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 – 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 – 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

 

Kure Beach Mayor’s Message at Dedication Ceremony of Fire Hall Heglar Station

–  Kure Beach’s New Town Hall and Fire Station

May 14, 2019 11:30 am

Welcome friends and neighbors to this special event, I am Craig Bloszinsky, the Mayor of this group of service minded commissioners which you elected and entrusted to guide the workings of this community. We welcome our guests from our neighbors, our county, our state, and our country who are here to celebrate with us. We are all proud and happy with this new facility. Today is a day of celebration and hope.

I thank Pastor Keck for asking God’s blessing on all those who had a hand in bringing this to reality. Who are these people, it is you, this is your building, you paid for it and it stands as your representative past and future devoted to your service. I also want to let the staff know, Nancy, Mike, John, Jimmy, Arlen, Nikki, Ed and their staff, that their service in moving to trailers, suffering the crunch of space, the extent of Hurricane Florence and its damage, moving back into a new structure and keeping all services as if things were normal was outstanding leadership on their part. Give them a hand, I ask that you remember that in your dealings with them as they work hard to support you.

As a community, Kure Beach, we are blessed with the incredible beauty of the ocean and the river, the insight of the fathers of our town in the layout and the vision of what it could be. We celebrate these new buildings today with the presence of the founding family, Punkie Kure, and the legacy of this pioneering and insightful family. There are two plaques representing the founding family that were part of the old structure, one will be added with the new dedication plaque in front of the town hall entrance and the other to a stand in front of the fire station, both original, historic and appropriate as testaments to the work and memory of these men.

Now lets dedicate these structures, you have just heard from Commissioner Allen Oliver how this complex was completed on time ( except for hurricane Florence’s impact ) and under budget. Remarkable in itself but you may ask “why now”? Our old building served us when the town had 1500 residents, we are now 1000 residents stronger, it is testament to the future of the Kure Beach that will be built in the 220 open lots and the future cottage rebuilds. It’s important as a place to work, to build morale for town and for staff, to represent you and this beautiful home of ours. It is a time of financial strength as this and other councils have built a strong financial base and reserve to ensure you the safety, services and cleanliness we all want.

Today we dedicate this complex of buildings to those who made this town their home and care for this community and its past and future. Notice that we did not add council names, this is not about Mayors or Commissioners this is yours and ours to the extent that we are citizens together to ensure that the character of our town is preserved.

Naming the Fire Hall

Now that the complex is dedicated as shown on this plaque, lets talk about naming the Fire Station.

Citizens of Kure Beach, we are not intending to name every building, however this moment in our history offers a unique opportunity to recognize selfless service across generations for an impressive period of time.

Your naming committee has followed the process under Article 4 Facilities, Section 4.03 Naming Public Facilities adopted 06/16/2009 to consider naming the new Fire Hall structure in the Town Complex.

There have been many volunteers for our Fire Dept. over the years, individuals like Wayne Bostic who served as chief and dedicated 47 years to this town. I would say that beyond Wayne and other respected individuals none have contributed at the levels of three generations of the Heglar Family.

Fire Dept. Service : Harold – 45 years, 42 as Chief, official leader of the Fire Dept. growth till last year. Jerry – 45 years volunteer service as fire fighter, one year as Chief. David – 22 years volunteer service as fire fighter, 13 years voluntary service as Emergency Manager. These three men provided 125 years of service to the Fire Dept. More than a century of volunteer work over 3500 emergency calls and only 13 years of salary to Harold as the Fire Chief. 112 years flat out free to this town, to you citizens.

These courageous men walked into buildings on fire, took small boats into the fog to rescue errant boaters and into the surf in all seasons to rescue distressed individuals in the water. They accepted the mental burden of managing hurricane recoveries, leaving home, family and any activities at any time of day or night when others needed help. I have no idea how to measure that.

This tally is not near complete as it does not cover the service on Town Council for David or his Grandfather Dub. It does not include Dub’s tenure as Police Chief for the 5 times he stood in to serve when the town had no officer, or his 25 years of service as the Director of Public Works. It does not include the service of Michael as lifeguard or in Public Works. It does not include Diane and Harolds founding of the Kure Beach Fantasy Christmas Show we have enjoyed for the past 19 years. It does not cover the support of the Heglar Wives, Sons and Daughters to their men and the town during hurricane recoveries and other emergencies.

Therefore The Naming Committee and Council are proud to name the new Fire Hall Heglar Station in recognition of the incredible service of this family to this town. Life Guards, Police Chief, Fire Chief, Emergency Manager, Councilman, Firefighters, Director Public Works, this family is part of the lasting fabric of this town and these men especially and their families most certainly deserve your gratitude.

Jerry and David grab each end of the item on the table, Harold please pull off the cover. The sign will be affixed to the building as shown on this slide.

This community does have HOA’s but I tell you Kure Beach is the entire community, the entire community is our neighborhood, so I ask you all to get involved, step up to serve as a volunteer as these and others on our town committees, the beauty and success of our town depends on it.

Now please adjourn to the outside of the building for the ribbon cutting.

Craig Bloszinsky

The History of Kure Beach: the Family Beach

By Nancy Gadzuk

Brenda Fry Coffey, FPHPS Board member, life-long resident of Kure Beach, and author of Kure Beach (Images of America) spoke at the November 19, 2018 meeting of the Federal Point Historic Preservation Society. She spoke on the History of Kure Beach: the Family Beach.

Brenda focused her presentation on the people of Kure Beach, primarily the Kure family and other families who lived in the town during the 1940’s and 1950’s.

Her presentation was a family photo album featuring these Kure Beach families, among others: The Kures, starting with Hans Anderson Kure Sr. and his wife Ellen in the late 1800’s, to Punky and Jean Kure more recently. The Kures purchased 900 acres of land, which became the town of Kure Beach. Kure’s Pier and Beach was “where you are always welcome.”

She talked about the Lewis family: Ed and Gertie Lewis ran a combination gas station, restaurant, and fish market in Kure Beach, and had turtles in a pen that kids could touch.

The Walter Winner family lived and fished right on the water at Fort Fisher. Walter was known for having caught the second manta ray ever off the Atlantic Coast. Teddy Roosevelt caught the first.

Pictures of Mitsn Saunders, the Glenn Flowers family, the Frys, Heglars, Canoutas, and others were shown during Brenda’s presentation.

The buildings in the background of many of these family pictures provide a story of how Kure Beach has changed over the last 75 years. Many of the houses were simple wooden barracks that families bought for $175 each, and placed on lots bought from Lawrence Kure for $200. Walter Winner had wheels on the bottom of his house (on Battle Acre Road near the Fort Fisher monument) so he could move it himself.

The Kure Beach post office was not heated or insulated, and certainly not air- conditioned. Mitsn Saunders, the first postmaster, used to bring the stamps home in the summer and steam them apart since the humidity in the building made them stick together.

In the 1950’s, the Kure’s house was the largest in town, a brick ranch with 2 bedrooms, a living room, dining room and even a garage. It was demolished in 2017 to make way for something bigger.

The site of the Winner house and small store at the corner of Fort Fisher Boulevard and F Avenue is now a massive glass house that’s been featured in Wrightsville Beach Magazine and the Star News.

The barracks are mostly gone and replaced with much larger houses. But Kure Beach is still a family beach, and the fish still bite – or not – as they did during the times Brenda shared with us in her presentation.

 

Holiday Shopping – FPHPS Gift Shop

 

Local Flavor - CookbookDoes everyone in your extended family have one of our Local Flavor Cookbooks?  How about friend and neighbors!

At $25.00 it’s the perfect homegrown gift for every cook you know. It is full of “cookable” recipes mostly built from ingredients you already have in your pantry or can pick up at any local grocery store.  And, it has a section with historic highlights of well known restaurants of Federal Point.

Don’t forget our t-shirts are a real bargain at  $12.00 each..  We’ve got plenty of the Society shirts in every size and color.  We’re also well stocked with the Ocean Plaza BIRTHPLACE of the SHAG shirts.  Anyone with a history of the Boardwalk would love this reflection of  our history.

Books, Books, Books! We have lots of books that relate to the history and culture of our area.  The two most important are Elaine Henson’s Carolina Beach in Postcards and Brenda Coffey’s new Images of America: Kure Beach.  Both are well researched and would be a great present to anyone who’s interested in the history of our local area.

Carolina Beach in PostcardsCarolina Beach, North Carolina, has been a destination for beachgoers, boaters, and fishermen since the 1880s. Visitors came first by the combination of river steamers and a train and later by automobiles to seek respite from the summer’s heat and the daily grind. This book shares the history of this seaside community through the postcards its visitors sent home. From the early hand colored cards printed in Germany to the modern chrome cards of today, we see the people and places of Carolina Beach.

Kure Beach derived its name from a Danish immigrant named Hans Anderson Kure, Sr. He began acquiring land in the area in 1891, and  by 1900, he had purchased 900 acres just south of Carolina Beach to Fort Fisher.

He established the Kure Land and Development Company and in 1913 produced a map of Fort Fisher Sea Beach, which would later become Kure’s Beach and eventually Kure Beach. In 1923, the first wooden fishing pier on the Atlantic coast was constructed by Lawrence Kure.

DAN PRI, one of the first surfboard companies on the East Coast, was also established at Kure Beach.

The area is rich in historical significance from Verrazzano’s discovery to Cape Fear Indians, pirates, lighthouses, the “Rocks,” the Ethel Dow Chemical Plant and the community’s role in both the Civil War and World War II.

 

November Meeting – Brenda Coffey – Kure Beach

The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, November 19, 2018 at 7:30 pm at the Federal Point History Center, 1121-A North Lake Park Blvd., adjacent to Carolina Beach Town Hall.

Our speaker this month is a lifelong resident and member of the Federal Point Historic Preservation Society, Brenda Fry Coffey.

In 1943, Brenda, her mother and father (Fundy and Mary Lee Fry), along with her grandfather and grandmother (Charlie “Pa” and Ada “Ma” Fry), moved to Kure Beach from Lumberton, North Carolina.  Her father and grandfather worked in the shipyard during World War II in Wilmington building Liberty ships. After the war, they opened a restaurant at Kure Beach called “Fundy’s”.

Brenda is retired from the New Hanover County Department of Emergency Management.  She currently serves on the Board of the Federal Point Historic Preservation Society and is actively involved in her church, Kure Beach First Baptist.

The concept of recording the history of Kure Beach was sparked over a lunch conversation with Punky and Jean Kure over ten years ago,  Thanks to the generosity of many, it has been her honor to make this history a reality.

 

Book Launch!

Kure Beach: Images of America
Arcadia Books, $21.99

Federal Point History Center

Saturday April 21 .. 1 pm – 3 pm

Please join author, Brenda Coffey, who will be signing books and postcards.

Kure Beach derived its name from a Danish immigrant named Hans Anderson Kure Sr. He began acquiring land in the area in 1891, and by 1900, he had purchased 900 acres just south of Carolina Beach to Fort Fisher.

He established the Kure Land and Development Company and in 1913 produced a map of Fort Fisher Sea Beach, which would later become Kure’s Beach and eventually Kure Beach.

In 1923, the first wooden fishing pier on the Atlantic coast was constructed by Lawrence Kure. DAN PRI, one of the first surfboard companies on the East Coast, was also established at Kure Beach.

The area is rich in historical significance—from Verrazzano’s discovery to Cape Fear Indians, pirates, lighthouses, the “Rocks,” the Ethy Dow Chemical Plant, and the community’s role in both the Civil War and World War II. Most cherished, though, are the people that loved living a relaxed, peaceful life in their “paradise.”