixie Home for the Deaf, located below St. Augustine, Fla. It had now been in existence for five years and was supported by the deaf people of the South. WILM..NEWS, 8-20-1936.


September 3, 1936
Five men and a young girl were rescued from a drifting boat in the ocean about 12 miles off Carolina Beach. Jake Faircloth was the operator of the fishing boat and they had departed at 1 p.m. on a fishing trip. Four of the passengers were from Greensboro. The young lady on the boat was Miss Jessie L. Wooten, from that place. Her father, Mr. Wooten, had gone out on a trip ‘outside’ in a boat operated by Capt. Carl Winner. When the father returned at 7 p.m. and saw that the boat carrying his daughter had not returned, a searching party was organized to search for the Faircloth boat. After a cruise of eight or ten miles up and down the coast no sight of the missing craft could be found. In the meantime, Mayor R. C. Fergus notified the Oak Island Coast guard station, which dispatched a boat.

After Capt. Winner and his boat had returned to Carolina Beach for fuel, they returned to the search. When he arrived at a point about ten miles from the coast they spied a light about two miles away. Before Winner could reach the light, it stopped shining, and the captain was forced to complete the trip to the side of the stricken vessel by steering by the stars. On reaching the small boat it was found the motor had failed and would not start. The boat was then towed to shore, and Mr. Wooten was high in his praise for Capt. Winner in the rescue of the fishing boat and his daughter. It was the second rescue within a week in which Capt. Winner had participated. WILM.STAR, 9-10-1936.


October 6, 1936
A small frame cottage on the Carolina Beach northern extension was destroyed by fire around 4 A.M. The place was originally a trailer home that had been converted into a stationary house about 1933. It was the property of a man in Fayetteville, N.C. An adjoining cottage owned by A.D. Averett, of Verona, Onslow County, suffered scorched weatherboarding on the north side. Neither place was occupied. WILM.STAR, 10-7-1936.


December 3, 1936
There was a wage increase at the Kure‘s Beach plant of Ethyl-Dow Chemical company. The company announced increases in hourly wage rates ranging from 2 to 10 cents an hour, effective as of Dec. 1st. WILMINGTON STAR, 12-4-1936.


December 4, 1936
The Wilmington Chapter of the American Red Cross and the town of Carolina Beach officially opened the first Red Cross highway emergency first aid station in this section of North Carolina at the Carolina Beach town hall. Raymond Hunt, chairman of the first aid and life saving for the Wilmington chapter, made the presentation speech and Horace King, mayor pro-tem of Carolina Beach, made the acceptance speech.

After the program refreshment were served. The town employees who were to be on duty at the first aid station in the town hall were given a 15-hour training course in first aid by J. M. Thomas, of the Ethyl-Dow Chemical Company plant, a Red Cross first aid instructor. The materials used in the station were secured from the Red Cross chapter, and highway signs were installed directing the route to the station.

This station was the first to be established in the eastern part of N.C. and the fifth in the state. The others were located in Wake, Cabarrus, Mecklenburg and Orange counties. WILM.NEWS, 12-3-1936; 12-2-1936


December 4, 1936
Eastern North Carolina‘s first Red Cross Highway First Aid Station was formally opened at the Carolina Beach town hall with a ceremony in which town officials, county officials and Red Cross leaders took part.

The first aid station was presented to the town by Raymond Hunt and was accepted by Mayor Pro Tem Horace King. J.M. Thomas, Red Cross instructor who tutored the staff gave a demonstration of the proper way to apply a leg splint to an accident victim. After the ceremonies refreshments were served by the ladies of Carolina Beach. WILM.STAR, 12-5-1936.


December 7, 1936
Miss Nell Rivers Peay, of Carolina Beach, and F. Elton Woodcock, of Savannah, Ga. And Wilmington, N.C., were married at the First Baptist Church parsonage in Wilmington by the Rev. Sankey Lee Blanton. The couple will reside in Wilmington. WILM.STAR, 12-9-1936.


December 12, 1936
Willard H. Dow, president of the Dow Chemical Company, and A.T. Beutel, general manager, both of Midland, Michigan, spent the day inspecting the $1-million ethyl-dibromide plant at Kure Beach and there they conferred with J.L. Becton, civil engineer.

C.M. Shigley, manager of the Kure Beach plant said the visit was merely one of a routine nature which Mr. Dow makes approximately once a year. WILM.STAR, 12-13-1936.


December 14, 1936
The newly installed Red Cross emergency highway first aid station at Carolina Beach treated its first case when Richard G. Westbrook, a WPA worker at the resort town, suffered a severe cut on the nose when he stepped on a loose board and the end flew up and struck him in the face.

He was taken, after first aid treatment, in a private automobile to the James Walker Memorial Hospital, where further treatment was given. First aid was administered by George W. Goodson, Carolina Beach town clerk. WILM.NEWS, 12-15-1936.


December 14, 1936
The Carolina Beach Red Cross Emergency First Aid Station treated its first patient on this date, Richard G. Westbrook, a worker on a WPA project in the resort town.

Westbrook suffered a severe cut on the nose after being struck by a wooden board in the face. He was taken, after first aid treatment, in a private automobile to James Walker Memorial Hospital in Wilmington for further treatment. First aid was administered by George W. Goodson, Carolina Beach town clerk. WILM.STAR, 12-16-1936.


December 16, 1936
Willard H. Dow, president of the Ethyl-Dow Chemical Company, announced that there would be an expansion of the company‘s plant at Kure Beach soon. More information was to be announced around January 1st. Construction of the existing plant was started in July 1933, after a pilot plant had been erected and the Dow process for the extraction of bromine from raw sea water had been proved commercially successful.

More than 1,500 workers were employed in the erection of the plant and a total of 90,000 man-days were required to complete the plant itself. Operations were started in January 1934.

Millions of pounds of bromine have been extracted from sea water since the plant was opened. The bromine is converted into ethylene di-bromide at the local plant. This compound is used with tetra-ethyl lead to treat gasoline used in high compression engines to reduce ‘knocking’ and loss of efficiency. WILM.STAR, 12-17- 1936.


December 16, 1936
Willard H. Dow, president of the Ethyl-Dow Chemical Company at Kure Beach announced “around the first of the year” there would be an expansion of the bromine extraction plant at that place begun. The construction of the present plant, the only one of its kind, was started in July, 1933, after a pilot plant had been erected and the Dow process for the extraction of bromine from raw sea water had been proven commercially successful.

More than 1,500 workers were employed in the erection of the plant and a total of 90,000 man-days were required to complete the plant itself. Operations were started in January, 1934.

Millions of pounds of bromine had been extracted from the sea water since the plant opened. The bromine was later converted into ethylene di-bromide at the local plant. The compound was used with tetra-ethyl lead to treat gasoline used in high compression engines to reduce ‘knocking’ and loss of efficiency.
WILM.NEWS, 12-16-1936.


December 1936 …. Federal Point
On December 21, 1936, ABC agents and Carolina Beach police officers wrecked a 200-gallon still in the woods near Seabreeze. Three men escaped as the law enforcers approached. ABC Agents Bland, Calder and Shinn, and policemen Parrish, Smith and Hall, of Carolina Beach, participated.

On December 22nd, a second large still was destroyed in the vicinity of Seabreeze. This still was of the submarine type, with twin worms and was of 300-gallon capacity. It was located about 300 feet west of the one destroyed on the 21st. About 420 gallons of mash found at the still site was also destroyed. No liquor was found as the still had not been operated for several days.

On December 24th a 250-gallon whiskey still and 500 gallons of mash in a section near Seabreeze was destroyed. Dynamite was used to ‘cut’ the still and scatter the mash. The mash was for making rye whiskey as was the case of the other stills destroyed earlier.

Again on December 29th, a fourth still was destroyed in the Seabreeze section, off the Carolina Beach Road. Dynamite was again used. The illicit outfit was of 250-gallon capacity. Nearby were found 12 barrels of rye mash. This still and the earlier ones were destroyed by a squad of ABC agents and policemen led by Chief E.S. Bland. WILM.NEWS, 12-29-1936; 12-21-1936; 12-22-1936; 12-24-1936.


December 24, 1936
Members of the Carolina Beach Civic Club lit the community Christmas Tree at 6 p.m., after which they walked about the town singing Christmas carols at various homes. WILM.NEWS, 12-24-1936.


December 29, 1936
A new hotel-restaurant, the Palais Royal Hotel, will open at Carolina Beach in April and was now under construction.

The building was being erected at Carolina Beach Avenue and Harper Avenue, adjacent to the Casino. It was to have 23 rooms and a café, and three stories in height. In addition to the café and banquet hall on the lobby floor, it was to have a private dining room for small parties. The hotel will have modern plumbing and there was to be numerous shower baths outside for the use of bathers. WILM.STAR, 12-30-1936.


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