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Brightmore University: Lumina During the Wars: 1905-1973

Elaine Henson is known in the Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach areas for her vast knowledge of history, starting in the 1800’s. What makes Elaine’s presentation so interesting is she tells her history and story through vintage postcards. Since many of our residents are Wilmingtonians, they remember much of what her presentations include and offer their stories of those past times, too. This presentation began when the Lumina Pavilion was built in 1905, by the Tidewater Power Company at Wrightsville Beach’s Southern end.  Dozens of postcards and photographs took us on a journey from 1905-1973, illustrating the trolley, which brought passengers from downtown Wilmington, and the ballroom, filled with music by some of the top orchestras and big bands of the day.

It was a devastating time when the Lumina was torn down. It marked a piece of history that has never returned to our area.  Elaine made sure we saw Lumina through the years of World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War, along with some of the veterans who served our country. One very important veteran contributed to our waterways – Maj. William A. Snow.  “Snow’s Cut” bridge at Carolina Beach is named after him. The presentation brought back many memories for residents, and we ended the afternoon with several stories of dancing at the Lumina!