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By Rachel Johnson
In honor of the upcoming 60th Anniversary of Kure Beach, the Federal Point Historic Preservation Society has been collecting Oral histories as a way to preserve the past. These oral histories have shed a lot of fascinating light on the past. Sixty years of history is a lot to cover and perhaps it is best to start at the beginning with Hans Kure.
Hans Kure and his wife Ellen Mueller Kure of Denmark first came to the Wilmington area in the 1880s with their four sons and one daughter (William L., Lawrence C., Hans A., Andrew E., and Elene). Hans was a retired ship’s captain that built Wilmington’s biggest ship chandler and stevedore operation. In 1900, he purchased property in Carolina Beach and built a store. Hans Kure then went on to build a pavilion, a ladies bathhouse, a bowling alley, a bar, and the Smith cottage. In 1913 he sold some of his holdings at Carolina Beach and purchased a tract of land that extended from Hanby Beach to the gates of Fort Fisher, and from the ocean to the river. It was called the Kure Land and Development Company that developed Fort Fisher Sea Beach later called Kure’s Beach and later incorporated as Kure Beach.
In 1916 the area was referred to as Kure’s Beach because of the family name. There were a few people who lived there year round; a windmill pumped the water and electricity came from a gas motor that ran a small dynamo. All lights were out by 10:00 pm unless you used a kerosene lamp.
In 1923, L.C. Kure built the first fishing pier on the Atlantic Coast. The trees were cut from the river area to be used as pilings for the pier. “In the fall the big blues were caught and in the spring spots, flounder, and many other fish were enjoyed. There were so many people fishing, if you left your place on the railing someone eased into it and you were out of luck. The fee for fishing was thirty-five cents per day and an annual fishing permit was $10.00. At the entrance of the pier there was a building with drinks, bait, tackle, etc. Later Jim’s Café opened,” recalls Jennie Kure Robertson Bagley in a well-written memoir.
In 1947 Kure Beach was incorporated and Lawrence Kure was elected the first mayor. The group photograph pictured above is just one of the treasures that has come to light from the recording of the oral histories and it depicts the old Boardwalk school that was located across the street from the Kure pavilion in Carolina Beach. The school contained the first six grades and grades one thru three were led by Ms. May McFarland and three thru six were taught by Mrs. Woods. The identities of several students pictured are known; however, the majority are not. In the photograph are Robert Waters, Mrs. Woods, Ryder Lewis, Analee Lewis, and Jimmy Lewis. If you recognize anyone or know anything about the dog in the picture please call the Island Gazette at 910 458-8156 or contact Ann Hertzler at 910 458-4703 or Jeannie Gordon at 458-7880 of the Federal Point Historic Society.
Posted by: Admin on Mar 08, 07 | 4:21 pm |