On April 5, 1947 Fort
Beach was incorporated as
Town of Kure Beach, North Carolina. Named after Hans Kure.
is located approximately 18 miles south of Wilmington, North Carolina.
In 2000, its yearly full time population was 851 residents and has an estimated
in flux of 2,500 visitors/day during the months of May, June, July, August and
Beach waters are bath able from late May thru mid September. Fishing is year
round. Its peak season is from late September thru Thanksgiving. Spots,
Flounder, Virginia Mullet, Red Drum, Trout plus many other fish are caught from
the shores of Kure
Name “Cape Fear”
is associated with the many ship wrecks of the 16 and 17th century along the
dangerous shoals which extend from the mouth of the Cape Fear River 25 miles
out into the Atlantic Ocean. The earliest
Spanish explores faced pirates, hurricanes and isolation. Local maritime history
reports the first ship built in the new world was the result of a Spanish Galion
striking the shoals and sinking. Its surviving crew is reported to
have built the first ocean-going ship in the new world.
Along with pre-colony history, the area is comprised of much Civil War History.
known as the Gibraltar of the South, offered
protection for Blockade Runners. These small, fast, light color gray ships
would travel from Nassau and other British
colonies to deliver war supplies through the Cape Fear River & Buzzard Bay
via New Inlet in exchange for cotton, tobacco and other agricultural products.
Two battles, December 25, 1864 and January 5, 1865 each hosted the Largest
Navel /Sea and Land Battle to that time. 10,000 sailors and Marines and 57
ironclad warships were ordered by President Abraham Lincoln to storm the beach
here and take Fort
Fisher. Fort Fisher
was the last outside link for European supplies for the confederacy. General
Robert E. Lee surrendered three months after the fall of Fort Fisher.
Not until Gualala
Canal and the Normandy Invasion
of World War II had mankind seen such a battle. Fort Fisher
State Historic Site host
many artifacts, grounds to walk on and picnic areas. During December and
January of each year, Christmas social parties and reenactment battle maneuvers
are open to the public. Other activities are held throughout the year.
In the 1920s, Lawrence Kure,
son of Hans
Kure, built the FIRST pier on the east coast of the United States.
Built with pine trees the pier lasted one whole year. Today his great-grandson
Mike Robertson maintains the location with a brand new pier.
hurricanes, Ms. Bertha and Ms. Fran of 1996, knocked down the 1982 pier.)
December 11, 1942: Germany declares war on
the United States.
U-boats, Wolf Pac class
being torpedoing merchant shipping all along the eastern shores of the United
States including the Carolina's and Fort
Beach. By war's end, more
than 200 ships and thousands of lives are destroyed. Several of our residences tell of the many fires of
innocent merchant ships
seen just off shore along with tons of debris washed ashore. Since submarines had
to operate in waters 60 feet or more to escape detection by air, shipping lanes
were less than five miles off our beach. Blackouts were mandated at night for
all the homes and business. In 1942, known as Torpedo Alley, the US lost most of
its ships to these submarines. Many unofficial accounts from retired Army guest
who were stationed here at that time, tell of a German U Boat firing its deck
cannon on the now, old abandoned Dow Nickel Chemical Plant. Confirm this,
then the US
mainland was attacked during World War II. Dow Nickel, 1920-1950's, removed the
nickel and lead from seawater. The nickel and lead were used as a
lubricant-additive for gasoline, thus making it a possible military target.
During World War II, many of the earthen mounds of Fort Fisher
were pushed down for the use of a Army airstrip. Locals tell us this landing
strip was not primary used for defense but served as a rest stop for "Camp
Davis" personal. Camp Davis is located about 45 miles north of Fort Fisher Sea
Beach. Larger aircraft working out of Wilmington and other major coastal ports
were used to attack U boats. Slowly all U boats were defeated. After WWII, Fort Fisher
became a small residential / tourist village.
the Cold War, the US Air Force placed an active Radar Base just north of the
historic site of Fort
Fisher. Two large (apx.
125 feet in diameter, 35 feet off the ground) golf ball shape buildings housed
radar equipment that scanned 1,000s of miles of skies above the Atlantic Ocean.
Folklore has it that the strength of the radar beams kept the building heights
to a maximum of 35 feet in Kure
Beach. These Radar domes
were removed in 1999. I am assuming, but the FAA had one replaced in 2001.
In 1997, the US Army Corp of Engineers dredged and widened the shoreline
approximately 80 yards.
In 1997 Kure Beach celebrated it's 50th anniversary.
There was one US Post Office, one stop
light, one fire department, police station, a Baptist Church, a Lutheran
Church, a new fishing pier, four restaurants, two convenient stores/gas
stations, two bait n tackle beach shops, two gift/tee shirts shops, a bar room,
pier /arcade house, and an arcade building. Also there are a dozen or so family
owned motels and beach rentals.
Many of our guests are third, fourth and fifth generations. Many happy
family vacations have happened here in Kure Beach. Please
come and visit.
the past 18 month, Kure
Beach, along with other
coastal communities, has seen a tremendous land valuation increase. Over the
past two years, land values have increase 4-10 times. The shock value of land
prices along with a slow local tourist economy has led to the demolition of
three long time standing motels, the closing of a third and the forecasted
destruction of two more this winter. The “Docksider Motel”, “Sea Shore Motor
Lodge” and the “Sand Castle Inn” have fallen to the bull dozer and are now
vacant lots. Many of Kure Beach’s longtime residents to have sold their homes
and moved into Wilmington.
Land marks like the “Kure Beach Fishing Pier”, “Big Daddy’s Restaurants”, "Blue
Marlin Beach Shop", "Blue Marlin Apartments" and
four other smaller motels are standing tall.
Its been a year
since we updated this page on our web site. "Trade Winds Motel" has
been knocked down and a half a dozen townhouses are now going up in its place.
The "Nelsons Motel", constructed in the 1990's, is being disassembled
and is scheduled to be carted off by truck. "Fish Tails" and "Sea
Gulls Bait 'n Tackle" are closed at this time.
Kure Beach, 60 years of age.
Resource links, click for an
articles in the following web pages:
"Town of Kure Beach's"
"StarNews, Kure Beach's at 60"
.... To be continued. Gilbert Alphin
7:30 am- 10:30 pm
PO Box 101
Kure Beach, NC 28449