Monthly Meeting Report – May, 2013

Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher

Jim Steele, the manager of Fort Fisher State Historic Site was our May speaker. He talked about the history of the site noting that the site was the first designated National Historic Landmark. It’s significance was as the protector of the Port of Wilmington. After 1864 it was the only southern port open to bring supplies in to Robert E. Lee’s army.

Beach erosion has destroyed most of the sea face of the original fort which extended for more than a mile along the ocean. In 1996 the Corps of Engineers installed 3000 feet of revetment to stop this erosion.

Over a half million visitors come to the Fort each year, and guided tours are offered on the hour every day the fort is open to the public.

The Fort Fisher Strategic Planning Committee was formed two years ago to create ideas for the future of the site. Current plans include replacement of the 50 year old palisade fence which has deteriorated greatly. A model of the fabled Armstrong gun is being fabricated to be displayed at the visitor’s center and more interpretive signs will be placed along the trail around the mounds.

New sidewalk and interpretive signs are also planned for Battle Acre which has long been ignored. A lively discussion followed Mr. Steele’s presentation.

Monthly Meeting Report – May, 2012

The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society held its monthly meeting on Monday, May 21 at 7:30 pm at the Federal Point History Center, 1121-A North Lake Park Blvd., adjacent to Carolina Beach Town Hall.

Carolina Beach - Lois WheatleyLois Carol Wheatley grew up in a rural area of Maryland that is now the bustling metropolis of Columbia. She likes to claim she’s pre-Columbian. With an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Maryland, she went on to earn a graduate degree from East Carolina University. Her master’s thesis, “Women Writers of Black Mountain College,” appeared in the North Carolina Literary Review and is now among the permanent collection of the Black Mountain Museum + Gallery in Asheville.

After grad school she went to work as a staff writer for the Herald-Sun in Durham, and for the past ten years has worked as a freelance writer for newspapers, magazines and web sites. For her book, “Images of America: Carolina Beach” she collected photos of Seabreeze, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher from area residents and from FPHPS members, and then put together a slide show for our May 21 meeting.

Also this month we will present our annual 4th Grade essay contest winners. This year we have two winners, Harley Meiks for his creative essay on what it would be like to live in a lighthouse and Nicole Creech for her factual essay on the history of the Federal Point Lighthouse.  Their families have been invited to join us to hear the winners read their essays and receive their awards.


Drawing of the three Federal Pt. Lights by Ramsey Hallmon

Monthly Meeting Report – April, 2012

Devin Kelly

Devin Kelly

Our meeting of April 16 was something different.

We held the opening of our new exhibit: Development Through Leisure: A History of Beach-going in Carolina Beach.  An exhibit by Devin Kelly, Senior, UNCW

If you haven’t see the exhibit please stop by the History Center and take a look. You’ll see the full development of the Carolina Beach/Kure Beach area from Captain Harper and his Shoo-Fly train to the Life Guards of the 1950’s.

Devin Kelly, a senior in Public History at UNCW spent her senior year researching and creating this “beachy” exhibit — with the help of Dr. Tammy Gordon of the UNCW history department.

Devin Kelly, a senior in Public History at UNCW has been working on a new exhibit for us this entire school year. We will “cut the ribbon” on the exhibit and Devin will take a few mintues to share some of the things she learned about the beaches of the Federal Point area.

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Monthly Meeting Report – January, 2012

The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society held its monthly meeting on Monday, January 16 at 7:30 pm at the Federal Point History Center, 1121-A North Lake Park Blvd., adjacent to Carolina Beach Town Hall.

Our speakers this month were Beverly Tetterton and her husband Glenn. They presented a slide program entitled “New Hanover County Names and Neighborhoods” that describes the growth of Wilmington from the 18th century to the modern-day and explains the reasons behind the naming of some areas of New Hanover County.

Beverly Tetterton

Beverly Tetterton

Beverly has served as the Special Collections Librarian, New Hanover Public Librarian at the New Hanover County Public Library for over 30 years. Glenn taught German for 30 years in the New Hanover County Schools.

Together they wrote North Carolina County Fact Book, two volumes which was published in 1998 and 2000. Beverly is the author of Wilmington: Lost But Not Forgotten, published by Dram Tree Books in 2005 and History of the Temple of Israel, published in 2001. She also served as editor of “Strength Through Struggle” The Chronological and Historical Record of the African-American Community in Wilmington, North Carolina, 1865-1950, which was published in 1998 and Wilmington, North Carolina Postcard History, editor, 2000.

Originally from the Williamsburg, Virginia area she attended Peace College, East Carolina University and received her Master of Library Science from North Carolina Central University. Active in a number of Boards and Commissions she has been involved in a number of special projects, many pioneering efforts in the field of digital archives.

Monthly Meeting Report – October, 2011

Bame Hotel

Bame Hotel


The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society held its monthly meeting on Monday, October 17, 2011 @ 7:30 pm at the Federal Point History Center, 1121-A North Lake Park Blvd., adjacent to Carolina Beach Town Hall.

In the mid-1920s a young business man, J.R. Bame, came to Carolina Beach from Rowan County and opened a café on the boardwalk for the summer. His wife’s parents had retired to the beach from Salisbury and the young family
often visited them.

This marked the beginning of the Bame family’s relationship with Carolina Beach.

It would grow to include several beach businesses, hotels, piers, two Carolina Beach mayors, a fire chief and span three generations.

This presentation will tell the story of this remarkable family who made such a mark on our beach community.

Bame Superette and Gas Station

Bame Superette and Gas Station

Our presenter was Elaine Blackmon Henson  who is the author of Carolina Beach: A Postcard History and has also written several articles on area history.

She has served on the board of the Historical Society of the Lower Cape Fear and currently serves on the board of the Federal Point Historical Preservation Society.


Hotel Bame

Monthly Meeting Report – September, 2011

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

Larry Maisel

Larry Maisel

This month’s speaker was Larry Maisel, author of the book Before We Were Quaint.

This book punctures the myth about the nature of the small North Carolina coastal village of Southport. Today it is known as “the town with all the antique stores,” but it’s past is very different. From the mid 1800s to the 1950s Southport was a hard working, sometimes kind of rough, even industrial, town, not merely a fishing village. Only later could it be called “quaint.”

The author unfolds that past for us.

Larry Maisel is a retired broadcast journalist and executive, now living in Southport, NC. Much of his journalism career was spent in the South, where he covered City Hall District Attorney Jim Garrison’s Kennedy Assassination Investigation in New Orleans; the civil rights movement in Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia; and state and local politics in Virginia and West Virginia. He worked in radio news in Maryland. Before_we_were_quaint

He has also written and produced a number of documentaries. His first, in 1965, An April Day in Appomattox, on the 100th Anniversary of Robert E. Lee’s Surrender at Appomattox Court House, and the last, in 2005, Vanishing Village: The Southport That Used to Be.

That followed Southport Remembered: Glimpses of Our Past, produced in 2001. A writer and columnist, his column, “As I See It,” has appeared in the Southport newspaper, The State Port Pilot, and the monthly Brunswick Alive.
In 2006 he co-authored Lelia Jane: A Very Gentle Lady with another Southport historian, Susie Carson.

Monthly Meeting Report – August, 2011

The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society held its monthly meeting on Monday, August 15, 7:30 pm at the Federal Point History Center, 1121-A North Lake Park Blvd., adjacent to Carolina Beach Town Hall.

Sea Turtle


In 1986 Susi Clontz was working at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. She befriended many people including school teacher Charlie Baker. Charlie was also the sea turtle monitoring coordinator of Figure Eight and Hutaff Islands. After many conversations with Susi about animal conservation, Charlie mentioned that Kure Beach was in need of a coordinator and thought Susi would be perfect for the job. Being the country girl that she was, Susi was somewhat reluctant but Charlie persisted promising to teach her all she needed to know about sea turtles.

In 1987 with new found knowledge and permit in hand Susi began her first season as sea turtle monitoring coordinator of Kure Beach. At first she walked the three miles of beach every morning alone searching for signs of nesting turtles – something that she had only seen in pictures. It didn’t take long before she realized that she couldn’t do this by herself so she drafted her husband Rusty who was willing to help but just as inexperienced as Susi. Neither of them had ever seen a real crawl. They were told it looked like a single tractor tire track coming out of the water and going back in. They did finally find one that season and the excitement was overwhelming. They were hooked for life.

For many years it was just Rusty and Susi but along the way they gathered others that were just as interested in helping save the sea turtles as they were. In 2001 the volunteer program was officially put in place to help Susi and Rusty with nest monitoring and in 2003 “The Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project” was born and became incorporated as a non-profit organization. Susi and Rusty were surprised at the overwhelming support they received from the community. They had no idea there were so many people who loved sea turtles as much as they do.


Monthly Meeting Report – November, 2010

The Federal Point Historic Preservation Society held its monthly meeting on Monday, November 15, 2010 at 7:30 pm at the Federal Point History Center, 1121-A North Lake Park Blvd., adjacent to Carolina Beach Town Hall.

Book: A Day of Blood“A Day of Blood” proclaimed Raleigh’s News and Observer about the events of November 10, 1898. On that date, white rioters in Wilmington murdered blacks in broad daylight and overthrew a legitimately elected Republican government without opposition by the public or intervention by the authorities.

Our speaker this month was LeRae Umfleet author of Day of Blood: The 1898 Wilmington Race Riot. This thoroughly researched, definitive study examines the actions that precipitated the riot; the details of what happened in Wilmington on November 10, 1898; and the long-term impact of that day in both North Carolina and across the nation.
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Monthly Meeting Report – July, 2010

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

Our speakers this month were Ben Steelman and Amy Hotz of the Wilmington StarNews, talking about their new book, Wilm on Film. In directory format, the book covers just about every feature film, made-for-TV movie, and TV series filmed in Wilmington and surrounding counties.

The book is a celebrity watchers’ dream. Longer articles focus on some of the bigger projects such as Fire Starter, Blue Velvet and, of course, Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill. Each entry includes a plot synopsis, a list of the major actors and filmmakers involved, a guide to area locations used in filming/taping and a miscellany of fun facts.

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Oral History – Isabel Lewis Foushee – Part 2: ‘Lewis Grocery’

By Ann Hertzer – from her interview with Isabell Foushee on January 12, 2007

Lewis Grocery at K Street and 421: Mrs. Lewis, her son, bus station sign and kerosene pump.

Lewis Grocery at K Street and Hwy 421
Mrs. Lewis, her son, bus station sign and kerosene pump.

When Isabel Lewis was 13 or 14, before World War II ended, the family moved to Kure Beach.

Her parents, Ed and Gertie Lewis, opened the Lewis Grocery or Kure Beach Grocery at the stop light at the southwest corner of K Ave at 421 Hwy – an old frame building that has since been torn down and rebuilt in brick.

The Lewis Grocery had 2 gas pumps out front and also had a kerosene pump at the end of the building, sold for cook stoves in cottages. It had an apartment at the end of the grocery store and a little store room. The Citco Station is now there.

A service station was located catty corner from the Lewis store; Canoutas Café where the vacant lot is now.

Gus from Burlington tried to sell them the Big Daddy’s land for $10,000. He might as well have said 10 million because Isabel said they didn’t have two nickels to rub together. Mr. Flowers opened a grocery store on K Avenue. When they moved to Kure Beach, the town was not incorporated yet. The governor appointed Ed Lewis to the first town council.

Because meat was rationed during the war, dad would get a cow or a bull off the island, have it butchered in Lumberton, and bring it back to the store to sell the meat. Isabel stood on a stool by the scales and told how many ration stamps were needed. People were more interested in how many rationing stamps it took than how much money it cost. They wanted some beef. When doors opened at 7 o’clock, a line would be waiting. One day while selling meat, Isabel found out that it was the pet “Booie”.  She just had to walk out.

Her folks built and ran a fish market at the Lewis grocery. Bob Ford (Margaret’s husband) worked at the store some and later rented it. If local fish wasn’t available locally, they’d get it from Failes wholesale fish house in Wilmington.

During the depression we didn’t have enough money to go to a bank. Mother would say “We’re banking and getting change in the Wilmington bank.” Back then, Monkey Junction was a big intersection with a grocery-service store combination and monkeys out back in cages.  About 1950 the Bank of Carolina Beach opened.

Going to the Carolina Beach boardwalk once a week was a special treat. Everyone would sit on the plank boardwalk (now cement) on the ocean side and watch the parade of tourists. We couldn’t wander away. We played around on the board walk and went on the rides. Most of the games came in at the end or after the war – penny pitch tosses, target shooting with rifles, or ball games to knock the milk bottles over – lots of tourist traps.

Many soldiers were down at Fort Fisher. Target planes would fly over. The machine gun embankments were out at the edge of the water. They would have the big guns out there, too. During anti-air craft training the pilings were shot out from under the Ft. Fisher Pier and finally went in the water. Isabel remembers going out at night on the beach and watching fires out on the ocean where the ships had been torpedoed. One German sub shot the land one time just above Kure Beach. During that time, we could not have lights shining at night. Dark blinds were needed.

Fort Fisher brought soldiers in by the 1000s for anti-air craft training. Convoys of big trucks would rumble by for 3 or 4 hours at a time. My folks’ property joined the base property. The MPs went up and down the road that divided the two properties. We could hear the men and the bugle playing taps every afternoon and we knew they were taking the flag down. We got to know a lot of them.

Isabel and her husband built the Center Pier two blocks this side of Wilmington Beach near the big high rise. They opened the pier the first of July; Hurricane Hazel came along October 15, 1954 and took it out. During the eye of Hurricane, her husband came back with a box of fish hooks in one hand and a piece of a reel in the other. It took the pier and the tackle shop down and moved the septic tanks out on the sand.

Isabel was out of high school 12 years before her three boys got up in school. Then she went to Wilmington College for two years and to East Carolina to finish a bachelors and a master’s degree. She then taught English at UNCW.