News Articles – 1943

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


February 27, 1943
J.O. Ludwig died. Born 8-18-1854. Interment in Federal Point Cemetery.


June 7, 1943
A.P. Peay, realtor and amusement operator, was elected mayor of the Town of Carolina Beach in the resort‘s biennial election. Mr. Peay, who received 319 votes to lead the field of 11 candidates, was to succeed Mayor R. C. Fergus, who was defeated. WILM.NEWS, 6-8-1943.


June 7, 1943
Carolina Beach voters elected A. P. Peay, realtor, mayor of the beach resort and approved a request to the 1945 general assembly to place the beach under the general election laws. Mayor Peay, who led the field of eleven candidates, will succeed R.C. Fergus, an unsuccessful candidate in the race for the board of aldermen. He was to take office in July. Approximately 475 ballots were cast.

The other candidates were G.T. Bame, R.C. Fergus, W.G. Fountain, J.I. Jeffreys, A.L. Jewell, G.M. Kelly, Cliff D. Lewis, B.F. Ramseur, Harry M. Solomon, D.L. White. Those named to the board of aldermen were W.G. Fountain, G.M. Kelley, A.L. Jewell and D.L. White.  (Wilm Star, 6-9-1943; 6-15-1943)



Summer, 1943 …. Carolina Beach … (Related by Chicken Hicks – to The State, July, 1994)

Carolina Beach was just like a state fair 24 hours a day. There were at least eight jump joints that were just a dance floor and a juke box. They offered rhythm and blues. Running along the ocean front in the town‘s center was a wooden boardwalk, raised 3 to 10 feet above the sand. It was flanked by two rows of one and two-story rooming houses and cottages filled with vacationers.

Service men from nearby bases swarmed the boardwalk, vendors sold beer, hot dogs, surf mats and towels , and children frolicked at the water‘s edge. Navy ducks shuttled people back and forth to fishing boats anchored offshore. Every morning loud-speakers blared out Glenn Miller‘s ‘Sunrise Serenade’. A corner café was open 24 hours per day. There was “fas‘ dancin‘” (what came to be called the shag) in every nook and cranny on the boardwalk. Carolina Beach was where the majority of people came to dance.

An arcade was known as Danceland. The Green Lantern, which sold beer and rented surfmats during the day, also had a juke box. Nickels clanked in the nickelodeons and leather soles shuffled and slid across the sandy floors in special open-air juke joints, called “sugar-bowls,” as the surf pounded the background rhythm.

One of the oldest buildings, built in 1946, was ‘smack dab in the middle’ of the boardwalk. It housed the ‘Milk Pail’ restaurant, the Tijuana Inn and a swimmer‘s bath-house on the first floor. Upstairs was the Ocean Plaza Ballroom renowned for its big bands. With a 5,000-square-foot floor, the Ocean Plaza was the largest dance hall on the beach, holding 500 people, elbow to elbow. Large French double-door windows opened up for the ocean breezes.  Here you could catch Jack Teagarden play trombone and watch the dancers, called ‘jitterbugs.’

The boardwalk at Carolina Beach teamed with service men. After World War II, fights broke out between the jealous service men and the jitterbugs, who were often called ‘beach bums.’ There were fights with the Army, the paratroopers and the Marine. Across from the Ocean Plaza was a club called ‘The Roof’ one year and ‘Bop City’ another. Jimmy Cavello‘s Combo was the house band in 1948.

Some of the best records used in the jukeboxes came from the black beach at Sea Breeze. The forbidden ‘black jive’ music jumped the ‘Jim Crow’ rope. Some of the popular records were Joe Liggins‘ ‘I‘ve Got a Right To Cry,’ Paul Williams‘ ‘The Hucklebuck,’ Buddy Johnson‘s ‘Fine Brown Frame,’ Wynonie Harris‘ ‘Good Rockin‘ Tonight,’ Erskine Hawkins‘ ‘Tippin‘ In,’ Lucky Millinder‘s ‘Big Fat Mama’ and Count Basie‘s ‘One O‘Clock Boogie.’

On the south end of the boardwalk, past Batson‘s Jump Joint, was the ‘Sugar Bowl No.2’, an open-air oceanfront dance floor, 70-by-30 feet, bounded by railings.

By 1950, a newly elected mayor passed an ordinance that effectively closed all the jump joints and dance clubs smaller than the Ocean Plaza, leaving those under 18 with nowhere to dance. “That‘s when the place folded.” Vacationers started going to Ocean Drive Beach.  (The State – July, 1994)


July 1, 1943
An application was filed with the Federal Works Agency, Richmond, Va., for a grant of approx. $50,000 to complete the Carolina Beach Sewer system and to extend it to new areas where the need had developed. Work on the sewerage system by the W.P.A. labor was halted last Fall when it was about 85 percent complete under the old schedule. WPA funds had been allotted to construct the system but were withdrawn with the liquidation of the federal agency. The part of the system built by the WPA was not in operation.  (Wilm News, 7-8-1943)


July 5, 1943
Army officials announced that there would be firing practice at a point one-half mile north of Carolina Beach between 8 A.M. and 5 P.M. The area from the beach to 12,000 yards seaward was to be dangerous and all craft were warned to stay clear of the section. (Wilm News, 7-2-194).


July 6, 1943
The Carolina Beach aldermen re-elected Henry G. Fennell as town clerk for the next two years. He came to that position last November 15th. The new officials were installed in office: Mayor A.P. Peay, and Aldermen W.G. Fountain, A.L. Jewell, C.M. Kelley and D.L. White.  (Wilm News, 7-8-194).


August 17, 1943
President Roosevelt approved a grant of $30,421 and a loan of $18,000 to the Town of Carolina Beach to finance the construction of additional sewage facilities.

The project called for the installation of approx. 13,500 feet of 8-inch sewer main, 4,750 feet of 6-inch laterals, and a lift station of 350 feet of 4-inch cast iron force main to complete a WPA project on which worked had been stopped in 1942 because of labor and material shortages. The Town of Carolina Beach was to furnish the pumps and materials valued at $1,395.

Mayor A.D. Peay commented that “This is one of the best things that has ever happened to our community.” He pointed out that the great increase in population had taxed the present sewage equipment to the point where complete sanitation could not be guaranteed. During heavy rains the old set-up proved inadequate. The WPA began work on the old sewage plan in 1942.   (Wilm News, 8-19-1943)


August 27, 1943
Postmistress Annie B. Morton reported that due to steadily increasing business of the Carolina Beach post office, the department was now attempting to lease larger and more suitable quarters. For the first six months of 1943 the stamp sales amounted to $12,033.35, while 12,430 money orders amounting to $295,109.15 were issued.

Due to this increase the office space was doubled the first of the year. At the present time, three regular and three substitute clerks were employed in addition to a special delivery messenger. Two years earlier there was only one regular clerk, adding another during the summer rush. Because of the increased business, the resort‘s post office was advanced from a third to second class office, effective July 1, 1943.  (Wilm News, 8-30-1943)


September 8, 1943
Carolina Beach was boasting about its community clinic located in the back room of the old city hall on the boardwalk. Through the courtesy of Mrs. Homer Wysong, widow of the late Dr. Homer Wysong, this first aid station was equipped. The staff included three registered nurses and three Red Cross graduates and three volunteers.

Mrs. Hannah Block of Wilmington and Carolina Beach worked hard to get this clinic started. She had the clinic room painted snow white. A course of Red Cross first aid was to be offered on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7 p.m. for five weeks.  (Wilm News, 9-9-1943)


September 13, 1943
Thousands of mullet were swimming up to the Carolina Beach pier and it was found that they had been so injured that residents of the section had been able to scoop them up with crabbing nets. On examination, the fish had shown bruises and cuts. Ocean target firings or a siege of larger preying fish were offered as possible reasons for the unusual happenings at Carolina Beach pier.   (Wilm Star, 9-14-1943)


October 29, 1943
The Carolina Beach USO Club gave its first formal dance at the City Hall auditorium. Music was furnished by the Fort Fisher Band. Miss Annie Maude Dean, head of the USO, called the dance a great success.  (Wilm Star, 11-7-1943)
December 30, 1943


December 13, 1943
M.S. Faircloth, formerly in charge of the water and sewer department of Carolina Beach, was appointed as head of the consolidated police, fire, and public works departments of Wrightsville Beach. The appointment was effective January 1st. Mr. Faircloth had been located at Carolina Beach for the past two years. Previously, he was chief of the police force at Wrightsville Beach for about two years. He was a native of Clinton N.C.   (Wilm News, 12-13-1943)


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