News Articles – 1980 – 1984

Federal Point, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher
– from the Wilmington Star, Coastal Carolinian, SCENE Magazine

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


July, 1980 …. Carolina Beach …. Kure Beach
The permanent population of Carolina Beach was estimated at 2,000 and Kure Beach had 611.  (SCENE Magazine, July, 1983)


December 8, 1981 …. Carolina Beach
The Carolina Beach Town Council elected Neil Pharr as mayor for a two-year term. He had served on the Council since last summer. He was a 38-year-old pharmacist and he was to be the last mayor chosen from among the Council members. In 1983 voters will directly elect the top city official. Pharr succeeded Jack Glisson who lost his bid for re-election to the Council. The new mayor expressed support for four 11-story high rise buildings proposed for the area. The tallest building in town now was the five-story Royal Palm Hotel. Three of the high-rise buildings were the Harbour Oaks development, and the other one was for the Atlantic Towers project.

Pat Efird was re-elected mayor pro-tem, and Town Board members Doyle Brummitt and Bob Doetsch were sworn in for 2-year terms. Rick McLean was reappointed town manager; Lona Thompson, town clerk, and A.A. Canoutas, town attorney. WILM.STAR, 12-9-1981.


December 31, 1981 …. Federal Point
A 61-lot and 65-slip marina was proposed for a tract of about 48 acres between U.S. 421 and the Intracoastal Waterway on the northern edge of the Seabreeze Community. The subdivision was proposed by Realistic Developers Inc., James A. Williams, President. Williams was a resident of New York State. When he purchased the Pelican Cove Property from its former owners, it was his first development plan in the South. The smallest lot at Pelican Cove was to be 18,200 square feet. The average lot was approx. 21,000 square feet. The streets in the subdivision were to be private and water and sewage treatment was to be provided by individual wells and septic tanks. One existing house on the land was to be removed. It was located on the southwest corner of the property adjacent to U.S.421. WILM.STAR, 12-31-1981.


January 26, 1982 …. Carolina Beach
Joan and Tom McKay were again head of the Coastal Carolinian, a weekly newspaper published in Carolina Beach. The McKays‘ started the beach newspaper 7 1⁄2 years ago, but last June agreed to sell the paper to Newspapers Inc., which was headed by Jim Skillington.

Last week, Newspapers, Inc., exercised their option to end its agreement to buy the paper. Mrs. McKay refused to let the newspaper die, so resumed ownership. It was to return to its former full format from being a tabloid. WILM.STAR, 1-26-1982.


February 18, 1982 …. Carolina Beach
The old Royal Palm Hotel was continuing with its much needed face-lift. A. Vince Bolden was the new owner of the 4-story, red-brick downtown hotel. The renovation work was to cost $200,000. A name change was being studied. The name “Hotel Astor” was a current choice, since Bolden‘s first name was Astor. It was the hope of the new owner to have the hotel opened by the end of April. Bolden was born and raised in High Point, N.C. and spent many of his teen-age summers in Carolina Beach. Four years ago he was a contractor in Maryland and when on a boat trip to Florida his boat broke down in Wilmington. It was decided at that time to make New Hanover County their new home. WILM.STAR, 2-18-1982.


February 18, 1982 …. Carolina Beach
The Royal Palm Hotel was under a complete renovation. The hotel was purchased by Vince Bolden two weeks earlier. The plan was to have the 100 rooms ready by June 1st. The hotel was over 50 years old and was owned by the Fountain family for many years. The new owner was from Castle Haynes, N.C. and it was his wish to restore the bustling resort he remembered in its “good old days”. It was his hope that others who owned some of the older buildings would also renovate and help improve the town.    (Coastal Carolinian, 2-25-1982)


May 6, 1982 …. Carolina Beach
Cliff Smith was celebrating 50 years in business at Carolina Beach. He was the owner and operator of THE LANDMARK. He enjoyed remembering the old days, especially the 1930s. He remembered THE GREEN LANTERN, owned by Rufus Parlier, which was a favorite spot for the young folks. He had a soda fountain and sold Cokes at 5¢ each. There were wooden booths and a fine juke box. It was there that Smith formed friendships with Nick Ponos, Buck Barden, Rufus Parlier and Phil Helms.

Dancing was the big thing then. At night was ball room dancing, cheek to cheek. Later jitterbugging came in, and the “Shag” was invented in the late 1930s. The “Shag” was a conglomeration of different versions from Reidsville and Durham, N.C. and Carolina Beach version. Other dances were “The Big Apple” and the “Dip”.

He also remembered old Charlie Mosley, the black ice man with a heart of pure gold. He would ice down the bottled drinks and restock the boxes when needed. My father would always take care of Charlie at lunch time with a slab of cheese and a hunk of bologna and a box of Uneeda biscuits. He carried his supply of ice in a big truck with a high body and an ice-grinder. A block of ice sold for 25¢. The kids of those days loved to go body surfing in the ocean. They would slide down the huge breakers with half their body out of the water. Of course, they also enjoyed girl-watching. Big bands were here in the 1930s and they played at the Greystone Roof Garden and and the Carolina Pavilion.
He remembered one of the old life guards named Wythe Wuarles, he began working as a life guard at the Batson‘s Bath House. Two others from that same time were Lonnie Peck and Dusty Dudley.    (Coastal Carolinian, 5-6-1982)


May 6, 1982 …. Carolina Beach
Surf‘s Edge, Carolina Avenue South n the ocean, was the first six-unit condominium to be built on Pleasure Island. Tommy Tucker, of the Tucker Bros. Realty, was the sales agent for the building. Five of the six units had already been sold at prices from $52,500 to $56,000. The condo was developed by Dale Caines and Jim Guin, of Wilmington. The structure was built by the construction firm of Ernest Batson, a top quality builder in the area. It was to be completed by July 1st. COASTAL CAROLINIAN, 5-6-1982.


May 7, 1982 …. Carolina Beach
John William Washburn Sr., former mayor of Carolina Beach, died in Greensboro N.C. He served as mayor from 1959 to 1961. After leaving Carolina Beach he operated a motel at Myrtle Beach, S.C. While at Carolina Beach he was owner of the Accordion Motel, so-named for his habit of sitting on the front porch and playing his accordion. He was born July 27, 1914 in Rutherford County, NC. COASTAL CAROLINIAN 5-13-1982.


May 27, 1982 …. Carolina Beach
Seascape, a new development by Suggs & Harrelson was ready for occupancy on the edge of the northern extension at Carolina Beach. The one-bedroom units were available under a unique financing plan beginning at 12 per cent and were priced from $56,900. COASTAL CAROLINIAN, 5-27-1982.


May 10, 1982 …. Carolina Beach
Carl Winner, 70 years old, a native of Carolina Beach, had a beach street named in his honor. “Carl Winner Street” passed between the Municipal Docks and Town Hall. He was in the Florida Keys when the Town Council took action on the renaming of the street. For more than 50 years he had been taking people deep-sea fishing. For most of the time his boats were launched from the beach through the breakers.

Before he got his first outboard in 1927, he would row through the breakers and out to the fishing grounds. He still worked occasionally as an alternate captain on fishing boats owned by his son. Until the Carolina Beach Inlet was opened in 1942, Winner had no choice except to launch through the surf. In 1957, his operation moved to the Municipal Docks. Another street outside of the town limits is called “Winner Street”, which was named for Carl‘s grandfather, Joseph Winner, an early settler at the beach. WILM.STAR, 5-10-1982.


May 27, 1982 …. Carolina Beach
After serving five months as acting police chief, Morris Powell was named police chief of Carolina Beach. He was 27 years old, the youngest man to ever head the department. He was a seven-year veteran of the local force, and had been a detective for almost three years. Recently, his undercover work led to the indictments of a former New Hanover County magistrate and two county residents on drug, bribery and racketeering charges. He planned no major changes in the 15-member department. The new chief was chosen from 36 applicants. He was a graduate of Hoggard High School and UNC-Wilmington. WILM.STAR, 5-28-1982; COASTAL CAROLINIAN, 5-27-1982


September, 1982 …. Carolina Beach
The Blockade Runner Museum closed its doors forever.


September 21, 1982
The Carolina Beach Elementary School was hit by lightning. It was also struck by lightning again on August 10, 1981, October 3, 1973, WILM.STAR, 9-22-1982.


November 19, 1982 …. Carolina Beach
Heinz G. Grohman was sworn in as Carolina Beach‘s new police chief. He was the former New Hanover County Sheriff. He succeeded Morris Powell, who resigned on Sept.7th due to a disagreement with Town Manager Rick McLean. Powell was named in April, 1982 after Rusty Lewis had resigned in January, 1982. Chief Grohman‘s career began in the U.S. Army and continued until his retirement from service. He was now 61 years old. Grohman was New Hanover County‘s first drug officer and was involved in the first major drug case in the county. COASTAL CAROLINIAN, 11-25-1982; WILM.STAR,11-19-1982.


December 16, 1982 …. Carolina Beach
The old bus station building, later used as the Battery Restaurant, was being transformed by the Carolina Savings and Loan Association of Wilmington as the second bank to be located at Carolina Beach.

The building was located at the corner of Raleigh Avenue and U.S. 421. It was scheduled to be opened in mid- March, 1983. The only bank on the beach at this time was the Bank of North Carolina of Jacksonville. It was soon to be sold to the Peoples Bank and Trust Company of Rocky Mount. WILM.STAR, 12-16-1982.


December 16, 1982 …. Carolina Beach
Police Chief H.G. Grohman completed the reorganization of the department which he took over a month earlier. Sgt. Jim Grisdale was placed in charge of planning and will serve as the department‘s training officer. Sgt. Billy Eason was to be in charge of the breathalyzer operation and in charge of the town police jail. Sgt. Buck Jarman was to be in charge of the new business security system and Sgt. Harold Woods was to be in charge of all departmental vehicles. Lorren Walkup was in charge of communications and the police network system and Maureen Rogers was to continue in charge of the life guards during the summer season. Grohman also promised to work closely with the Community Watch program. He also was progressing with a 10-man auxiliary police force.   COASTAL CAROLINAN 12-16-1982


July 1983 …. Carolina Beach
The Scene Magazine, printed in Wilmington, wrote: “There is much concern about the rapid growth Carolina Beach is now experiencing – a concern that over-development could conceivably affect the very qualities which make the area so desirable. It is a thin line to walk.”


July, 1983 …. Carolina Beach
Mrs. Pearl Winner Russell was 81 years old. She was the granddaughter of Joseph Winner, one of the early settlers of Carolina Beach. The family came from Pennsylvania. She recalled attending school which was located down near Kure Beach. She remembered that a group of fishermen owned quite a few houses on the river, behind Kure Beach. She also recalled when she was a child there were only about six families in the area of Carolina Beach. She said it was a 90-day community then. The river steamer would arrive June 1st and the beach would close about Labor Day.   (Scene Magazine, July, 1983)


December 1, 1983 …. Carolina Beach
Ground was broken for the new $95,000 building for the Pleasure Island Rescue Squad. It was located beside the Federal Point Medical Center on U.S. 421. About 40 people attended. Handling the shovels were Squad Chief Ken McDade, Asst. Chief Roger McKee, Squad Board Chairman Vince Smith and Federal Point Medical center Board Chairman Jack Land. The squad had 25 members. About 2,500 donations had been given for the building in the past two years. WILM.STAR, 12-2-1983.


December 23, 1983 …. Carolina Beach
Mrs. Lillie Mae High Croom, of Carolina Beach, died in a Wilmington hospital. She was formerly the proprietor of High‘s Dining Room and the Curiosity Gift Shop at Carolina Beach. She was born May 20, 1900 in Washington, N.C., the daughter of Mayo L. and Rowena Waters. Interment was in Oakdale Cemetery, Wilmington. WILM.STAR, 12-25-1983.


November 25, 1984 …. Federal Point
Preliminary plans to develop 400 acres between Carolina Beach Road and River Road was submitted to the County Planning Department. The plans called for 700 single-family houses and townhouses in the area just south of the intersection of Carolina Beach and Masonboro Loop roads, extending to River Road.

Plans for the Ocean Forest Lakes project were submitted by surveyor Robert Goslee. The land was owned by James Williams Inc. of Wilmington. Dan Sams, a county engineer, commented that much of the property was wetlands. WILM.STAR, 11-25-1984.


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