Federal Point was once the name of a peninsula 15 miles south of Wilmington, bounded by the Cape Fear River, the Myrtle Grove Sound, and the Atlantic Ocean. Fort Fisher, Kure Beach, Carolina Beach, and Seabreeze now line its sandy shores. Fort Fisher played a pivotal role in the Civil War, and when it fell in 1865, the Confederacy lost its last supply line. A century later, the Fort Fisher Hermit became a local legend, teaching a litany of common sense and simplicity to legions of visitors. Carolina Beach and Kure Beach suffered a spate of fires and hurricanes that destroyed amusement park rides, arcades, and especially fishing piers. Seabreeze was an all-black resort during the Jim Crow era, and its greatest legacy is the R&B music and dance of the 1940s that gave rise to today’s ever-popular beach music and shag dancing. The Army Corps of Engineers created Snow’s Cut in 1930, connecting the river to the sound and turning the peninsula into an island that is now known as Pleasure Island.
Author Bio: Members of the Federal Point Historical Society generously shared their memories and photo albums to contribute to Carolina Beach. Lois Carol Wheatley also drew from other sources, such as the Cape Fear Museum, New Hanover County Library, UNC’s Wilson Library, and the state archives. She has 20 years of professional writing experience, an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Maryland, and a graduate degree in English from East Carolina University.
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