Society Notes – October, 2021

By Darlene Bright, History Center Director

  • The History Center had ­­­­­­­­­­­­­ 66 visitors, the highest it’s been since Covid 19 started.
  • Welcome to new members: Alannah Keeler of Carolina Beach, Martha Capel Breslin of Carolina Beach, and C. and Dolly Knowles of Apex, NC

 Our Friend, Danny Thompson

By:  Leslie Bright

We were saddened to learn of the passing of Danny Thompson on September 22nd from a heart problem.  Danny was a good friend and member of our Society.  He would literally go out of his way to give you the shirt right off his back.  He showed up 20 years ago at Carolina Beach and I met him through mutual friends.  He was different and obviously interested in making friends and getting to know everyone.

He drifted around awhile and landed a job with the Town of Carolina Beach.  Turns out, he could drive and operate anything with wheels.  Eventually, he joined the Society to help out as he did with just about every other function in town.  If the Society had a need, he filled it.  He welded bed frames to make our audio visual stand.  He constructed a mobile table that our Society still uses for every meeting to serve refreshments.  He married our past president, Judy Rhudy, and continued to be on call for any occasion.  He had a habit of showing up, out of the blue, from time to time.  I will still look for him.


Memories of Carolina Beach – From Rick McLean

The following is and are excerpt from a letter former Carolina Beach Town Manager, Rick McLean, sent to to Bobby Nivens (Britt’s Donuts) after a visit to the Beach.

Rick McLean in Retirement

“The Bame Family has long and deep connections to Barber Junction North Carolina, not too far from Mooresville. My Dad, Webb McLean, knew the Bame family when he was young, visited Carolina Beach, and stayed at the Hotel Bame before he married my mother, Violet Cook McLean. After they were married Mom and Dad visited the Hotel Bame often before I was born.

When I called Mom to tell her we were moving to the Beach and I was going to be Town Manager she told me “you don’t know this, but Carolina Beach is where you came from.” Dad was experiencing some health issues and he was recuperating at Carolina Beach when I was conceived.

Our family vacationed at Carolina Beach every summer and every Labor Day weekend during my childhood. We always stayed with Dad’s friend, George Bame, at the Hotel Bame.

I remember Britt’s Donut shop, and enjoyed the donuts from the original beach location across the Boardwalk.

As my brothers and I grew older and family circumstances changed, we stopped visiting Carolina Beach. Needless to say I was intrigued when I applied and pleased when I accepted the job as Town Manager.

Eager to learn about our new home we visited the Boardwalk and Britt’s Donut shop with no idea we were about to taste the best donuts in the world and meet fine folks who would remain forever friends.

 Shortly after we arrived I mentioned to Bobby that our daughter, Gretchen, was going to work part-time at the Pizza Parlor next door. Bobby was kind enough to tell me that it would be better if she went to work for him. I later learned how wise his advice was.

 About a year later I was seeking an Executive Assistant and Lynn Nivens Prusa applied. Obviously I knew what a wonderful family she came from and I was pleased to learn how qualified she was. Thus began a wonderful working relationship and Lynn’s long successful career with the Town of Carolina Beach. I made some pretty dumb decisions during my 25 years as Town Manager, but hiring Lynn Prusa ranks as one of the best decisions I have ever made. Thank You Lynn!

All chapters end sooner or later, and Judith and I were presented with the opportunity to return to Mooresville, where both of our families have lived since the 1700’s. We made the difficult decision to leave many wonderful Carolina Beach friends and return to Mooresville.

We left a big part of our lives and a big part of our hearts in Carolina Beach and we still value very highly the wonderful memories and friends from Carolina Beach.”

[Editor’s Note: I worked as Assistant to Rick for approximately two years before Lynn was hired. I have lived in Carolina Beach since 1968, and I felt Rick was the best Town Manager, and the best boss I ever had. We all sure hated to see him and his family leave us but certainly understood their decision to return to Mooresville. – Darlene Bright]


A Sad Farewell to an Island Icon

After 33 years of service, A&G BBQ, one of our long time business members, has friend their last chicken and cooked their last pig! Robert and Angela Stalnaker decided to hand up their aprons and retire.

 

 

 

 

Society Notes – September, 2021

By Darlene Bright, History Center Director

  • The History Center had ­­­­­­­­­­­­­48 visitors.
  • Welcome to new members: Gene and Arlene Rumley of Sanford, Florida, Deb and George “Butch” LeCompte of Carolina Beach and Jim and Gail Hinte of Raleigh, NC.

Tribute

John Edward Gregory, III

Rare picture of John in front of the camera in 2016, just a few doors from his family cottage on Atlantic Avenue.  He was holding an umbrella to shade longtime member Punky Kure who John greatly admired.

It saddens us to announce the unexpected death of longtime member and FPHPS photographer, John Gregory.  John lived in Kure Beach on Atlantic Avenue in his family’s cottage for the past several years.  He was owner of Beach Portrait Photography in Carolina and Kure Beaches and formerly worked for Olan Mills and the News and Observer newspaper in Raleigh.

We knew and loved John as a longtime member of our historical society and our always faithful photographer who was on the scene for our functions without ever being asked. You could depend on John to be there with his camera to record our activities with his beautiful professional photographs.  He worked quietly behind the scenes, snapping away and would email them to us the same day, pro bono. He will be sorely missed by FPHPS.  We extend our sincere condolences to his sister, Susan Gregory McLaurin of Windsor, NC and his many friends.

 

 


Eulogy for John Edwards Nelms

by Leslie Bright

We were saddened to learn that our good friend and longtime member of the Society, John Edward Nelms, Sr., passed away on June 21, 2020.  I first met John and his wife, Judy, in the mid-sixties at the Fort Fisher Underwater Archaeology Lab.  They wanted to see the artifacts recently recovered from the Civil War shipwreck, “Modern Greece”, before his leaving for a tour in Vietnam.

John was born August 15, 1941, in Charlotte, NC, and became a soldier at the early age of 14 when he joined the Civil Air Patrol. Eventually, he served in Vietnam, and received many medals for outstanding service.  John retired after 20 years as Master Sergeant.  He took a job as Building and Grounds Superintendent for the Town of Carolina Beach.  He is best known locally for his landscape designs and development.  After the hurricanes in the 90s, he developed a nationally recognized Sea Oats project.  One little known project that he and his brother, James, volunteered for was to hang the sheetrock in the entire Federal Point History Center.  They say old soldiers never die, they just fade away.  For all those who knew John, his memory will continually live on.


 

Please Support Our Business Members
(and check their web links below)

A & G Barbeque and Chicken

Atlantic Towers

Ned Barnes, Attorney

Beach Photography – John Gregory

Big Daddy’s

BlueCoast Realty, Corp.

Britt’s Donut Shop

Bullard Realty

Captain Charlie’s Adventures

Charles Henson Painting

Coastal K-9 Bakery

Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage –  Kathy Marcinowski

 Got-Em-On Live Bait Club

 Hoplite Irish Pub and Restaurant

 Hurricane Alleys

Island Gazette

Island Tackle and Hardware

Kure Beach Fishing Pier

McQuery Properties, LLC

Tucker Bros. Realty Company

Wilmington Water Tours

Winner Marine Construction

Winner RV Park

In loving memory of the Royal Palm Hotel — the Fountain Family

Society Notes – August, 2021

By Darlene Bright, History Center Director

  • The History Center had ­­­­­­­­­­­­­72 visitors in July.
  • Welcome to new members: Jo Leander of Wilmington.

Please Support Our Business Members  (and check out the links)

A & G Barbeque and Chicken

Atlantic Towers

Ned Barnes, Attorney

Beach Photography – John Gregory

Big Daddy’s

BlueCoast Realty, Corp.

Britt’s Donut Shop

Bullard Realty

Captain Charlie’s Adventures

Charles Henson Painting

Coastal K-9 Bakery

Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage –  Kathy Marcinowski

 Got-Em-On Live Bait Club

 Hoplite Irish Pub and Restaurant

 Hurricane Alleys

Island Gazette

Island Tackle and Hardware

Kure Beach Fishing Pier

McQuery Properties, LLC

Tucker Bros. Realty Company

Wilmington Water Tours

Winner Marine Construction

Winner RV Park

In loving memory of the Royal Palm Hotel — the Fountain Family

Society Notes – July, 2021

By: Darlene Bright, History Center Director

From a Contributor:

Finale of Welborn’s island trilogy published this summer-Crazy Beach Disc III- Craziest Beach from Federal Point Books

Federal Point History Center strives to support local artists and businesses carrying a wide selection of works by local authors and numerous books about local history. One such title the Center carries is by former long-time island resident, Lynn Welborn. His Crazy Beach series concludes with this summer’s release by Federal Point Books of Crazy Beach-Disc III-Craziest Beach.  Welborn grew up on Carolina Beach in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He worked at Britt’s Donut’s as a teen and was the first person Bobby Nivens hired after he bought the business from Mr. Britt in 1974.

Welborn has written two previous volumes, Crazy Beach-Disc I and Crazy Beach-Disc II-Crazier Beach about his experiences growing up here and his other life adventures, which include attending all three official Woodstock Festivals, the first in 1969 as an 11-year old stowaway. The books feature the Ft. Fisher Hermit (“Mr. Robert” to the youth of that era), as well as many other boardwalk, and island icons of that period. Federal Point Books has released this promo for Disc III:

The book, along with its two predecessors, Crazy Beach-Disc I and Crazy Beach-Disc II-Crazier Beach are available via Amazon (just type in L.R. Welborn), and at Old Books on Front St, and Pomegranate Books both in Wilmington, Island Book Store, and the Federal Point History Center both in Carolina Beach, Maritime Market on Bald Head Island, and chain locations everywhere.

The author, who now resides in Wilmington, will be on the boardwalk later this summer for a book signing. Stay tuned for the exact day/time/location. He is looking forward to seeing and catching up with old friends. The book’s Facebook page is Crazy Beach Novels.                                                                                                                                              — Lynn Welborn


Due to Covid, we have had to postpone our membership meetings until September. Therefore, our Board of Directors have appointed officers and Board members for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021.

Officers to serve a one-year term from July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022 are:
      President – Elaine Henson
      Vice-President – Lauren Gibbs
      Secretary – Pam Bramhall
Treasurer – Darlene Bright

Board Members to serve a two-year term from July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2023 are:
      Chris Fonvielle
Jay Winner
Don Snook
Bryon Moore

 Many thanks to John Moseley and Brenda Coffey for their service. They are rotating off the Board after 3 two-year terms in accordance with our Bylaws.


During June, The History Center had ­­­­­­­­­­­­­76 visitors.

  • Welcome to new members: Jane Davison of Carolina Beach, Dick and Shannon Rowe of Carolina Beach, and Chris Rhue, of Wilmington.
  • Apologies to new Lifetime members Julia and Daniel Crouch of Carolina Beach for misreading their membership application in June.

Society Notes – June, 2021

By: Darlene Bright, History Center Director

New Exhibit at Fort Fisher

KURE BEACH, NC—On June 29, 2021, Fort Fisher State Historic Site will debut a new exhibit depicting the contributions and remarkable story of Lumbee Indians at Fort Fisher entitled, A Memory A People Could Not Forget: Lumbee Indians at Fort Fisher.

Guest curated by the Museum of the Southeastern American Indian and the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, the Civil War exhibit conveys the vital role played by Lumbee Indians in building the Fort’s massive earthworks alongside free and enslaved African Americans.

Faced with the reality of conscription and brutal working conditions, the Lumbee Indians endured seemingly endless labor demands in building what came to be known as the Gibraltar of the South. This new exhibit uses text, maps, photographs, and diagrams to show the grim price paid by individuals who were transported more than a hundred miles from home to construct the colossal Confederate fortress.


  • In May, the History Center had ­­­­­­­­­­­­­61 visitors. The UDC held their monthly meeting at the History Center.
  • Welcome to new members: Faith Savoca and Family of Wilmington, Richard Manning of Clemmons, NC, and Lifetime members Julia and Daniel Crouch and Ann Braxton of Carolina Beach.

 Volunteer Service Hours

Does anyone know a teenager or two who need some volunteer service hours?  We are currently cataloging our map collection and need to take a photograph of each map. We need a few days help with our 50 or so maps so that they can be unrolled, spread out on the floor, photographed, and then re-rolled.

Society Notes – May, 2021

By: Darlene Bright, History Center Director

  • Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of longtime Society member Deborah Hockenbury, who passed away on May 4 after a long illness.
  • The History Center had ­­­­­­­­­­­­­64 visitors. The UDC held their monthly meeting at the History Center.
  • Welcome to new members: Brent Byerly of Thomasville, Kelli Weeks of Carolina Beach, John Smith & Jennifer Cameron of Carolina Beach, and Dan Cookinham of Carolina Beach.

 

The Exhibit Committee is working to “spiff up” some of our exhibits. We desperately need someone to build us a scale model of the original Swing Bridge!

We’d also like to do an exhibit on the Federal Point Lighthouse but need someone who can build us a model of the 3rd lighthouse, the one that was a two story house with a light on top. We can provide photos of both. 

 

 

Society Notes – April, 2021

By: Darlene Bright, History Center Director

  • The History Center had ­­­­­­­­­­­­­47 visitors.
  • The UDC held their monthly meeting at the History Center.
  • Welcome to new members: Alise and David Hull of Kure Beach, George Stouffer of Carolina Beach, and Michael McCarley of Wilmington.

                            March Donations – Thank You So Much  

          Donald L. Hatch, Jr.                                 Helen Peterson

          Linda Ogden                                             Garth and Debra Bowling

          Brooks N. Preik                                         Mike McCarley


Don’t Forget to “Like”us on Facebook!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Society Notes – March, 2021

New Book – Chris E. Fonvielle, Jr.

Paperback – Autographed – in Stock

$22.95

 

  • Buried Alive? The Tragic Fate of Samuel Russell Jocelyn, Jr.
  • The Confederate Blockade Runner: Fanny & Jenny and her Legendary Sword
  • The Ill-Fated Lady: The Drowning of Rose O’Neale Greenhow
  • A Man and His Dog: Faithful Unto Death
  • In Search of the Maco Light: The Lower Cape Fear’s Most Famous Ghost Story

 


 Society NotesBy Darlene Bright, History Center Director

  • The History Center had ­­­­­­­­­­­­­57 visitors. The UDC held their monthly meeting at the History Center.
  • Welcome to new members: LIFETIME: Adam Jones of Chapel Hill, Ken Ewing of Carolina Beach, Tom Campbell of Carolina Beach; Corbin and Chad Moose of Salisbury, Robert Brewer of Gaithersburg, MD. Also Business Members Cory and Cathrine Robbins of the Hoplite Irish Pub in Carolina Beach.

Donations – Thank You So Much

       

                         Mike Robertson – Kure Beach Pier                                              Town of Carolina Beach

                         Charles Henson Painting                                                               Jay and Deborah Hockenbury

                         Doris Bame                                                                                       Janice Ludwig

                         James and Clare Kalina                                                                  Bobby and Maxine Nivins

                         Jeffrey and Francis Tarvin                                                             John and Theodore Podkul

                         Charles Yeager, Jr.                                                                          John and Jeannie Gordon

                         Pat Bolander                                                                                     Norm and Margaret Melton

                         Pam and Ray Bramhall                                                                     Adam Jones

                         Lawrence J. Fetner                                                                         Ted and Mary Ann Targonski

                         Shelley Wiltshire

 

Society Notes – Feb, 2021

By Darlene Bright, History Center Director

New Book by Chris E. Fonvielle, Jr.

Now in Stock @ FPHPS

Paperback – Autographed –

$22.95

  • Buried Alive? The Tragic Fate of Samuel Russell Jocelyn, Jr.
  • The Confederate Blockade Runner: Fanny & Jenny and her Legendary Sword
  • The Ill-Fated Lady: The Drowning of Rose O’Neale Greenhow
  • A Man and His Dog: Faithful Unto Death
  • In Search of the Maco Light: The Lower Cape Fear’s Most Famous Ghost Story

JOHN C. GOLDEN

Sadly, the Society has lost another longtime supporter. John C. Golden, Jr., age 79, passed away on Friday, January 29th at Hospice LifeCare Center in Wilmington.

A graduate of Duke and Harvard, he came to Wilmington in 1977, as an employee of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

After he retired, he dedicated his time to telling stories and making music throughout the community. He served as President of the Historical Society of the Lower Cape Fear and was always generous with his time and talent to the entire history lovers’ community.


  • The History Center had ­­­­­­­­­­­­­46 visitors. The UDC held their monthly meeting at the History Center.
  • Welcome to new member: Ned Irvine of Wilmington

Donors

  • Amanda and Jennings Nestor
    *   United Daughters of the Confederacy
    *   Got-‘Em-On Live Bait Fishing Club

 

Society Notes – January, 2021

Harry Edell Oakes, III

January 7, 1943 – November 17, 2020

Our Society says a sad farewell to longtime member and staunch supporter, Harry Oakes. Harry, a longtime employee of the Town of Carolina Beach, is credited with the idea of turning the “new” Town Hall’s gazebo into our History Center in the late 1990’s.

As the story goes, Leslie Bright was talking to Harry about the difficulties the Society was having finding a regular place to hold meetings. Harry suggested we request the town allow us to finish the old Blockade Runners of the Confederacy Museum picnic shelter (gazebo) into a building we could use for a nominal rent on a long term lease. As they say “history was born.” Harry will also always be remembered as “one of the best Shaggers on the Island.”


Society Notes

By Darlene Bright, History Center Director

  • The History Center had ­­­­­­­­­­­­­42 visitors.
  • The UDC held their monthly meeting at the History Center.
  • Welcome to new members: Mark and Foy Yates, Carolina Beach and Gerald Hall, Kure Beach.