Oral History – John, Mae, and Glenn Flowers – ‘Early Kure Beach’

Interview conducted by Ann Hertzler

Glenn and Marie Flowers

Glenn and Marie Flowers


Kure Beach Liars Bench

Kure Beach Liars Bench

In 1937 John and Mae Flowers started renting a cottage for the summer near the ocean front road near Kure Pier. Owned by Will Kure, a third Kure brother, the cottages had a small kitchenette with an oil cooking stove.  

John and Mae moved permanently to Kure Beach in 1941, during the war to work in the ship yard. In Kure Beach John opened a 3 chair barber shop in a room back of Clarence Danner’s fish market. Outside was a “liars bench” so dubbed because the men sat there, talked, gossiped, and told tales.

John built their first house on South 5th Avenue, a dirt road between J & K Streets hauling dirt to fill the swamp. In the 50s he made the house two story and built cottages nearby.                                                                                  
Son, Glenn Flowers (1928-2009), dropped out of school at about 12 years of age. At 16 (he was really 15) he worked a Civil Service position in the Ft. Fisher Post Exchange running a beer garden – 10 cents for a regular bottle of beer. Glen also worked at the main PX next to the radar building. He passed the test for the Coast Guard, spent 3 years in the merchant marines, and married Marie in 1947. He served as Kure Beach fire chief for a number of years.

comet_boatHe carried people in a motor boat out in the bay to the cribbings and inlets to fish. The first day was very busy with 75 new recruits from Fort Fisher.

For several seasons he and his wife ran a little snack shop at the bay where they rented poles and sold bait. Glenn ran boats for deep sea fishing for 30 some years at Carolina Beach and the end of Fort Fisher Bay – the Comet (40s), the Linda Marie (50s), and the Stella May (60s). He furnished bait and a hand line with about 5 per boat and charged $5 each.

Before Wilmington had a TV station Glen bought a TV from a Kannapolis salesman receiving stations from Charlotte, NC and Omaha, Nebraska. The government bought their 7th street property in the buffer zone behind the Baptist church. They moved their 4 room army barracks house to J Street and added a living room and bed room. About 1980 Glen gave up boating and worked on construction, piping, welding, repairing lawn mowers, and building race cars for Sunday afternoon races at Carolina Beach.

Oral History – Jennie Kure – ‘Kure Family Recipes’

Kure Cottage

Kure Cottage

Jeannie Kure Robertson Bagley, granddaughter of Hans Kure Sr. and daughter of Hans Jr., was born in 1917. They lived in Wilmington during the school year. As soon as school was out in June, Jennie and her four older sisters moved with the family to the beach cottage on Atlantic Avenue and stayed till Labor Day.  In the 1920s Jennie walked out of the family summer home, down the bank, jumped on the beach, ran out about 50 feet, and went swimming.

Before the war, the men wore jersey bathing suits. Jennie didn’t wear wool stockings, like most women, but always had a bathing cap. The Kure Cottage had two floors; a bathroom on each floor, and a big porch with a swing, but no phone. Jennie’s mother made bread and pies every Friday – baking day – in a three burner oil stove. Trash was burned in the woods. Jennie’s father drove to Wilmington everyday in his Model T Ford to work at the Atlantic Coastline.  

When Jennie’s father died, her mother married Lawrence Kure.  LC Kure got the Tidewater Power Company to put in some poles for electricity. He’d make Jennie think she was starting the lights just as it got dark. When they were turned off at 10:00, you sat in the dark if you didn’t have a lantern.

Some Kure Family recipes:
Meat Loaf  – 1 lb. ground chuck, 4 slices bread broken up, S&P to taste, ½ cup ketchup, small onion chopped, 3 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce, 1 egg.  Mix and make into a loaf, Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. (Mrs. LC Kure, Jennie’s mother)

Crab Cakes – 1 lb crab meat, ½ stick melted butter, 2 eggs slightly beaten, 2 tbsp mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce, 4 slices bread toasted, ½ to 1 cup hot water.  Mix ingredients and add water last so it won’t be too liquid.  Bake 350° for 30 minutes in greased pan. (Mrs. LC Kure, Jennie’s mother)

Caramel Icing – 2 cups brown sugar, 5 Tbsp Canned evaporated milk, ½ cup butter or margarine.  Stir till melts. Bring to boil and cook 2 minutes. Remove from burner and add 1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Whip til right consistency for cake. (Jennie Kure)

Chess Pie – ½ stick butter, 1 ½ cups sugar, 2 ½ Tbsp cocoa or 1 ½ squares unsweetened Chocolate. Combine and blend in 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla. Pour in unbaked pie crust and bake 40 to 45 minutes at 350°.  (Jennie Kure)

To Cream Fresh CornCut corn off cob. Heat enough bacon grease real hot in skillet, add corn and stir constantly until cooked.  Turn down heat. Add canned cream (Carnation) 2 tsp at a time until creamed as you like it. Add S&P and a little sugar. Make sure corn is fresh and milky.  (Jennie Kure)

Oral History – Isabel Lewis Foushee – Part 3: ‘School Memories’

Before 1937, the Dow Road Grade School was near Henniker’s Ditch. Katie Burnett Hines was the school marm.  Isabel Lewis Foushee went to Myrtle Grove School for the first grade.

While the Carolina Beach Elementary school was being built behind the Carolina Beach Lake in 1937/38, children attended the Boardwalk School – two rooms of the Old City Hall Building about where Britt’s Donuts is now located. The City Hall had been moved to the new building at the Yacht Basin. A favorite recess activity was taking a long pencil or stick with chewing gum on one end to reach between the plank boardwalk cracks for money dropped by the tourists. “We’d get 25 or 40 cents a day. A better way was using a stick with a split on the end.”

The new Carolina Beach School was less than half the size the school was in 2000. Children took a nickel each day for milk, which was the only thing you could buy at the time. Children rode the # 10 yellow school bus. Mr. Walter Horn and Mr. Merl were the drivers. The school bus turned right past the concrete columns (Fort Fisher Gates) to pick up Cousins Jack and Isabel Lewis. It also stopped at K and Fort Fisher Boulevard.

Grade school students were dropped off at Carolina Beach School.  The bus then continued into Wilmington to Sunset Park Junior High  (7th, 8th, 9th grade)  then to New Hanover High  It was about a 55 minute trip. Children had a good time on the school bus singing and teasing the driver. The kids carried lunch money of about $1.25 a week.

Carolina Beach School – Class of 1937-1938

Carolina Beach School – Class of 1937-1938

Carolina Beach School – Class of 1937-1938
[Click for larger image]

Starting on left:
Front Row: Helen Lewis, Margaret Jordon, Evelyn Bender, Dorothy Grey (holding dog), Gladys Davis, unknown, Anne Coleman,

2nd Row: Billy Dew, Iona May Davis, Billy Strickland, Hugh Kelley, Jimmy Lewis, C. F. Lewis, Robert Watters, Harold Ludwig, Peale Britton,

3rd Row: Anna Lee Lewis, Ryder Lewis, Laurice Hickman, Juanita Bame, Catherine Roseman, unknown, unknown, Colleen Clark,

4th Row: Mac Biddle, Bobby Harlow, Charles Hewitt, unknown, Betty Gray, Ernest Gray, James Lewis, Fred Dew, Richard Wooten, Martin Fields.

Back Row: Teacher 4th, 5th, 6th grade in one room & principal  Madge Woods