Cape Fear Lost, indexed

Cape Fear Lost, by Susan Taylor Block, is a book about vanished architecture of Wilmington, North Carolina. It was published in 1999, and all proceeds go to benefit Cape Fear Museum. Cape Fear Lost can be purchased through, or at Cape Fear Museum, 814 Market Street, Wilmington, NC, 28401.


A. P. Hurt, 83

Abrams, Aaron, 93

Ahrens, B. H. J., 28

Airlie, 19,44, 46, 47, 48

Allen, J. S., 92

American Missionary Association, 66

Ancrum, John, 88

Anderson, Connie, 19

Anderson, Admiral, 42, 43

Anderson, Dr. Edwin, 42, 43

Anderson, Landon, 19

Atkinson, Bishop Thomas, 59

Atlantic Coast Line, 106, 107

Atlantic Fireboat House, 53

Atlantic National Bank, 89

Atlantic Trust and Banking Co. Bldg., 19, 91

Ashe, Col. Samuel, 12

Bacon, Frank, 31

Bacon, Henry, 7, 31, 32

Bald Head Island, 52, 124

Bame Hotel, 123

Bancks, Frank, 97

Bank of Cape Fear, 88

Bank of New Hanover, 61, 89

Barney, J. Stewart, 44

Bassadier, Philip, 81

Bear, Barbara, 36

Bear, Emmanuel Israel, 36

Bear, Isaac, 68

Bear, Janet, 119

Bear, Samuel, 36, 68, 71, 101

Bear, Samuel Nathan, 119

Bear, Sigmond, 99

Beery, William B., 105

Belk-Beery, 22, 105

Bellamy Mansion, 18 (pictured in montage), 25, 26

Bellamy, John D., 27, 90

Bellamy, Marsden, 103

Bellamy, Robert R., 25, 102

Bellamy, Virginia, 118

Bellamy, Dr. W. J. H., 70

Bellfont, 11

Berry, Dr. William A., 41

Bessie’s, 93

Bevill, W. B., 124

Bijou Theater, 21, 44, 96, 97, 98

Blockade Runner Hotel, 118

Block’s Cantfade Shirts, 99

Bluethenthal House, 57

Bobrow, Marshall, 111

Boney, Leslie N., 78

Bonitz, Henry, 31, 32, 37, 84, 87, 103, 108, 116, 120, 123, 124

Bowden, Emily Tilley, 35

Bowden, John Cowan, 35

Bowden, Robert H. 9

Bradley, Amy, 24

Bradley Creek Point, 16

Bradley, Richard, 17

Brady, R. H., 74, 97, 116

Bridgers, Mary, 57

Bridgers, Rufus, 57

Brown, Lindsay, 121

Brunswick County, 10, 51, 52, 124

Brunswick Hotel, 73

Brunswick Town, 10

Bugg, Eugene Blackwell, (93), 109

Burgwin, Eliza Bush, 12

Burgwin, Captain J. H. K., 13, 88

Burgwin, John, 12, 13, 88

Burgwin-Wright House, 12

Burnett, Dr. Foster, 72

Burr, Col. James, 88

C. D. Maffitt’s Supply House, 84,85

Camp Davis, 99, 111

Cape Fear Club, 18, 19

Cape Fear Country Club, 78

Cape Fear Hotel, 35, 93

Cape Fear Steamboat Company, 83

Carolina and Augusta Railroad, 57

Carolina Beach, 122-124

Carolina Insurance Company, 90

Carolina Oil and Creosote Company, 82

Carr, Gen. Julian S., 102

Caruso, Enrico, 44

Cashman, Diane Cobb, 24

Cassidey, James, 77

Castle Dobbs, 10

Castle Haynes, 12, 13

Central Carolina Railroad, 21

Chadbourn, James H., 102

Champion Compress, 86

Chestnut, Wade, 122

City Market, 81

Claypoole, Ann Wright, 17

Clitherall, Eliza, 13

Coca-Cola Bottling Company, 28

College of Physicians and Surgeons, 103

Colonial Apartments, 95

Community Hospital, 72

Cooper, Augusta Moseley, 100

Cornelius Harnett School, 64

Corbett, W. A., 48

Corbett, Wilbur, 48

Costin, Miles, 58

Cotton Exchange, 50, 53

Cowan, James, 123

Cowan, Robert H., 21

Crouch, Betty B., 109

David, Abram, 28

Davis, G. W. W., 13

Davis, Hon. George, 109

Davis, Thomas F., 29

Dawson, James, 18, 19, 88

Dawson, John, 18, 19, 88, 91

Delgado Mills, 102

deRosset, Captain A. L. , 14

deRosset, Armand, 13, 15, 59, 77, 95

deRosset, Elizabeth, 13

deRosset, Magdalene, 59

deRosset, William L., 113

Dickinson, Alice Lord, 23

Dickinson, Platt K., 23, 77

Dobbs, Arthur, 10, 11, 12

Drane, Dr. R. B., 59

Dry, William, 11

Dudley, James B., 64

Dunn, Carl, 53

Duryea and Potter, 27

East Wilmington School, 64

Ellis, Charles D., 77

Emerson-Kenan House, 34

Empie, Ann Eliza Wright, 16

Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, 90

Eshcol, 42, 43

Evans, Julius, 47

Evans, Minnie, 47

Faircloth’s Seafood Restaurant, 116

Fairfields, 17

Farrell, Charles, 47

Feast of Lanterns, 117

Feast of Pirates, 2, 38

Federal Point Lighthouse, 52

Fidelity Development and Investment Co., 110

Fifth Avenue Methodist Church, 58

Finian, 43

First Baptist Church, 61

First Church of Christ Scientist, 57

First Presbyterian Church, 39, 60, 61, 62, 70

Flagler, Henry, 103

Flagler, Mary Lily Kenan, 74, 75

Flora McDonald, 83

Flowers Metal Works, 85

Fonvielle, Dr. Chris, 51

Formyduval School, 63

Fort Caswell, 51

Fort Fisher, 52

Fort Johnston, 51

Fraser, Margaret, 124

Fraser, Marshall, 124

Freeburn, Charles, 124

French, George R., 77

French, William, 123

Freret, W. A., 54

Front Street Methodist Church, 57, 58, 87

Frying Pan Lightship, 53

Gardner, Benjamin, 80

Gause, James F., 78

Gause, Dr. Roger, 72

Gause, Dr. Suzette, 72

George, Edward Payson, 71

Gieschen Brothers Atlantic Inn, 99

Gilchrist, William, 70

Glenn, Gov. R. B., 75

Goldberg, Aaron, 103

Goldberg, Lucile Sternberger, 37

Governor Dudley Mansion, 19, 82

Governor Worth, 83

Grace Methodist Church, 58

Graham, Jean McKoy, 14

Grainger, Isaac Bates, 14, 19, 88

Grainger, Joshua, 17

Grainger, Josie, 14

Green, Gen. Thomas Jefferson, 47

Greenfield Lake, 20, 97, 110

Greenville Sound, 40, 41

Greer, Mr. and Mrs. Robert G., 120

Gregory Community School, 67

Gregory Congregational United Church of Christ, 67

Greystone Inn, 123

Hall, Dr. B. Frank, 61, 95

Hall, Benjamin Franklin, 95

Hall, John, 61

Hall, Lewis Philip, 44

Hall, Thomas Hoke, 61

Hammocks, 114, 115

Hanby, John, 54

Hanson, Louis A., 82

Harbor Island, 114-117,121

Harbor Island Pavilion, 116, 117

Harnett, Cornelius, 11

Harnett, Mary, 11

Harper, Charles T., 71

Harper, Capt. John, 123, 124

Harper Sanitorium, 71

Harriss, George, 26, 61

Harriss, Meares, 35

Hawks, John, 11

Haynes, Roger, 12

Hemenway, Mary, 65

Hemenway School, 65

Hendren, Emma Bellamy Williamson, 27

Hermitage, 12, 13

Hewlett, Addison, 103

Hewlett, Elijah, 115

Heyer Building, 90

Heyer, Henry, 35

Heyer, Matt J., 35,90

Hicks, Rufus William, 20

Hicks, Sallie Spears, 20

Hill family, 11, 16, 17

Hill, Frank, 122

Hill, Frederick, 17

Hill, John, 11, 16, 17

Hill, Lula Freeman, 122

Hill-Wright Wootten House,  16, 17, 105

Hilton, 11

Hilton Hotel, 53

Holly Ridge, 111

Holt, Dolores Delgado Stevens, 102

Holt, Edwin C., 102

Holt-Wise House, 34, 102

Hooper, William, 43

Hotel Wilmington, 93, 109

Howard, Caesar, 96

Howard, J. H. “Foxy”, 96, 97, 98

Howe, Alfred, 81

Howe, Valentine, Sr., 71

Howell, Claude, 39, 61, 84, 124

Hunt, Walter, 55

Huntington, J. B., 73

Hurricane Hazel, 94,118, 120

Hutaff, George, 28

Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 74

Independence Mall, 22, 53

Independent Ice Company, 83

Isaac Bear School, 68

Island Beach Hotel, 114, 115

J. C. Penney, 79

J. H. Rehder and Company, 33, 91

James Walker Memorial Hospital, 25, 70, 71

Jewell, W. L., 72

Jones, Frederick, 17

Jones, Alice Dickinson, 23

Jones, Pembroke, 19, 23, 33, 44, 45, 46, 47

Jones, Sadie Green, 19, 44,46, 47

Joyner, J. J. 38

Julia, The, 79

Kelley and Hamlin, 21

Kenan, William Rand, 74

Keziah, Bill, 124

Kidder, Edward, 2, 20, 77, 103

Kidder, Frederick, 20

Kidder, Frederick, Jr., 123

King, Mrs. Herbert, 39

Kornegay, Mildred, 44, 97

Latimer, Mrs. Edward S., 115

Latimer, Harry, 90

Lazarus, Aaron, 19

Lee, Lawrence, 10

Leitner, J. F., 68

Live Oaks, 32

Lord, W. C., 56

Lumina, 8, 116,120

Lynch, James B., 69, 72, 103, 110

MacMillan and Cameron, 38, 110

MacMillan, Henry, 61

MacRae, Alexander, 29, 30

MacRae-Dix House, 2

MacRae, Agnes, 120

MacRae, Donald, 30, 31

MacRae Castle, 32, 33

MacRae, Hugh, 29, 31, 116, 120

MacRae, John, 54, 77

MacRae, Walter, 29

MacRae, General William, 31

Maffitt, Clarence Dudley, 84

Maffitt, Emma Hamblin, 84

Maffitt, Capt. John Newland, 84

Marcroft, Barbara, 33, 47

Market House, 80, 81

Marsden, Richard, 12

Masonic Temple, 50, 88

Maynard, 11

McCarl, Helen Weathers, 61

McCarl, James, 38

McCarl, Mary, 22

McCarl, Robert, 38

McEachern, Tabitha Hutaff, 28

McGinney School, 63

McIlhenny, J. K.,91

McIllwaine, Joseph, 89

McKoy House, 81

McKoy, Elizabeth F., 7, 8

McKoy, Henry Bacon, 50, 61, 85

McKoy, James H., 7

McKoy, William Berry, 7, 21

McKoy, Mrs. William H., 41

McMichael, J. M. 62

McMillan, Dugald, 77

McMillen, Charles, 28, 36, 74, 90

Meares, John L., 77

Metts, Captain James, 75

Miller, James Alfred Locke, Jr., 17

Monk Barns, 40, 41

Monkey Junction, 112

Monte Carlo by the Sea, 122

Moody, Dwight L., 86

Moore, Louis T., 2, 38

Moore, Maurice, 12

Moore, Nathaniel, 17

Moore, Roger, 35

Moore, W. J. 119

Morrell, Daniel, 29

Morton, Hugh, 53, 108, 118

Mosconi, Willie, 93

Moseley, Levi McKoy, 100

Motte Business College, 105

Mount Lebanon, 16, 46

Mount Lebanon Chapel, 16

Mrs. Potter’s Boarding House, 15

Mud Market, 81

Murchison, David R., 70

Murchison, J. W., 54, 108

Murchison, Col. K. M., 92, 102

Murchison, Kenneth M., 70

Murchison, Wallace, 103

Murphy, Dr. J. G., 39

Nakina, 63

Naval Store Yard, 82

Nehi Bottling Company, 99

Neuwirth Brothers, 85

Nevens, George, 94

New Hanover County Public Library, 22

Niestlies Drug Store, 72

Niestlie, William, 72

Norden, Eric, 50

Norris, John, 50, 80, 88

North Carolina Sorosis, 20, 38

Nutt, Henry, 77

Oak Island, 52

Oakdale Cemetery, 32, 76, 77, 88

O’Berry Hotel, 73

Ocean City Beach, 122

Ocean Terrace Hotel, 118

Ocean View Railroad, 115

Oceanic Hotel, 116, 119

Odd Fellows, 63

Odd Fellows Building, 103

Old Brown Bathhouse, 118

Olds, Col. Fred, 94

Omirly, Henry, 112

Orton Hotel, 89, 92, 93, 104

Orton Plantation, 17, 92

Orton Point, 52

Paradise Tree, 81

Parker Seed Company, 87

Parmele, C. B., 121

Parsley, Agnes MacRae, 31, 32

Parsley  family, 31, 32, 43

Parsley-Kuck House, 31, 32

Parsley, Oscar G., 77

Parsley, Walter L., 32

Parsley, Walter L., Jr., 32

Peabody Annex, 64

Pearsall, Philander, 95

Pearsall, Oscar, 95

Pembroke Park, 44, 45, 46

Penton, D. H., 73

People’s Bank, 89

Peschau family, 43

Plantation Club, 112

Platt, Horace, 115

Polly, Stephen B., 77

Pope, John Russell, 44, 45, 46

Popkins family, 111

Post, James F., 26, 30, 54, 57, 65, 77, 81

Potter, Ann, 20

Prease Brothers, 21

Price’s Creek Lighthouse, 52

Prince George Creek, 13

Queen of Mondigo, 29

Queen Street Mission, 39

Quinlivan, Daniel, 104

Quinlivan, Thomas, 104

Ransom, General Robert, 31

Reaves, William M., 49

Rehder, Carl, 97

Rehder, Elise Bissinger, 33

Rehder, Henry, 33

Rehder, Jessie, 33

Rehder, John H., 33, 91

Rehder, Will, 33

Reilly, James, 123

Rogers, Luther T., 121

Roller Coaster (Switchback), 115

Rosenwald Julius, 64

Royal Theater, 98

Rubin, Abie, 112

Ruffin, Peter Browne, 108

Russell, Anne, 17

Russell, Captain John, 10

Russellborough, 10

Ruth Hall, 78

Saffo’s Restaurant, 79

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 25

St. James Church, 56, 59, 88, 105, 109

St. John’s Art Gallery, 98

St. John’s Episcopal Church, 59

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 60

Sam Jones Tabernacle, 56

Savage, Henry Russell, 88

Schad, Joseph, 108

Scott, Sir Walter, 41

Sea Coast Train Company, 114, 115

Seabreeze, 122

Sears-Roebuck, 79

Seashore Hotel, 118

Sedgeley Hall, 123, 124

Shaffer, E. T. H., 47

Shamrock Cafe, 87

Shell Island Resort, 121

Shoo Fly, 124

Sito, 43

Sloan, Samuel, 61, 89

Smith-Anderson House, 39

Smith, Andrew, 82

Smith Creek, 11

Snow’s Esso Servicecenter, 105

Sol. Bear and Company, 99

Solomon, Jake, 28

Solomon House, 32

Solomon’s Lodge, 43

Southern Building, 35, 90

Southport, 52, 74, 94

Southside Baptist Church, 62

Southside Pharmacy, 71

Springer, J. A., 54

Alexander Sprunt and Son, 83, 86, 87, 100

Sprunt, James, 15, 29, 70, 71, 75, 82, 86, 94, 103

Sprunt, Luola Murchison, 71

Sprunt, Marion, 71

Sprunt, Valeria, 94

Sprunt, William H., 25, 71

Stephens, Burrett, 34, 65, 90, 97, 98, 110

Sternberger, Henry, 98, 105, 113

Stewart, A. T., 14

Stokes, Miriam Burns, 45

Stone, R. R., 121

Stone Towing, 121

Stuart, Kate, 94

Sue McGinney Gregg House, 63

Sulke, Jacob M., 97

Sunset Park, 110

Swann-Weathers House, 38

T. J. Southerland Horse Exchange, 104

Tabb, Mrs. Bruce, 73

Taft, Pres. William Howard, 33

Tarrymoore Hotel, 119

Taylor, John A., 77

Taylor, Julien K., 90

Taylor, Col. Walker, 74, 75

Temple Baptist Church, 57

Temple of Israel, 36

Thalian Hall, 63, 96

Tidewater Power and Light Co., 116, 117, 120

Tienken, George M., 105

Tileston School, 24

Tryon Palace, 11

Tryon, Gov. William, 11

Tucker, H. A., 77

Turberg, Edward F., 103

U. S. Custom House, 50, 54

U. S. Marine Hospital, 69, 70

U. S. Post Office, 50, 54,55,63,98

U. S. O. Building, 34

Union Bus Terminal, 109

Union Station, 99, 107

University of North Carolina at Wilmington, 48, 68

Upjohn, Hobart, 61

Verrocchio, Andrea del, 45

Vollers, Elizabeth, 32

Vollers, Louis H., 37

Vollers, Luhr H., 32, 34

Waccamaw Bank, 103

Wachovia Bank, 89

Walker, James, 61, 69, 70, 92

Wallace, Mary Borden, 24

Wallace, Stephen D., 77

Walter, John Cabbage, 121

Washburn, Col. Ben, 53

Watkins, Thurston, 112

Weathers, C. M., 38

Weil, Ella, 34

Wells, Dr. John H., 62

Wells, Percy, 96, 97,98

Wells, Mrs. Percy, 97

Whitted, Mary Hannis, 61

Wilkins, Freda, 78

Willard, Martin S., 61, 90

William H. Green and Co., 91

Williston Industrial School, 67

Williston Normal School, 66

Williston Primary School, 66

Wilmington and Sea Coast Train Co., 115

Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, 17, 23, 57

Wilmington College, 48, 68

Wilmington Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, 78

Wilmington Hebrew Congregation, 60

Wilmington Iron Works, 39

Wilmington Terminal Warehouse, 108

Wilson, Joseph, R., 55, 61

Wilson, Mary M., 38

Wilson, Pres. Woodrow, 27,55, 61

Wise, Jessie Kenan, 102

Wood, Edward Jenner, 22

Wood, J. A., 92

Wood, John Coffin, 30, 57

Wood, Robert B., 57

Wood, Thomas Fanning, 22

Wootten, Leila, 17

Wootten, Mary Murphy, 17

Worth and Worth, 83

Worth, David Gaston, 83

Worth, Jonathan, 83

Worth, William E. 54

Wright family, 11

Wright, Judge Joshua Grainger, 16

Wright, John (of Philadelphia), 89

Wright, Joshua Grainger (1809-1863), 26

Wright, Mary Walker, 26

Wright, Susan Bradley, 16

Wright, (Captain) Thomas, 17, 43

Wright, Dr. Thomas H., 56

Wright, Thomas H. (1876-1956), 40, 68, 121, 123

Wright, William Augustus, 17, 26, 77, 102

Wrightsville Beach, 8,45,113-121

Young, Ammi B., 69

Young Men’s Christian Association, 73

Yow, Edgar, 122

Zackary, A. D., 102

Zackary, H. C., 102



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Sarah Green Jones Walters: The Childhood Portrait

by Susan Taylor Block, Airlie historian

Sarah Green Jones Walters, as a girl. (Photo courtesy of Glenn McAndrews)

A portrait of a young Sarah Wharton Green Jones Walters recently emerged in brighter form. Glenn McAndrews, of Ohio, had the good fortune to purchase the oil painting at auction. The beautiful work hung most recently at the Newport residence of Mrs. Walters’s granddaughter, Jane Pope Akers Ridgway.

The late Jane Pope Akers Ridgway, posing beneath her grandmother's portrait, in Newport. (Photo by Thomas Ridgway)

The painting shows a determined, confident female, holding a branch of greenery. The resolute, fearless image mirrors that of a photo taken of Sarah about 1915. Eleanor Wright Beane, who was in Mrs. Walters presence many times, said the photo below exhibited Mrs. Jones’s usual expression. That same presence is evident in the childhood portrait, and the same firmness of purpose enabled Sarah to function as a congressional hostess in her youth, and to create the original 155-acre Airlie garden landscape at the turn of the 20th century.

Sarah and Pembroke Jones, about 1915. (Agnes Rankin Beane and Susan Taylor Block)

Mr. McAndrews, who refurbished the frame, treasures the painting, and is eager to know more about its inception. Comments are welcome.

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Happy, happy Easter!!

by Susan Taylor Block

Baby green leaves against blue sky,

An Easter lily just opening its eye:

New life budding reminds us still

That God yet works, and always will.

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Azalea Belles

by Susan Taylor Block


The Belle Tea. (Photo by Millie Maready, 2012) Click on photos to magnify.

The Azalea Belle program is a product of Wilmington’s Cape Fear Garden Club. Founded in 1925, Cape Fear is the oldest and largest garden club in North Carolina. Since 1953, members have conducted and “staffed” enormously popular garden club tours in conjunction with the annual N.C. Azalea Festival – an idea conceived by club president Mrs. P. R. (Bess) Smith in 1952. Azalea Belles were added in 1969 to complement each garden with their own beauty and grace. The combination is captivating.

(Photo by Millie Maready, 2012)

Previously, young women in Colonial dress dressed up for special tours of Cape Fear gardens. The earliest documented example would be tours at Airlie Gardens and Orton Plantation to benefit non-profit projects. Sisters Florence Hill Moore (Dunn) and Ann Kidder Moore (Bacon) were outfitted in antebellum dresses when they posed for professional photos at Orton Plantation, about 1939 — the year Cape Fear Garden Club hosted the first Camellia Festival. Wilmington clothier Beulah Meier designed and made the Moore sisters’ attire. Today, a team of talented dressmakers crafts gowns for Azalea Belles.

Left to right: Sisters Florence Hill Moore (Dunn) and Ann Kidder Moore (Bacon), at Orton Plantation, 1939. (Photo by Bill Sharpe, NC Division of Archives and History)

Belles also appeared at some N. C. Pilgrimage events, tours that predated the Azalea Festival, and early Cape Fear Garden Club events. Author and historian Leora Hiatt “Billie” McEachern, who was club president from 1959 until 1961, encouraged the practice, but there was no continuity. In 1969, Azalea Belles appeared in the gardens for the first time as a coordinated group, and as an annual feature of the Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Garden Tour©. Mrs. Harley Vance, president of the club, is credited for making belledom an official part of the Azalea Festival. She was assisted by belle enthusiast, Mrs. W. A. Fonvielle.

Belles in Raleigh. (Photo by Millie Maready, 2012)

That first year the club presented seven young ladies: Marsha Blake, Jean Burdette, Wanda Johnson, Beth Chadwick, Ginger King, Kathie White, and Pamela Wood. Five of them were daughters of club members, including Marsha Blake, whose mother was chairman of the 1969 tour. The hoops most of the girls wore belonged to their mothers, and were left over from the Cape Fear Confederate Ball held at Cape Fear Country Club, April 15, 1962.

(Photo by Millie Maready, 2012)

Currently, talented dressmakers Kay Godwin, Alma Fennell, and Debbie Sheu craft the gowns. Any girl who is at least 16 years old, in the 10th, 11th, or 12th grade, and is endorsed by a member of Cape Fear Garden Club, is a potential wearer-of-the-hoop. Cape Fear Garden Club membership continues to be an automatic qualifying factor for members’ daughters and granddaughters, and many years of work equity can boost a member’s descendants from ordinary belles to belles who meet the Governor.

Belles with Governor Beverly Perdue. (Photo by Millie Maready, 2012)

Glimpsing the cheery garden club members in their bright colors and floppy spring hats, Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Garden Tour© visitors might not suspect that the club is an efficient, beautifully managed money making machine. The “green” they collect helps make the land of the Lower Cape Fear greener still. As an entity, they seek little credit for their gifts, and none whatsoever as individuals. The ladies simply carry on the big business and culture of flowers and the honorable practice of charitable giving, year after year.

(Photo by Millie Maready, 2012)

Currently, profits from the Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Garden Tour© are channeled back into the community in forms such as beautification and horticulture grants; scholarships to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Cape Fear Community College; and conservation efforts at Battery Island, a National Audubon Society bird sanctuary.  They have distributed over one million dollars since 1953, including $83,000 in 2011.

At the Airlie Pergola. (Photo by Millie Maready, 2012)

Source: Susan Taylor Block, Belles and Blooms, published 2004, by Cape Fear Garden Club. Copies available at and:    All proceeds go to the Cape Fear Garden Club, Inc.



North Carolina State Legislature.

At the NC State Legislature.


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Ah, Wilmington: A Short Trip Home to North Carolina

Photos by guest blogger Catherine M. Gerdes

The Bellamy Mansion and Kenan Fountain at Fifth and Market.

Kilwins Chocolates and Ice Cream

Kilwins Chocolates and Ice Cream.

With old friends, Jill (far left), Melissa (second from right), and Tristen (far right).

Picking up where we left off. 

When in Roma….

A city of galleries.

The cottage Grandmother Marie built.

Jill’s baby shower cake.

Art on the Square. (Austih. Virginia Wright Frierson, “Trees for Columbine,” artist’s proof.)

Lewis Farms, March 26, 2012.

A Water Street Market.

Flowers at Champions.

Georgi, oblivious to pod and pollen.

(All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2012.)

Posted in Art, North Carolina, Photography, Wilmington | Tagged | 1 Comment


Verse by Susan Taylor Block.

(Can be sung to the hymn tune, Stuttgart – the melody of “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” and “God, my King, thy Might Confessing.” Adapted by composer Christian Friedrich Witt in 1715.)

Joseph, in Egypt, revealing his identity to his brothers who had betrayed him. (Foundation Stone)

(Joseph and his brothers, great-grandsons of Abraham, became Patriarchs of the 12 Tribes of Israel.)

Jacob’s Pet

Joseph bragged that mournful day

And made his brothers plot away.

Jacob’s gift had been enough,

But then the boys got sibling-tough.

Stole his robe, a cloak of kings,

And sold him as one does with things.

Blamed their deeds upon a beast,

And pleased their God not in the least.


Courtesy of North Shore Music Theatre, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”(Photo by Campbell Baird)

Potiphar’s Folly

Joseph, now his mouth closed tightly,

Took his place at slavery block.

Bidders drove his price up steeply:

He just looked like first-class stock.

Potiphar bought the handsome Hebrew,

Took him home to mind his house.

Joseph went about his labors,

The boss’s wife forgot her spouse.

Joseph ran away from trouble

But got blamed as if he sinned

Went to jail and must have wondered

Where his steep descent would end.


Courtesy of North Shore Music Theatre, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”(Photo by Campbell Baird)




Curtains rise within the night

And dramas play without a light,

Backdrops are just two small lids

With scenes that rationale forbids.

Joseph told what dreams foretell,

A special gift that served him well.

On his own he had no clue:

The playwright kindly shared Act Two.


North Shore Music Theater, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (Photo by Campbell Baird)


Meant for Good

Joseph rose to rule a nation,

Pharoah’s pet: He got more clothes!

Had the choice to hurt his brothers –

But forgave their angry blows.

“I am JOSEPH,” he yelled, sobbing –

Who you meant to edit out.”

The Hand did write a bigger story,

Casting chance in earnest doubt.


(Verse copyright Susan Taylor Block, 2006. All rights reserved.

Source: Genesis 37-50)






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Frederick Jones Hill: Architect of Grace

by Susan Taylor Block

(The following is an excerpt from an upcoming book, The Moores of Cape Fear. Comments, additions, and images are welcome. – STB.)

Owner Frederick Hill changed the face of Orton. (Courtesy of the North Carolina Department of Archives and History)

Cape Fear’s Moore family tree is a forest, and Frederick Jones Hill’s name sits in the midst of it. Moores and Hills were cousins many times over. Wherever he turned, Frederick found family. It was a network that helped optimize his life. He was a physician, planter, lumber merchant, legislator, university trustee, and architecture aficionado. Distinguished ancestry assured Dr. Hill’s place in local society, but he earned his reputation statewide as a man of good works. By the time of his death, on March 27, 1861, he was known in Cape Fear as the  “Father of Public Schools,” just one of many causes he championed.

Dr. Hill had a good eye for architectural style and beauty. His contributions ranged from steering to controlling and fully funding the creation or alteration of several distinctive buildings in North Carolina locations such as Wilmington, Pittsboro, and Brunswick County – most notably Orton Plantation. In addition, he was involved in less direct ways with two of the Piedmont’s most famous structures.Frederick Hill was a great-great grandson of Gov. James Moore (1650-1706) of South Carolina, and a great-grandson of Roger Moore’s brother, Nathaniel. He was genealogically connected, in one way or several, to all branches of “The Family,” a group of powerful and affluent men who were related by blood or marriage. The Family dominated Lower Cape Fear politics and social calendars from 1725 until 1739, when Governor Gabriel Johnston’s preference for Newton (Wilmington) over Brunswick Town mollified their influence. Countless descendants of the Moore and Hill families have peopled the Carolinas ever since.

William Hill, the Grandfather

Frederick, named for the Hon. Frederick Jones, a Chief Justice of North Carolina, was the son of John Hill and Elizabeth Swann Jones. His paternal grandfather, William Hill (1737-1783) was a Boston native born to John and Elizabeth Maxwell Hill. William first visited Cape Fear to attend the wedding of (Judge) Maurice Moore, King Roger’s nephew. William and Maurice were classmates and close friends at Harvard, and both graduated in the Class of 1756. At Brunswick, William met and fell in love with Margaret, daughter of Nathaniel Moore. They married at Orton Plantation in 1757, and lived in Brunswick Town, and at York, Margaret’s father’s plantation just south of Orton.[1]


William Hill, a young man of graceful manners and expression, boarded in the home of President Edward Holyoke during his freshman year at Harvard. His host left an impression on William. President Holyoke was a classical scholar and Congregational church minister who began his career as a tutor. William began his own working life in the same manner when he became schoolmaster in Brunswick Town. He probably conducted classes in various homes and at plantations nearby, just as it is known he conducted religious services as a layperson throughout the area. Soon, William quit teaching school to partner in business with neighbor Parker Quince, son of Richard Quince who owned Orton Plantation. In 1764, another neighbor, Governor Arthur Dobbs, gave Hill crown distinction when he appointed him Collector of Duties for the Brunswick port. In 1775, the Hills moved to Wilmington where he monitored Cape Fear River traffic to the city and to the port of Brunswick.[2]

John Hill, the Father

William and Margaret’s son, John, was born in Brunswick in 1761, and died in 1813. Along with his three illustrious brothers, John lived a rich life, and wore more than one hat. He was a physician, planter, and scholar who built a New England-style town home at 11 South Third Street in Wilmington. Though the structure, known eventually as the Hill-Wright-Wootten House, was razed, it is still known fondly today through vintage photographs. Sadly, there is no known image of Dr. Hill’s plantation, Fairfields, north of Smith’s Creek.

The Hill-Wright-Wootten House (now razed), 11 South Third Street. (Photo by John Spillman, archived by Louis T. Moore)

Fairfields Plantation, known originally as Nesses Creek, was owned  by the interrelated Wright family for years before it was sold to Dr. John Hill, who renamed it Fairfields, and built a new house there. Dr. Hill’s wife died at Fairfield and her grave marker has survived. Today, the land is divided between a General Electric plant and property owned by the Hon. and Mrs. James Fox of Wilmington.[3]

Frederick Jones Hill (1792-1861)

Frederick Hill was born March 15, 1792, at Fairfields. His world in Wilmington and Brunswick County was about as picturesque as possible in southeastern North Carolina. There were water views and gardens at Fairfields, and from the top floor of his father’s town home, he could down upon the heart of Wilmington. He had glimpses of the Cape Fear River, and could see the Burgwin-Wright House and the grand Armand John deRosset house that once sat on the opposite corner of Market Street. It would all have been eye candy for a young man with his sensitivity.

Young Frederick’s early schooling came probably through the Rev. Mr. William Bingham, who ran a classical school in Wilmington. It was located conveniently for a time at St. James Church, next door to the boy’s residence. At age 13, he began taking courses at the University of North Carolina, then transferred a few years later to the College of Physicians and Surgeons, now Columbia University Medical Center, in New York City. There, he studied obstetrics, physiology, anatomy, herbal and practical medicine, and wrote his thesis on gout. After graduating in 1812, at age 20, he worked at his studied profession only briefly, sharing a practice with Drs. Nathaniel Hill and James Henderson. Despite abandoning medicine, he was recognized throughout the rest of his life for his medical knowledge, and was made the first honorary member of the North Carolina Medical Society.[4]

On April 2, 1812, Frederick Hill married Ann Ivy Watters at Forceput Plantation in New Hanover County. The bride and groom were 3rd cousins, once removed. Ann was a great-great-granddaughter of Maurice Moore, King Roger’s brother, and Frederick was a great grandson of Maurice’s brother, Nathaniel. Frederick would purchase Orton Plantation, once owned by Maurice and lying just next to Nathaniel’s plantation, York, just 14 years after he married Ann.


(Courtesy of Columbia University Medical Center – Alumni Records.)

When Dr. Hill first returned to Wilmington, doubtless, he lived at 11 South Third Street. The large house seemed to be always filled with blood kin, in-laws, and assorted cousins. Often, they migrated together to various Hill family plantations. At one time or another, the first three generations of the William Hill line owned the following: Forceput, Hailbron, York, Kendal, Hilton, Oakmont, Fairfields, Belmont, and Rocky Road plantations in southeastern North Carolina. In addition, they owned at least four plantations in Pittsboro, North Carolina.[5]

It was an elegant life and the “Boston Hills” were known in Cape Fear as elegant people. Frederick, through heredity and environment, was no exception. His taste ran to fine, dressy carriages and objects of gold. He spent considerable time traveling and accumulated friends who mirrored not only his taste, but his appetite for good causes. A reporter for the Raleigh Register summed up his charm, eloquence, and powers of persuasion, after hearing Dr. Hill deliver a political address in support of Whig presidential candidate Henry Clay, in 1844 : “For practical sense, sound judgment, and happy illustrations, I have not heard Dr. Hill’s speech surpassed this season.” [6]


Dr. Hill was elected first to the North Carolina Senate in 1835, then re-elected three times. He bonded with several colleagues who were eager to establish and improve public education, and Frederick was one of the most ardent among them. His efforts would earn him the name, “Father of Public Schools in Wilmington,” but his influence was felt throughout the state. Ironically, Dr. Hill, a man who gained such distinction as nurturer to the young, had no children of his own.

In 1839, the North Carolina Legislature passed a school law of Frederick’s authorship. Subsequently, each county held an election to determine if residents were in favor of public education. The counties that approved it paid a tax of $20, then received $40 from the state. There only were 68 counties in the state at that time, and 61 of them approved Frederick’s plan, which also provided that Superintendent of School positions would be established statewide. In 1840, the state’s first public schools began to emerge. Ironically, back home in Wilmington, things proceeded slowly – at least until General Alexander MacRae was appointed Chairman of the Board of  Superintendents. Gen. MacRae, known and respected throughout the county as General of the local militia, moved matters along with military precision.[7]


Alexander MacRae (Courtesy of St. John’s Lodge, No. 1, and New Hanover County Public Library)

School and church interests engaged Dr. Hill in decades of long meetings and outward service. Politics led to be a delegate to the Harrisburg Convention of 1827, at which William Henry Harrison was nominated to run for the presidency. He was a trustee of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1835 until 1860; a trustee of the Episcopal School of North Carolina, in Raleigh; and a laity delegate to conventions of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. His work placed him amidst stimulating company and marvelous networks, for the membership rosters of these groups were laced with likeminded state leaders in the fields of scholarship, religion, business, and the arts.[8]

Banks and budding railroad systems were commercial priorities in those days. Frederick’s bank involvement came primarily through his brother, Dr. John “Bank” Hill, president of the Bank of Cape Fear. Frederick was directly associated with the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, forerunner to the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. In 1835, he became a founding contributor to the Wilmington and Weldon, then served as a director from 1841 until 1859.[9]


(Courtesy of the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina)

In matters of personal business, Frederick Jones Hill’s chief occupation and most dominant profile was as owner of Orton Plantation, a 4975-acre tract on the Brunswick banks of the Cape Fear River. He purchased Orton in 1826, 101 years after his  great-great uncle, Maurice Moore, established the plantation. The existing residence there was built in 1735 by another of Frederick’s great-great uncles, “King” Roger Moore. Though Dr. Hill spent much time away from the plantation and always had a dwelling place in Wilmington, he considered Orton “home,” and was proud of his position as a representative of Brunswick County.

William Campbell Lord, Frederick’s brother-in-law, managed the plantation and the Orton mill, or mills, rebuilt from those created by Roger Moore, about 1735. Mr. Lord, noted as “agent for Orton Mills,” advertised, in 1839, lumber that was, “quality warranted fully equal to the best steam mill,…no charge for wharfage.” In 1827, soon after purchasing Orton, Dr. Hill felt the first effects of Cape Fear’s quirky weather when Spring storm winds tore the roof off Orton’s “machine and winnowing house, and utterly demolished the barn.” A stronger storm hit Orton in June 1835. It produced thunder, lightning, hailstorms over six inches in circumference, and a whirlwind that lifted the roof of Orton house and carried it a “considerable distance, and very much shattering the body.” Winds also ripping the canvas roof off St. Philip’s Church in Brunswick Town. Perhaps, after the storm of 1835, Dr. Hill began to yearn for a house with more fortitude.[10]

A multitude of trees and easy water access made milling a natural sideline to rice production. In Roger Moore’s day, Orton Mill customers were located chiefly in South Carolina and Barbados, but during Dr. Hill’s ownership, most lumber shipped from Cape Fear was headed to the West Indies. Some of that heart pine stayed close to its birthplace, though – traveling twenty minutes by water, straight to the Wilmington docks.

(Cape Fear Recorder, February 17, 1830. (Microfilm Collection, New Hanover County Public Library)

During the 28 years of Frederick’s ownership, from 1826 until 1854, much fine Orton lumber would have found its way into Wilmington’s historic architecture. Advertisements in local newspapers document the fact that Dr. Hill sought the city’s business, and family and social connections virtually assured sales to certain building projects, such as St. James Episcopal Church and the Armand deRosset House. Orton manager William Lord was Junior Warden and co-chairman of the building committee that commissioned the beautiful church erected at Third and Market streets, in 1839; and Orton owner Frederick Hill was related to Dr. Armand deRosset, who built the deRosset House (City Club) at 23 South Second Street, in 1841. The list goes on and on, but it is possible that any of Wilmington’s historic plaques bearing dates within the 1826 to 1854 range are nailed to buildings made from Orton’s stately pines.[11]

Frederick Jones Hill and the Changes to Orton House

According to author James Laurence Sprunt, it was about 1840 when Dr. Hill altered the Orton residence. He added a full story and an attic, then gave it strength and majestic beauty with the addition of four fluted Doric columns.[12] The result was a Greek Revival facade that has now become one of the most photographed and reproduced sights in the American South.

But what would cause Frederick to make such a change? It is a rare mind that identifies deficiencies and conceptualizes solutions that far surpass the norm. Temple style architecture already had cropped up in commercial buildings, but was used in few residences in North Carolina. Perhaps the building of the State Capitol in Raleigh inspired Dr. Hill. William Nichols, Jr., of the New York architectural firm of Ithiel Town and A. J. Davis, drew the original plans for the capitol that called for columns of the “powerful Doric order of the Parthenon.”[13] Construction began in 1833, and was not completed until 1840. Even before Dr. Hill was elected to the Senate in 1835, he spent time in Raleigh, lobbying for free education. After being elected senator, his time there only increased.

Dr. Hill’s close friend William Gaston was a New Bern attorney and  a powerful political force in advocating adoption  of the architectural design that materialized. The building process then became a consuming passion for him, and during that period, he and Dr. Hill were bonded by like interest. In 1835, both were North Carolina representatives to the Constitutional Convention of 1835, and the two of them worked together as longtime outspoken advocates for internal improvements statewide. How exciting it must have been for such artistically sensitive men to watch the great stone structure rise from the ground.

Architectural historian Catherine Bishir calls the State Capitol, “one of the most beautiful and original neoclassical buildings in America. “[14] By the time it was finished, five different architects were involved and the many changes demanded much budget attention from the North Carolina Senate. Dr. Hill was present for five years’ worth of lengthy discussions.

The State Capitol. (Etching by Louis Orr)

The North Carolina Capitol building was finished in 1840, the same year Dr. Hill was said to begin the changes to Orton. Maybe someone who worked on the Capitol also made the changes to Orton. The architects included Ithiel Town, Alexander Jackson Davis, and David Paton. The original supervisor, William Drummond, who left during the project early, then worked for Dr. Hill’s friend, Duncan Cameron, before supervising building construction for the Episcopal School in Raleigh, in 1835. The school project would have been  dear to Dr. Hill, because it was a place of education; it bore the name of his denomination of choice; and because of his trusteeship. In addition, his beloved neighbor, old friend, and former rector, the Rev. Dr. Adam Empie, was on his way to Raleigh to supervise the school. Capitol contractor William Drummond’s whereabouts in 1840 are unknown.[15]

Another candidate is Thomas Bragg, Sr., known to do design and build, or alter, homes for several plantation owners in Virginia, and numerous folks in North Carolina – including some of Dr. Hill’s acquaintances.  [16]

Dr. Hill’s association with the firm of Ithiel Town and A. J. Davis during the State Capitol building process continued  with the construction of Smith Hall (Playmakers’ Theater), on the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill. As a school trustee, Frederick would have followed architect A. J. Davis’s reports with interest. As a lover of architectural beauty, he must have exulted in the finished product.

Smith Hall (Playmakers Theater). (Photo by Hugh Morton. North Carolina Collection, UNC)


Other Buildings, Other Questions

Dr. Hill’s own penchant to build evidenced itself as early as 1831, when he, with brother Nathaniel, gave a quarter of an acre of land, then built a church upon it, in Pittsboro, NC. The brothers hired builders Martin and Wesley Hanks to construct a house of worship that would be church home to them and their two other brothers, Thomas G. and William Henry Hill, while they were in residence in Pittsboro. Like their father and three uncles, each had their own individual Chatham County plantation where they spent a few months of every year. Oddly enough, Frederick’s Pittsboro Plantation was known as “Kentucky.”

The frame church, named St. Bartholomew’s, went over budget and took two years to build. The cost, carried mostly by Dr. Hill, was $1,158.23. What is most interesting is the style: It is one of North Carolina’s earliest examples of Gothic Revival architecture. There are similarities between St. Bartholomew’s and the St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church building in Hillsborough ‑ not surprising since the Hanks worked on both projects. Also, Dr. Hill, known as the chief force behind the Pittsboro project, had friends who were parishioners of St. Matthew’s.

St. Bartholomew’s Church is considered a “very faithful advocate of Gothic Revival” style. Stained glass, customized for the space, was made in Boston, then shipped by schooner to Wilmington, and hauled to Pittsboro by wagon.[17] It is possible the same company made some of the original stained glass windows for Dr. Hill’s Wilmington church, St. James Episcopal, built only six years after St. Bartholomew’s.

St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, Pittsboro.

Connections and the power of bountiful funds are an inescapable part of this story of questions. As mentioned previously, Dr. Hill’s business associate and brother-in-law, William Campbell Lord, was co-chairman of the building committee in Wilmington, and helped lead the years’ long campaign to raze the first building and create a new one. The other co-chairman, Dr. Thomas Henry Wright, was Dr. Hill’s close neighbor, business associate, and a fellow graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York.

Martin Hanks and contractor Isaac J. Collier built Pittsboro’s Columbus Lodge No. 102, in 1838-1839. Collier went on to build Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill in 1833. Chapel of the Cross was designed by Thomas U. Walter, the same architect responsible for St. James Church in Wilmington, and the U. S. Capitol dome. Could Isaac Collier and Martin Hanks have made the Orton changes?

A Fayetteville stonecutter, George Lauder, carved the baptismal font for St. Bartholomew Church. Did he also work in Wilmington and Brunswick County. Was he responsible for the baptismal font at St. James Church or the grave marker for Dr. John Hill, brother of Frederick Jones Hill, who died May 9, 1847, and is buried at Orton?

Another building project also began in Pittsboro in 1831: Construction of the Henry Adolphus London residence. London, a younger son of John London of Wilmington, was related to Dr. Hill, and was associated with him in Wilmington and in Pittsboro, where London was a successful merchant. The Greek Revival facade of London’s new house and Dr. Hill’s Orton bear a striking resemblance.

The Henry Adolphus London House (now razed) in Pittsboro. (Reprinted from “The Architectural History of Chatham County, NC,” by Rachel Osborn and Ruth Selden-Sturgill.)

Lastly, Frederick altered another house in 1854, the year he sold Orton to Thomas Miller. Frederick paid $14,000 for a residence on Chestnut Street, between Third and Fourth streets. It was built by the late Aaron Lazarus, about 1816, when it was the only house on the block. Since the lot went straight through, Frederick found it convenient to change the entrance from the south-fronting side of Chestnut to the north-facing side of Grace street. He also altered the exterior, creating an Italianate facade. According to architectural historian Tony Wrenn, a center pavilion, three bays wide and one bay deep, apparently served as the new entrance.[18] Today the house is owned by preservationists, Connie and Landon Anderson.

314 Grace Street, Wilmington. (Photo by the author)

Dr. Hill added a cast iron double piazza to the house’s southern facade. (Courtesy of Peggy Perdew)

Frederick Jones Hill died March 26, 1861, and was buried at Oakdale Cemetery the following day. His death was attributed only to “sickness,” but may have been due to yellow fever. He was survived by his wife, Ann, virtually invisible to local history; many nieces and nephews, an adopted son named William E. Boudinot, and numerous close cousins. Dr. Hill bequeathed money to St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church; money to St. James; and funds to support “orphans of North Carolina.”[19]

Grace is immeasurable. Though much of Frederick Hill’s work is lost in corporate and organizational anonymity, that he had a huge part in elevating quality of living through education is undeniable. His intangible gifts to orphans and many other service and charitable contributions are uncountable. But material, divergent things do stand nobly to his memory, most importantly the exquisite beauty of his design changes to Orton Plantation; and the distinctive St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church building.  Dr. HIll’s other good deeds may always remain as much a mystery as his very appearance is today.

Orton Plantation (Photo by MIllie Maready, Orton Collection)

[1] Hill Collection and Moore collections, Historical Society of the Lower Cape Fear – Family Files. Ida Brooks Kellam, compiler.

[2] Ann Moore Bacon, “William and Margaret Moore Hill of Colonial Brunswick Town.” (HSLCF Bulletin, Volume XXIV, Number 3.) R. Stanton Harvard University Archives. Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society. Hill Collection, New Hanover County Public Library.

[3] Block, The Wrights of Wilmington, 1992. Claude V. Jackson, Richard W. Lawrence, and Glenn C. Overton, “A Maritime History and Survey of the Cape Fear and Northeast Cape Fear rivers, Wilmington Harbor, North Carolina.” (Underwater Archaeology Unit, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.)

[4] University of North Carolina Alumni Records. Columbia University Medical Center Alumni Records. Diane Cobb Cashman, The Lonely Road: A History of Physicks and Physicians in the Lower Cape Fear (1735-1976); Medical Society of New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender Counties, 1978.

[5] Historical Society of the Lower Cape Fear (HSLCF), Family Files, Plantation Files, and the records of Ida Brooks Kellam..

[6] Interview with Isabel James Lehto, 2000. Historic Wilmington Foundation plaque files, Lazarus House (Connie and Landon Anderson), HSLCF. Raleigh Register, October 9, 1844.

[7] James Sprunt, Chronicles of the Cape Fear River (1660-1916) Raleigh, 1916. Archibald Henderson, The Old North State and the New, Vol. II. 1941. “New Hanover County Schools,” N. C. Archives. Jon H. Gerdes, “Education and Schools in Ante Bellum Wilmington.” (Special Collections, New Hanover County Public Library)

[8] Sketches of the History of the University of North Carolina (1789-1889), UNC, 1889. Records of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina.

[9] Wilmington and Weldon information contributed by author James Burke.

[10] Bradford J. Wood, This Remote Part of the World. University of South Carolina Press, 2004. Will of King Roger Moore. Charleston Courier, June 29, 1835.

[11] Susan Taylor Block, Temple of our Fathers. Wilmington, 2004.

[12] James Laurence Sprunt, The Story of Orton Plantation. Wilmington, 1958.

[13] Catherine W. Bishir, North Carolina Architecture. University of North Carolina, 1990.

[14] Bishir, North Carolina Architecture.

[15] J. Marshall Bullock” William S. Drummond.” Architects & Builders: A Biographical Dictionary, 2009.

[16] Bishir, North Carolina Architecture. Catherine W. Bishir, “Thomas Bragg, Sr. & Builders: A Biographical Dictionary, 2009.

[17] Rachel Osborn and Ruth Selden-Sturgill. The Architectural Heritage of Chatham County, North Carolina. Charlotte, 1991.

[18] Tony P. Wrenn, An Architectural and Historical Portrait of Wilmington, NC. Charlottesville, 1984.

[19] Marshall DeLancey Haywood, Lives of the Bishops of North Carolina. Moore-Hill family records.

Acknowledgments: The late Ann Moore Bacon, Peggy Moore Perdew, Dr. Walter E. Campbell, J. Kenneth Davis, Jr., the late Eugene C. Hicks, Candace McGreevy, Colleen Griffiths, Beverly Tetterton, Joseph Sheppard, and Michael Whaley.

COPYRIGHT 2012, Susan Taylor Block and the Orton Collection. All rights reserved.

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A Picture Worth a Thousand-Plus Words

by Susan Taylor Block


Harriss Northrop and Albert Hurst, about 1923. (Click to magnify. Photo courtesy of John Murchison.)

The picture above ensnared me from the moment I saw it. Working on photo anthologies taught me there are few good interior shots of Wrightsville Beach from the early 1920s, but there I was, holding a magnificent 8″ by 10″ specimen in my hands. There was much more, too: the highly intriguing gallery of shell art; the rarity of a white and black man posing thoughtfully, together, during that era; and the quaint nature of the room itself – a space so wholly foreign to today’s beach.

The photo’s backside was labeled “Harriss Northrop Beach Cottage.” I recognized William Harriss Northrop from other photos I was studying, so with the location identified, I had one answer, but a dune of questions. The resulting hunt turned into an article that’s featured in the current issue of Wrightsville Beach Magazine entitled “Harriss Northrop and the Northrop Cottage.” ( Go to – then click on “Virtual Magazine,” and proceed to page 31.  )

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Flowers with Fruit

Quirky weather agrees with my camellias, "Kramer's Surprise" (red) and "Sea Foam." Click to magnify. (Photo by Susan Taylor Block. Camellias varieties identified by Matt Hunter.)

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Ode to the Tool Bar

by Susan Taylor Block


Thou stripe of empowerment, at my touch,

Making the writing much more of a game,

Fonts and alignments, a bit of design —

Printing companies used to do the same.

I can make things vanish, then reappear,

Publish them bold as Prurock walking the beach,

Or slant an entire book with just two clicks.

This italicizing I find most dear:

When a mind is angled to its best reach,

It can spot humor lurking out in the sticks.


Published in Wrightsville Beach Magazine, February 2012. 


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