President’s Letter – January, 2020

Kure Beach – K Avenue Business District c. 1947-1953

By Elaine Henson

In 1937, Andrew Emile Kure, Sr. sold 40 acres of his land to the Dow Plant off what is now Dow Road. With part of the proceeds he bought a 1938 Chevrolet specially ordered with a heater and a radio, neither of which came with the car in those days.  His new Chevy was black, the only color available at that time. After the car purchase, he built two houses and a garage apartment facing K Avenue west of the pier.  Each cost $500 to build and $500 to furnish.

In the photograph above, the house with the black roof (3) was where his family lived. There was a living room and kitchen on the right with a bathroom behind the kitchen.  There were two bedrooms on the left and a back porch behind them which was converted into a bedroom for Mary Rose who lived in to look after his wife, Betty Kure, who had heart trouble. Mary was descended from slaves at Orton Plantation.  Her husband, Johnny Rose, built both houses and the garage apartment.  Mary’s little daughter, Shirley, was born while she was caring for Betty and shared the room with her mother.  Betty, dressed in her gown and robe, would walk across the street holding toddler Shirley’s hand to go to the Post Office.  It was located between where the Arcade and Jack Mackerels are now.

Johnny Rose lived in town and would come on the weekends and sometimes weekdays. He was later in a serious brawl and lost his life.  Their son, Emile Rose, is a retired longshoreman at Sunny Point. Andrew Emile Kure, Jr. better known as Punky, saw Emile about a year ago.  Both men noted that they shared the same name and surmised that the Roses named him for the senior and junior A. E. Kures.

The second house was built with the same floor plan as the Kure home, but with an open front porch (4). It was used as a rental home.  Behind that was the garage apartment (7). The downstairs had an efficiency apartment with bedroom, kitchen and living space.  The upstairs had a kitchen/living room, bath, bedroom and a glassed-in front porch.  Punky and Jean Kure  lived there after they were married in 1952.  They put in an oil heater and water heater.  During Hurricane Hazel in October of 1954, there were whitecaps in the apartment’s bathtub.  The storm surge was 17-18 feet.

Next to the rental house were two long buildings, most likely former barracks from Fort Fisher, that remain to this day. The first one (5) had John Flower’s Barber Shop in the back with Clarence Danner’s Fish Market in the front.  Since 1972, it has been Bud and Joe’s Sandbar.

The second one (6) had an ABC Store in the front from 1949 to the mid-1960s and Kure Beach Town Hall in the back. East of those two buildings was the two-story white frame Ocean Inn (8) which had been moved there from its original location across the street after the Great Storm of 1944.

In 1947, Andrew Emile Kure, Sr. built a service station/café on the corner of K Avenue and Fort Fisher Boulevard (1).  Punky Kure ran the station for two years which was on the left end of the building. The Café was on the right end. There was a garage (2) built at an angle to the service station.  It was used for lubes and washing cars.

East of the station, garage, houses, barracks buildings and Ocean Inn were two rows of little guest houses (13) built by Fred Futch. He and Mrs. Futch also had a home among guest houses.  Fred was an Air Raid Warden during WWII and was killed during a black out when a car ran over him.

At the end of K Avenue was the iconic Kure Pier (9) which was built in 1923 by Lawrence Kure, A.E. Kure, Sr.’s brother.  He also served as the first mayor of Kure Beach when it was incorporated in 1947. Across the street was the Smitty’s building (10).  Smitty’s was a restaurant that specialized in seafood, no surprise there. On the end of that building near the pier was Taft Russ’ Tackle Shop.

Number 11 shows three little one story buildings.  The one on the left was the 400 sq. ft. post office.  The next was Fry’s Fundy Café and the third was a small grocery store run by Linwood Flowers at the time.

Building #12 was the Plaza Grill, owned and operated by George & Lola Canoutas.  The Plaza Grill had a restaurant on the end near Fort Fisher Boulevard, which also served as a bus stop for school children and Trailways/City buses. The building also had a Bingo Hall and at Beauty Shop on the main floor with apartments and rooms to rent on the second floor. Their son, Andy Canoutas, is the attorney for the Town of Kure Beach and has held that post for many years.

 

President’s Letter – December, 2019

By Elaine Henson

The Ocean Inn and Café at Kure Beach

Kure Beach founders Hans and Ellen Kure emigrated to Wilmington via Charleston, S.C. from Denmark in the 1880s. They had four sons, William Ludwig, Hans Adolph, Lawrence Christian, Andrew Emile and a daughter, Elene H. Kure Shands.

Their son, Lawrence, who built the Kure Pier in 1923, later built a two-story, white frame building he named the Ocean Inn and Café, south of the pier.  The café took up most of the first floor with rooms to rent on the second floor.  This early linen post card, c. early 1940s, shows the Inn and pier.

In 1944, our region was brushed with an unnamed hurricane referred to as the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944. The worst damage was sustained at the Outer Banks. At Kure, the pier suffered a lot of damage and so did the Ocean Inn.  The pier’s pilings slammed into it and left the building sitting on the beach.

After the storm, Lawrence decided to move it just north of the pier facing the ocean.  He bought the lot from his brother Andrew Emile Kure offering him $5,000 when most lots were going for a few hundred dollars.

Later he built an addition to the Ocean Inn that faced K Avenue across from Smitty’s, the Post Office and Arcade.  It was named the Trading Center which housed three businesses.

On the end near the ocean was Mrs. Davis “Home Cooked Meals featuring her famous ‘Mrs. Davis’ Homemade Hush Puppies’.

Left of her restaurant was the Trading Center where you could buy beachwear, novelties and drug store items.  On the other end was the Fishing Hole Tackle Shop with everything you needed to fish in the surf or on the pier.

Above the businesses were rooms to rent on the second floor of the old Ocean Inn.  The little girl sitting on the bench on the far right is Linda Kure, daughter of A.E. “Punky” and Jean Kure.  Linda later married Clarence “Sonny” Danner whose father had Danner’s Fish Market which was located a couple of doors left of the tackle shop in the card above.

 

President’s Letter – November, 2019

Kure Memorial Lutheran Church Part VII

By Elaine Henson

The Rev. Jacob Young has the distinction of being the longest serving pastor of Kure Memorial Lutheran having served 15 years from 1975 to 1990.  Pastor Frank Perry followed him as interim until Rev. Charles Britton came in November of 1991. He stayed until 1993 followed by interim pastors Rev. Ron Wedekind, Rev. Lawrence Koss and Rev. Frank Ebert from 1993-1997. During that time the church and parsonage sustained damages from back to back hurricanes Bertha on July 12, 1996 and Fran on September 5, 1996.

After that the church devised a hurricane preparedness plan, got a computer and began a monthly newsletter to keep parishioners informed. Later they began recording attendance with pew pads.

Rev. Robert Matthias served from 1997-2000.  During his tenure the congregation formed a Fiftieth Anniversary Committee and began planning for a celebration in August of 2001.  Members were Judy Arndt, Margaret Ford, Joel McKean, Ted & Ellen Prevatte, Tammy Ebersole, Tracy Goodrich, Barbara Vought and Beth Wrenn.

Rev. Paul E. Christ came in 2001 and was installed at the Fiftieth Anniversary service in August of that year by Bishop Leonard H. Bolick.  A special guest attending was Rev. Jack Martin who had served Kure Chapel in the summer of 1951 as a seminarian. He was there when Kure Chapel became allied with the N.C. Lutheran Synod and was also present at their August 26, 1951, first service as Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran. The Fiftieth celebration continued after the service with a dinner on the grounds under a big tent.

Rev. Christ served until 2007.  Rev. Richard Graf came in 2008 to 2011 followed by Pastor Dan Keck who came in 2008 and remains as pastor to Kure Beach Memorial Lutheran Church.

Pastors from 1991 to the present 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Graf 2007-2011

2012-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the last in the series of seven parts of Kure Memorial Lutheran Church history.

 

President’s Letter – October, 2019

By Elaine Henson

Kure Memorial Lutheran Church Part VI

Kure Memorial continued to grow during the 1970s, 80s and into the 90s.

Pastors during those years were: Rev. John B. Barringer 1970-1973; Rev. Everette E. Horne 1974-1975 and Rev. Jacob H. Young 1975-1990.

A highlight of the 70s was the church’s Twenty-Fifth Anniversary celebrated in August, 1976.  Rev. Jacob Young suggested that they invite Rev. David F. Johnson to deliver the sermon since he was the first full time pastor.  Also invited was Dr. F. L. Conrad, who was still president of the Synod and also conducted the first service in the 1955 building.  The Lutheran Church Women provided lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the service.

The archive does not include any photos from the Twenty Fifth Anniversary..  If anyone has photos, please contact FPHPS.

Pastors from 1952 – 1990

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the years before the Kure Beach Community Building was built, several organizations utilized the church’s Fellowship Hall.  The Town of Kure Beach used it along with the Kure Beach Fire Department and the Carolina Beach Recreation Department also used it for exercise classes.  Later it was used by AA and Girl Scouts.  Kure Lutheran was truly an integral part of the Federal Point beach communities.

Next month:  Kure Memorial Lutheran Church, Part VII

President’s Letter – September, 2019

Kure Memorial Lutheran Church, Part V

June 26, 1955, members of the Church Council are pictured in front of the cross in the new church:  L-R Oscar Wren, Merritt Foushee, Jason Lentz, Rev. David Johnson, Bob Ford, Lawrence C. Kure, Bob Hooker, Fred Schenk and Bill Williford. (The photo was taken by Bill Robertson, son in law of Lawrence Kure and then owner of the Kure Pier). These men had not only planned and raised the funds for the new building, but were also literally the driving force behind the construction and must have felt a great sense of pride on that dedication Sunday.

The church already had a Luther League for the youth and they sponsored a Boy Scout Troop.  They also had a weekday church school on Tuesday afternoons, a Women of the Church group with 34 members and basketball teams for boys and girls that played the other church teams on the island. Rev. David Johnson left in 1956 and was replaced by Rev. William Johnson, Jr. who served until 1957.  Rev. Corley Lineberger came next serving from 1957 till 1960.

In the 60’s, Kure Lutheran started a kindergarten that met weekday mornings during the public school year. In 1962, they built a new Fellowship Hall and air conditioned the sanctuary.  There was a fire in the nave in 1964 that burned the back set of arches and part of the roof that had to be repaired. Two years later they  remodeled and air conditioned the parsonage.  Pastors during the 60’s were Rev. Donald Loadholdt, 1961-62 and Rev. Ronald Weinelt, 1962-1970.

Next month: Kure Memorial Lutheran Church, Part VI

 

President’s Letter – August 2019

Kure Memorial Lutheran Church – Part IV

By Elaine Henson

Construction on the new church was rolling along at a very fast pace considering that all but one of the workers were volunteers. By early May of 1955, they had the roof on and had bricked the exterior.  In the photo below you can see the classroom building built in 1953 with a flat black roof.

Work on the interior progressed while the congregation continued to worship in the barracks church building. Over the altar in the back wall they installed the ruby red Belgium glass cross with Martin Luther’s coat of arms in the center.

They put up the elm wood paneling in the chancel and installed the elm pews, both of which remain to this day. You can see them in the photo on the right, from the dedication service which was held on  June 26, 1955.

NC Lutheran Synod President, Dr. F.L. Conrad, Lawrence Kure, Bill Williford and Pastor Johnson laid the cornerstone before worshipers went inside for the service.  Several memorial gifts were dedicated and Boy Scout Bobby Ford was given the God and Country award for his work helping to get the church ready.

It was a wonderful day for the congregation as they celebrated with dinner on the grounds after the Dedication Service. Due to their fund raising, donations and the volunteer work force, they also celebrated that Kure Lutheran’s new building opened debt free.

 

 

 

 

Next month:

Kure Memorial Lutheran Church, Part V

 

 

President’s Letter – July, 2019

By Elaine Henson

Kure Memorial Lutheran Church Part III

In 1953, the growing congregation began planning for a new church building to replace the barracks church.  Their first full time pastor, Rev. David Johnson, had a background in building design and construction, so he took a lead role in planning the new church. He designed a traditional cruciform, cross-shaped, floor plan and building with modern low lines, a Roman brick exterior and contemporary windows. Interior walls would be masonry painted concrete block.  The roof was to be supported with arches and purlins laminated on the job from three quarter inch Douglas fir timbers.

Everything was put on hold until after clean up from Hurricane Hazel, which came ashore on October 15, 1954. Hazel is the only Category Four Hurricane to hit our area in all of the 20th Century to date. It came in on a lunar high tide, wreaking havoc and leaving much devastation.

On February 6, 1955, groundbreaking ceremonies were held with Dr. F. L. Conrad, President of the North Carolina Synod.  Assisting him were Mrs. Ernest Lineberger of the United Lutheran Church Women and Miss Judy Lewis from the Kure’s Luther League.  The barracks church was moved to the back of the lot and they laid out the foundation.

Again, the men of the church were the volunteer labor.  The only paid full time worker was Bob Ford as Construction Supervisor with Rev. Johnson acting as advisor. Construction went quickly and soon cranes were lifting the arches and purlins into place.

Next: Kure Memorial Lutheran Church, Part IV

President’s Letter – June, 2019

by Elaine Henson

Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church – Part II

Kure Memorial Chapel was “Serving the Savior by the Sea” and almost five years old when members and Kure Beach residents were invited to a meeting on August 21, 1951, to discuss its future.  Those attending voted that the Chapel would become Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church and affiliated with North Carolina Synod of the United Lutheran Church of America. That organizational meeting marks the birthday of Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Eighteen adults were present at that meeting including Mrs. Laura Kure Williford, Miss Anne Kure, Margaret and Robert Ford, Bessie and Fred Schenk, Lawrence C. Kure, Oscar and Anna Lee Wren, Isabell and Merritt Foushee, Betty Kure (Mrs. A. E. Sr.) and Jean Gore (later Jean Kure, Mrs. A. E. Jr.).  The group adopted a constitution and elected the following church council members: Lawrence C. Kure, Vice Chairman, Margaret Ford, Secretary, Anne Kure, Treasurer and W. E. Williford, Sunday School Superintendent and Council Members Robert Ford, Oscar Wrenn, Merritt Foushee and Fred Schenk.  The council decided to leave the charter membership open until one month after the arrival of a full time Pastor.

On Sunday evening, August 26, 1951, the new church held a special service to mark the organization of Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran in the barracks church building.  Celebrants were Rev. K.Y. Huddle of St. Matthews Lutheran, Rev. J. Frank Davis of St. Paul’s Lutheran and seminarian, Jack Martin.  The congregation applied for membership in the North Carolina Synod on October 7, 1951.  Rev. Huddle and Rev. Davis continued with Sunday evening services throughout the winter months.

The first congregational meeting was held on January 9, 1952.  There was $227.14 in the general fund and $86.10 in the building fund.  75 members were on the roll with an average Sunday School attendance of 64.  The Council voted to budget $1,000 toward a pastor’s annual salary of $3,600.

In early 1952, men of the congregation began building a parsonage on the lot next door to the church.  It was completed in time for their first pastor, the Rev. David Johnson and his family who arrived in June.

Attendance increased with Pastor Johnson’s ministry. In 1953, the church built its first educational building.  It was brick with four classrooms and two bathrooms.  Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Kure donated $1,300 for the building with matching funds coming from the N.C. Synod and labor from the men of the church.  Dedication services were held for the classroom building on August 30, 1953.

Later that year plans for a new church building began with a fundraising campaign.

Next month:  Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church, Part III

 

President’s Letter — May, 2019

By Elaine Henson

Kure Memorial Lutheran Church Part I

117 North 3rd Street in Kure Beach is the address of Kure Memorial Lutheran Church.  It is a block off of busy Fort Fisher Boulevard and a block from K Avenue.  The brick church building opened its doors for a dedication service on June 26, 1955, but the congregation had its beginnings before that.

Kure Lutheran’s story actually begins during the war years of 1942-43 and not as a church but with nondenominational Sunday School classes at the home of Mrs. W. O. Fickling located near the intersection of S. Fort Fisher Boulevard and K Avenue.  The adults who came were taught by retired Lutheran minister, Rev. B. D. Wessinger.

As the town filled with soldiers and their families, defense and shipyard workers and those with other war related jobs, the Sunday School outgrew Mrs. Fickling’s home.  The Sunday School began meeting in a vacant store building owned by Lawrence C. Kure.

Founders of Kure Beach, Mr. and Mrs. Hans Kure, Sr., had set aside land on 3rd Street for the time when a Lutheran church could be organized.  Hans and Ellen Kure deeded the land to St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Wilmington for safe keeping until the time arose.

In 1946, the Sunday School group reorganized as Kure Memorial Chapel with a constitution and soon after St. Matthews deeded the 3rd Street property to them as a nondenominational church.  Pastor Wessinger, Mrs. Fickling and Lawrence Kure began fund raising for a building with fish suppers and the like.

Soon they were able to purchase two Army barracks from Fort Fisher.  They put them together in the shape of a T and added a vestibule on the front replete with a steeple. The converted barracks were dedicated as Kure Memorial Chapel on December 1, 1946. Pastor Wessinger officiated assisted by Rev. Edwin Carter from Carolina Beach Methodist Church and retired Salvation Army Major John O’Beinne.

The first trustees of Kure Memorial Chapel were Fred Schenk, Linwood Flowers and Lewis E. Weinberg. The first wedding in the Chapel was on July 13, 1949 as Oscar B. Wrenn and Anna Lee Lewis were married by Rev. Edwin Carter and Dexter Moser. A. E. “Punky” Kure and Jean A. Kure were married there in 1952.

Sunday School was held every Sunday with a church service once a month held by Pastor Wessinger until ill health forced him to resign.  In the summer of 1949 Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary student Dexter Moser conducted services every Sunday.  In winter other students from the seminary, located in Columbia, South Carolina, held monthly services.  In the summers of 1950 and 1951 seminarian Jack Martin conducted Sunday services.

Next month:  Kure Memorial Lutheran Church, Part II

 

President’s Letter — April, 2019

By Elaine Henson

Blockade Runner Museum

Blockade Runner Museum

Last month we featured the Picnic Shelter/Gazebo next to the Blockade Runner Museum which is the home of Federal Point Historic Preservation Society.  This month our focus is the Museum.

John Hanby Foard (1901-1977) opened the Blockade Runner Museum in the 1100 block of Lake Park Blvd., Carolina Beach, as a private venture on July 4, 1967, after years of research and construction. He moved from Newton, N.C. to Carolina Beach, living on Raleigh Avenue, in 1965 to begin the museum project.

Foard was a retired textile executive whose interest in the Civil War came from his maternal grandfather John Hazard Hanby (1841-1910).  Hanby was a Confederate veteran who owned the Atlantic View Hotel at Wrightsville Beach in the late 1880s when Wrightsville Beach was known as Atlantic View Beach.  Young Foard delighted in hearing stories of the war, blockade runners and Fort Fisher from his Grandfather Hanby which spurred his life long love of Civil War history.

The museum’s exhibits focused on Fort Fisher and the Wilmington port’s roles with ships getting through the Federal blockade carrying goods vital to the Confederate supply line.  There were several dioramas made by renowned model maker Lionel G. Forrest and ship modes by John Railey. It was open for ten years when Foard died unexpectedly in 1977, but remained open until 1983.

Civil War expert and retired UNCW Professor, Dr. Chris Fonvielle, worked at the museum as curator from 1979-1983.  He recalls that when he put the key in to lock the door on the last day, the key broke off in the lock.  After closing, many of the museums displays went to the Cape Fear Museum where they remain today.  One is a diorama of the Battle of Fort Fisher with lights and sound and the other is a very large model of Wilmington’s waterfront during the Civil War.

In 1989, the Town of Carolina Beach purchased the Blockade Runner Museum and adjoining property in the 1100 block of Lake Park Boulevard for $398,000.  Town officials and employees moved into the renovated museum in 1990 from the Municipal Building across from the marina on the corner of Carl Winner Drive and Canal Drive. In 1999, after record hurricane flooding in the Municipal Building, they added on to the remodeled former museum making room for the police, recreation and other departments.

Twenty years later we have the handsome town complex, separate Recreation Center and converted the picnic shelter, to the Federal Point History Center, on the former Blockade Runner Museum grounds.

In 2016, four of the smaller dioramas from the Blockade Runner Museum were installed in the atrium in the Carolina Beach Town Complex.  One depicts the drowning of Rose O’Neal Greenhow when the blockade Runner Condor went down in 1864; one shows an auction house scene where goods from the blockade runners were sold; another shows Union sailors boarding a blockade runner; and the last is a recreation of Lt. Commander William B. Cushing’s raid on Smithfield, present day Southport.  Visitors can view the dioramas during regular business hours at the town complex.