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First know simply as The Banks, and then as Ocean View Beach, the town of Wrightsville Beach was incorporated innamed for the Wright family of Wilmington who owned large tracts of land nearby and for whom Wrightsville Sound and the small community of Wrightsville on the mainland side of the current drawbridge were already named. Accessibility to the beach improved in when the Shell Road — following the route of current Wrightsville Avenue — was completed, running from Wilmington, 10 miles west, to the edge of what is now the Intracoastal Waterway and the Heide Trask drawbridge. Soon after, Wilmington Seacoast Railroad Co.
The Hammocks was a smaller barrier island between the mainland and the beach proper. When visitors got off the beach cars at the Hammocks, they then took a footbridge across Banks Channel to the beach. Inthe rail line was extended across the Hammocks and onto the barrier island, later known as Wrightsville Beach, where it then ran southward along a route which is now South Lumina Avenue.
The winter of the small-gauge railroad system to the beach was converted to an electric trolley system connected to the streetcar system in Wilmington. The Beach Car was now run by electricity and during the summer months, heavily used. On July 4,passengers traveled to the beach by rail. Lumina was constructed on feet of ocean frontage and later expanded to include access to Banks Channel on the sound side.
This 12, square foot complex presented visitors with three levels of games and activities including a magnificent dance hall, a movie screen in the surf, and a bath house with changing rooms and showers. The Great Fire of destroyed over one hundred buildings on the north end of Wrightsville Beach, including The Oceanic Hotel, but not touching the south end or Lumina. Inthe trolley era began to give way to the automobile, with the last trolley running in The tracks were pulled up, sold for scrap metal, and the track-bed paved for cars.
Hurricane Hazel hit Wrightsville Beach, at high tide and with a full moon, on October 15,destroying approximately houses and damaging more. Hazel continues to be the only documented Category 4 hurricane to make a direct hit on the North Carolina coast. A new era began in the s as Wrightsville Beach rebuilt after Hurricane Hazel. Currently, there are 2, year round residents, with the population swelling toin the summer months.
From a field of marshy land to a center of family fun, Wrightsville Beach Park, along with the Parks and Recreation Department, has become important to the Wrightsville Beach community…. Although recreation certainly did not lack, organized activities did. This inspired a group of people to turn Wrightsville Beach into more than just sand and surf when seeking leisure activities.
ature to the area during the time, parks and recreation were casual and unofficial. However, bythe town was ready for an established program. Just over a year later, the land of what is Wrightsville Beach Park was obtained for use.
Early on, some of the major activities promoted included boating and sailing lessons, regattas, and classes in the arts. French, clogging, and sewing were some of the most popular of these workshops. However, as classes came and went, the ideals of the Parks and Recreation Department stayed the same. Recreation brings a community together and improves quality of life. Because of this, a variety of recreation programs evolved to fit the interests and needs of a growing population.
After years of funding and programs, the Parks and Recreation Department merged with the Department of Planning and Inspections to create the Department of Planning and Parks.
Still, recreation carried on. Renovations have also been completed to provide modern safety and improved equipment for youth and adults alike. The most recent renovation of playground equipment in Wrightsville Beach Park included the Liberty Swing, which provided accessibility for disabled children. The legacy of the Parks and Recreation Department will continue to be seen as recreation persists and continues to grow in the town of Wrightsville Beach. Up to twenty-five round trips per day were made.
A ft. The annex was destroyed in an wind storm and the main hotel was destroyed by fire December 25, Separate bath houses for men and women were added the following year. Closed in Used as a theatre and dance pavilion.
Inthe name was changed to Atlantic Yacht Club. After the Great Storm inthe clubhouse was completely rebuilt and remained in operation until the land was sold in Windmills were used to pump the water to its destination. It carried water to the beach from artesian wells on Harbor Island. Foster and another fifty cottages were built within a year. Other hotels in existence were Atlas House which burned in and was replaced by the Ocean View Hotel in The Seashore Hotel was destroyed by fire inbut rebuilt in James Church. The Shelter was destroyed in the Great Storm of and never rebuilt.
The beach had ly been called Ocean View Beach. Dual tracks were eventually put in place at Station 1 and Station 7 Lumina to allow trolleys to pass one another. It offered free motion pictures and opera. Electricity remained free until Sadly, Lumina was demolished in Round trip took over sixteen hours.
InPresbyterian church moved to the corner of W. Oxford St and maintained the name Little Chapel on the Boardwalk. Episcopalians had established St. Andrews on the Sound in Cutbert Martin was appointed official chaperone so that single ladies could come to Lumina unescorted. Assisted by bouncer, Tuck Savageand a staff of other proper ladies, they enforced policies such as no hand holding, no public kissing, no foul language, no undue closeness, and not allowing a lady to take the arm of a gentleman unless offered.
The most visitors ever. The steel pier was never rebuilt. The Wright Bros. The WBFD incorporated in Also, it shall be illegal for any person wearing a bathing suit to promenade on the boardwalk. At 10 miles long, it was the longest gas line in North Carolina.
Auditorium Circle, which marked the west and south boundaries, still exists today. During WWIthe Auditorium was used for naval training.
Inthe Auditorium was converted to a talking picture theatre and later demolished in Luckily, none of the several hundred passengers were seriously injured. It burned inwas rebuilt at Wrightsville sound in near the eventual draw bridge. The name changed to the Ocean Terrace Hotel. Later groins were constructed at stations 1 and 2 plus other locations.
Accessed by a special new trolley spur on Harbor Island and boat, it was abandoned in due to a series of fires in some of the public buildings, coupled with storm and tidal damage. The Causeway toll was 10 cents per person, 25 cents per car and 50 cents per truck.
And later Mrs. The over 55 ft. This was part of a major government project to provide inland boat access from Boston the southern tip of Florida. All twenty units included kitchen with sink, bathroom and shower. It became a summer annex to the Cape Fear Country Club. The Casino closed in and was demolished. Only a half-dozen buildings survived.
Eventually four gasoline service stations operated on Harbor Island. A raised foot bridge ran adjacent to the westward lane on the south side of the bridge. Currently it is commonly known as Oceanic Restaurant and Pier, but locals still refer to it as Crystal Pier. The impact of cars and busses led to the demise of the trolley. Much of the steel was used in WWII war effort. Therese Catholic Church constructed after holding services in private homes for several years.
Duncan Hines awarded the Marina his approval and it was only restaurant recommended by Duncan Hines restaurant in the Wilmington area. The ABC store stood next door with the post office on the opposite side. A different movie played every day. It operated every summer until Channel Drive, Harbor Island. ly, charter boat captains funded the dock to encourage deep sea fishing. The investment paid off as a major run of sailfish brought fishermen from far away in the 50s. It was locatedon the site of the old Seashore Hotel.Casual Dating Wrightsville bea NorthCarolina 28480
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