News Articles – 1941

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


April 2, 1941
The last seven miles of the Carolina Beach highway improvement project was to be completed by June 1st, according to J.H. Cannon, state highway foreman. The road was being widened to 24 feet with shoulders 8 feet wide on each side to ditches. They are graded with a one foot drop to every three feet.

Before improvement, the road, only 18 feet wide, was considered a menace to motorists and too narrow for the enormous summer traffic which uses it to reach the growing southern New Hanover resort.

At present, 55 men from nearby prison camps are preparing the shoulders for grass and other landscaping. All curves have been rebanked to insure the maximum safety at fast cruising speed. The project was started last Fall. The F.D. Cline Company, of Raleigh, was the contractor. WILM.STAR, 4-3-1941


April 7, 1941
E.V. Leonard, police chief, announced that the town of Carolina Beach would erect a sub-station for its police department on the site of the old town hall. It was to be a permanent structure and would be used in conjunction with the new $40,000 town hall and auditorium which was being constructed at the head of Canal Drive.

The sub-station was to be outfitted along the lines of the one destroyed by fire last September. It would house convenient comfort stations, a jail, and offices for the town clerk and police. It would also contain a large, comfortable room for lunch tables for the convenience of all visitors. WILM.STAR, 4-8-1941.


April 8, 1941
The Carolina Beach Board of Aldermen appointed W.J. ‘Bill’ Smith superintendent of the water and sewer department of the resort, and E.V. Leonard was elected chief of police. Smith had spent ten years in the police department and most of that time has head of the force. Leonard became a patrolman last June after having served with the Brunswick county police for six years and for over two years as chief of police of Southport. During the season, Chief Leonard will have ten full-time men in his department. J.R. Beck, another Brunswick County man with two years experience as a deputy sheriff, was added to the Carolina Beach force. M.D. Mosley, the night officer, had been with the department for seven months. WILM.STAR, 4-8-1941.


April 12, 1941
Carolina Beach Real Estate Transfers:

  • F.C. Ellers and others to H.C. Byrd and others, part of lot 9, block 14, Carolina Beach.
  • Mrs. L. J. Durham to Mrs. Katie B. Rackley, lot 8 block 4, northern section, Carolina Beach. Maude V. Soverel to Charles E. Tuttle, lot 3, block 65 Carolina Beach
  • Giles Webb and others to Lula Belle Webb, lots 6 and 7, and part of 8, block J, and 10 feet adjacent, pavilion section, Carolina Beach. WILM.STAR, 4-13-1941.


April 13, 1941
Foster Edwards wrote a brief and romantic history of Carolina Beach in the STAR newspaper, dated 4-13-1941. It was loosely factual but provided the reader with a glimpse of what had gone on before. “In the beginning, it was the kingdom of silence and awe, disturbed by no sound save the sea gull‘s shriek and the breaker‘s roar.” WILM.STAR, 4-13-1941.


April 25, 1941
The formal grand opening of the new Palais Royal Hotel and Restaurant at Carolina Beach was held. John Klagis, Henry Omirly and Chris Economides were the owners and operators. A feature of the opening was Ray Wise and His Dance Orchestra furnishing music for dancing and entertainment of the guests. Omirly said that an orchestra would be featured three times weekly and the Palais Royal, a year-round resort hotel. Free souvenirs were given all guests at the formal opening. Out of the terrible fire came a new and finer Palais Royal which had been successfully operated at the beach for the past seven years. WILM.STAR, 4-25-1941.


May 15, 1941
Kenneth Wooten, head of Carolina Beach‘s life saving staff, reported that there would be 18 regular and volunteer life savers along the strand this summer with the squad possibly being increased to 30. Last year there were only ten men in the corps.

The Organization was to be built around Billy Pittman, Jimmy Brazil, Lonny Peck, and his brother, Albert Wooten, all veterans of past seasons.

The town appropriated $500 to replace equipment lost in the last September‘s big fire. Everything was lost in the fire except the complete record of the number of hours worked per man, the number of rescues, and other vital data. WILM.STAR, 5-16-1941.


May 17-18, 1941
Approximately 10,000 people visited Carolina Beach during this weekend, the largest week-end throng since the big fire.

Mayor R. C. Fergus said it was as great a turnout as he had ever seen at any beach for this time of the year. “We have got to build and build,” he said. As fast as the building were completed they were opened and settled down to a run of business that equals that of last July. Already 50 per cent of the business houses and concessions were already open, with such enterprises as the Bame Hotel and the theatre still to open their doors.

For several weeks the bowling alleys had been operating and such places as the Palais Royal and Plummer‘s open. A small band from Fort Bragg spending the weekend at the northern extension entertained thousands with popular and martial music. WILM.STAR 5-19-1941.


May 19, 1941
C.F. VanLandingham, president of the Carolina Beach Civitan Club, staged a bingo party at Uncle Jim‘s Bingo place with the entire proceeds going towards the construction of a clubhouse for the Girl and Boy Scouts of the resort town.
A prominent Wilmington man had donated a tract of land, 50 by 150 feet, near the school house to be used as the Civitans deemed necessary for the promotion of the welfare of the young boys and girls of the resort.
At a recent meeting of the Civitans the club voted to construct a clubhouse which would contain a reading room with books, magazines and games and a place where the members could hold their meetings and carry on their work. WILM.STAR, 5-19-1941.


May 26, 1941
A father and son were honored at the annual ladies‘ night banquet of the Carolina Beach Civitan Club, held at the Red, White and Blue Cottage when C.M. Kelly, Sr. was installed as president of the club, and his son C.M. Kelly, Jr., was appointed president of the Junior Civitans. Other sworn officers of the senior club included A.T.Harriss, vice president, and C.J.Craig, Jr., treasurer, C.G. VanLandingham, the retiring president, enumerated the projects the club had sponsored during his term of office. He then introduced the principal speaker, Addison Hewlett, Jr.

Hewlett traced the growth of Americanism in this country and urged everyone to become ‘defense workers’ so that ‘liberty shall not be taken away.’ WILM.STAR, 5-27-1941


May 26, 1941
The Carolina Beach Civitans Club closed its most active and progressive year, under the leadership of C. Vanlandingham. The club made every effort to encourage the WPA to complete the new $40,000 town hall and auditorium. Another project pushed to completion was the widening of the highway from the Maosnboro Loop road through the heart of the resort. The road job was completed and now 70 to 80 men were working daily on grading and landscaping the shoulders.

As a part of promoting the principles of Americanism, upon which the civic body was founded, a junior Civitan Club was organized, and on May 16th, Neil Kelly, a high school football star, was elected president. The club was also pushing the completion of a club house for the town‘s girl and boy scout troops. Elections were held. The outgoing officers included Vanlandingham, Don Sullivan and Cliff Lewis. The incoming officers were C.M. Kelly, Jr., A.T. Harriss, and C.J. Craig, Jr. The new board of directors were: C.G. Vanlandingham, Cameron Sinclair, Sam Wright, Cliff Lewis and R. H. Harrell. WILM.STAR, 6-15-1941.


May 30, 1941
Over 700 soldiers from Fort Bragg arrived at Carolina Beach for a long week-end. In addition to the soldiers, nearly 400 of the grammar school traffic squad held their 21st annual picnic. The midway was about 80 per cent opened for the crowd. Among the soldiers was on Private Straff, better known as Robert Paddock, an ex-singer of Al Kavelin‘s Orchestra of Chicago, who had worked with one of the greatest trumpet men, ‘Red’ Nichols. Straff, who sang a number of songs for the traffic boys, was accompanied on the piano by Melvin Franklin, father of Gloria Franklin, one of Hollywood‘s bright young starlets. He had written musical scores for Lew Fields Show. WILM.STAR, 6-1-1941.


June 1941
Carolina Beach had a flying field, newly located and developed to provide adequate facilities for those people who would fly to the beach, for those who would learn the art of flying, and for those desiring to charter a plane for sightseeing trips over the beaches.

The field was located on the Carolina Beach highway, a quarter of a mile before the inland waterway bridge. The property was leased by the Pennington Flying Service of Wilmington. The Pennington brothers, Jimmy and Warren, had a total of 12,000 certified flying hours to their credit.

The field was also acclaimed to be one of the best emergency landing clearings in southeastern N.C. The Penningtons had three planes at the field, a Stinson Tri-motor and two smaller craft, designed for student training. In 1939 the field was located at the head of Canal Drive where the northern extension opens into a wide level area. WILM.STAR, 6-15-1941.


June 6, 1941
R.C. Fergus, mayor of Carolina Beach, announced that Carolina Beach would have its formal opening for the 1941 season on June 6th. R.H. Harrell, president of the Chamber of Commerce, announced that Mrs. Robert Harlow, of Pinehurst, had been authorized to solicit advertising for a souvenir book which will contain notes and stories on the past, present and future of the large summer capital.

From the desolation of a $800,000 fire two weeks following the close of the 1940 season, Carolina Beach has come back with a $1,400,000 building program. While the midway has become a fireproof as possible, the dwellings along the ocean front, Canal Drive and other residential sections are being renovated and newly constructed for year-round living. The 100 new houses slated for Canal Drive would do credit to the finest inland suburb. WILM.STAR, 5-23-1941.


June 6, 1941
R.C. Fergus, mayor of Carolina Beach, announced the formal opening today of Carolina Beach for the 1941 season. WILM.NEWS, 5-22-1941


June 6, 1941
Carolina Beach opened tonight for the new season. Aside from the new, $500,000 midway and business district, hundreds of new cottages and guest houses had been built during the winter and spring. The famous midway was more varied this year than previously. There were more rides, more concessions, larger stores, longer and wider boardwalks, more benches, and public drinking fountains, and a bathing strand which was one-third wider than last year. The life guards added more men and the latest equipment obtainable, and they had enlarged the limits of the restricted bathing area.

Carolina Beach was being called ‘The Nation‘s Miracle Beach’. Untrue rumors were being spread that the beach was now filled with soldiers and defense workers and visitors were being discouraged from visiting the beach. WILM.STAR, 6-6-1941.


June 12, 1941
A.P. Peay and Police Officer Paul Bass killed an 8-foot alligator in the Sound, back of Canal Drive. One of the concession operators estimated its age as 75 years and claimed that he probably wandered out of the marsh land near Snow‘s Cut and had lost his way. WILM.STAR, 6-15-941.


June 12, 1941
The new Hotel Bame, Carolina Beach, was now formally opened for the season. Everything was absolutely new! 80 rooms, 65 with bath. Elevator service. WILM.STAR, 6-15-1941.


June 15, 1941
Carolina Beach was the only beach along the North Carolina coast to have a municipal sewage and disposal system. WILM.STAR, 6-15-1941.


June 15, 1941
All of the best, feature pictures are shown at the new Wave Theatre, owned by Dr. H.C. Carr, of Durham, and managed by N.W. Parker, at Carolina Beach. Having a seating capacity of approx. 500 the new theatre featured new equipment, new seats, and a modern air conditioning system. A diffusive screen made for a wide theatre was to be used. Pictures were shown weekdays and Sunday, with four or five changes a week. WILM.STAR, 6-15-1941.


June 15, 1941
Robert Fergus, son of R.C. Fergus, was making plans to open the Greystone Roof Garden to week-end visitors. WILM.STAR, 6-16-1941.


June 15, 1941
Work on landscaping the new highway to the beach was moving along rapidly. Grass was being planted on the shoulders and ditch banks. WILM.STAR, 6-15-1941.


June 15, 1941
Carolina Beach had a new flying field, located on the Carolina Beach highway, a quarter of a mile from the Inland Waterway Bridge. The field was leased by the Pennington Flying Service of Wilmington. The brothers, Jimmy and Warren, had a total of 12,000 certified flying hours to their credit. The Penningtons were planning to have three planes available through the summer. There was to be the Stinson tri-motor and two smaller craft, designed for student training. The field was acclaimed to be one of the best emergency landing clearings in southeastern N.C. A large parking area was set aside between the highway and the field. WILM.STAR, 6-15-1941.


June 15, 1941
A new information booth was located at the first stop light. The beach had grown so large that a more formal type of information was to be given to those passing by. WILM.STAR, 6-15-1941.


June 15, 1941
The Fountain Apartments, located on Harper Avenue, just one block from the ocean, at Carolina Beach, were recently reopened for the vacation season. Mrs. A.V. Fountain was the manager.

The Fountain Apartments comprised of 40 rooms, including several two to five room apartments, with hot and cold water, connecting showers, private entrances, and free parking space. WILM.STAR, 6-15-1941.


June 15, 1941
The Rev. M.J. Begley, pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, announced that regular services would begin today at 8 a.m. Coming to Carolina Beach in 1938, Rev. Mr. Begley was the first pastor of this house of worship. He was ordained in Maryland in June, 1934, and his first assignment was at St. Mary‘s In Wilmington in the same year. Between 1934 and 1938 he also served churches in Wilson, N.C. and at High Point, N.C. Rev. Begley was a native of Springfield, Mass. WILM.STAR, 6-15-1941.


June 15, 1941
John Burriss sold the northern portion of Carolina Beach to Joseph L. Winner, who attempted unsuccessfully to develop it in the name of ‘St. Joseph.’ WILM.STAR, 6-15-1941.


June 30, 1941
Stevie Ray Bell, son of Oliver A. and Virginia Hewell Bell, died. Born June 29, 1941. Interment in Federal Point Cemetery.


August 1941
The present officers of the Carolina Beach Chamber of Commerce were: R.H. Harrill, president, Glenn Tucker, vice President; C.G. Van Landingham Treasurer, and Foster Edwards, secretary and publicity director. WILM.STAR, 8-19-1941.


August 3, 1941
Ester Carolina Lewis Died. Aged 19 days. Interment in Federal Point Cemetery.


August 18, 1941
M.B. Mosley, a current member of the police force at Carolina Beach, was named by Sheriff C. David Jones to the assistant jailership at county jail. Mosely was to join the county force on September 1st. WILM.STAR, 8-19-1941.


August 29, 1941
R.C. Fergus was re-elected to serve his fourth consecutive term as mayor of Carolina Beach. C.G. VanLandingham, who had been nominated for re-election, withdrew and thru all of his support behind Mr. Fergus to give the mayor a total of 117 votes. Named for the board of aldermen to serve for two year terms were Cliff Lewis with 83 votes, W.G. Fountain with 92 votes, Roscoe Griffin, of Rocky Mount, with 104 votes and Harry Solomon, of Wilmington, with 42 votes. Mr. Lewis, a well known Carolina Beach realtor, was the only new man named to the board, the others having served for the last two years. The men were to take office on October 7th. WILM.STAR, 8-30-1941.


October 10, 1941
The U.S. Army‘s recreational center at Sugar Hill, Carolina Beach, was opened and was capable of accommodating 1,200 men. Capt. L.S. Jobe was the center commanding officer.

For several weeks prior to the opening approximately 200 CCC enrollees had been working on the expansion and improvements to the recreation center, clearing a large additional area of underbrush and other obstructions. There was a shortage of equipment for the clearing and filling in of depressions. Only six trees had to be cut down as they wanted to spare as many as possible. Those cut down were to be used for firewood and cooking fuel. The site was already being used by a number of servicemen. WILM.STAR, 103-3-1941


October, 1941
(Editorial) – Announcement that Carolina Beach will remain ‘open’ through the winter is not surprising. With a large body of soldiers at the camp near Fort Fisher and the demand for housing in Wilmington unsatisfied, it is only natural that families of soldiers and other residents unable to find accommodations in the city should seek quarters at the beach resort.

Mayor Fergus announced some weeks ago that every house equipped for winter residence was already occupied, and that owners of other cottages seriously considered installing heating plants to make them comfortable between now and next spring. With the population thus increased it is but natural that operators of amusement concessions should foresee sufficient business in the months ahead to warrant keeping their places open. It is to be remembered that for the most part winter in this vicinity is a mild thing, with cold days few and far between. This being so, there is no good reason to prevent Carolina Beach enjoying a good winter business. WILM.STAR, 10-31-1941.


December 17, 1941
Carolina Beach, like other nearby beaches, completed the organization of a council for the protection of its civilians during air attack or other emergency.

The appointments, made by Mayor R.C. Fergus were: Chief Air Raid Warden, Kimball Burriss; Defense Council Chairman, L.J. Jordan; Advisory, Captain L.S. Jobe; Fire Protection, D. Macon Greer; Police Protection, E.V. Leonard and W.L. Tisdale; Public Works Emergency, M.S. Faircloth; Utilities, E.E. Jordan; Emergency First Aid, Mrs. George B. Applewhite; School Children, Mrs. C.G. Van Landingham; Registration of Volunteers, Mrs. H.C. Fields; Secretary, Miss Margaret Hinnant.

This brought to three the total of organized and functioning defense agencies in New Hanover County. WILM.NEWS, 12-17-1941.


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