Wrightsville Beach and the Dread God of Fire – StarNewsOnline.com

Cape Fear Unearthed looks at the devastating 1934 fire that claimed nearly every structure on the beachs north end

NEW HANOVER COUNTY In 1934, Wrightsville Beach was on a high from nearly three decades of immense growth.

Massive hotels like The Oceanic brought in tourists, and venues like the famed Lumina Pavilion entertained them, as well as local residents, when they werent on the beach. Even the Great Depression hadnt completely dampened the spirit.

It all seemed indestructible, until a fire on Jan. 28, 1934, wiped out the entire north end of the island and threatened the beachs livelihood in a matter of hours.

The devastating fire is the subject of this weeks new episode of Cape Fear Unearthed, the StarNews local history podcast.

The fire thrust the beach into a new era of change in the months and years after it scorched the pride and progress of the island. Madeline Flagler, the executive director of the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History, joins the show to talk about the islands growth, the fiery impact of the blaze and how it ultimately left a lasting mark on the beachs 20th century development.

In 2020, Cape Fear Unearthed will debut new episodes every two weeks, each of which will explore a new chapter from Southeastern North Carolinas history books. The first two episodes of the year have recounted the monumental history of Fort Fisher and the legacy of the Cape Fear Indians.

Since 2018, the podcast has produced more than 40 episodes on topics ranging from Prohibition in the Cape Fear, to the Battleship North Carolina, to the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1862. Each episode pulls from a different chapter in the regions more than 300-year history with the help of a local historian or expert on the subject.

The entire catalog of episodes is available to stream for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Stitcher and TuneIn.

You also can listen to every episode of the podcast at CapeFearUnearthed.com, which features other local history content and historic photo galleries compiled by the StarNews.

Listeners can also join the Cape Fear Unearthed Facebook group to stay up to date on extra content for each episode and upcoming events across the region. You can find that group by searching Cape Fear Unearthed on Facebook.

Cape Fear Unearthed is sponsored by Northchase Family Dentistry and Tidewater Heating & Air Conditioning.

Reporter Hunter Ingram can be reached at 910-343-2327 or Hunter.Ingram@StarNewsOnline.com.

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Wrightsville Beach and the Dread God of Fire - StarNewsOnline.com

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