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Upcoming Events

 

Sunday, July 14, 2024

 

Join Dr. Chris E. Fonvielle Jr., Professor Emeritus in the Dept. of History at UNC Wilmington, in the fifth in the series of local history-themed tours for Wilmington Water Tours, on Sunday, July 14, 2024, from 10:00 to noon. Dr. Fonvielle will talk about Wilmington’s rise as North Carolina’s largest city and most important seaport in the 1800s; the coming of the railroads; the arrival of Europeans and
Northerners looking to benefit from the Lower Cape Fear’s booming economy; and the coming of the Civil War. He will also relate intriguing human interest stories of early Wilmingtonians like Samuel R. Jocelyn Jr. who supposedly was buried alive in the graveyard at St. James Episcopal Church in historic downtown Wilmington.

 

“A splendid time is guaranteed for all.”

 Tickets here:  https://wilmingtonwatertours.net/cruises/

 

 

 

Sunday, August 18, 2024

Join Dr. Chris E. Fonvielle Jr., Professor Emeritus in the Dept. of History at UNC Wilmington, in the fifth in the series of history-themed tours for Wilmington Water Tours on Sunday, August 18, 2024, from 10:00 to noon. Dr. Fonvielle will discuss the Civil War in the Lower Cape Fear when Wilmington played a more important role
in our nation’s history than at any other time. In 1860 Wilmington was North Carolina’s busiest seaport and most populated city. By 1863 Wilmington was the Confederacy’s main seaport for the blockade running trade and known as the “Lifeline of the Confederacy.” By late 1864 Wilmington was the most important city
in the Confederacy. Dr. Fonvielle will also tell fascinating stories of Cape Fearians during the troublesome time like the great escape of William B. Gould and other enslaved African Americans during the horrific yellow fever epidemic in 1862; the successful blockade running Captain Michael Usina and his famous dog Tinker; and
the tragic death by drowning of the famous Confederate spy Rose O’Neale Greenhow off the blockade-runner Condor near Fort Fisher in 1864.

 

“A splendid time is guaranteed for all.”

 Tickets here:  https://wilmingtonwatertours.net/cruises/

 

 

Sunday, September 22, 2024

Join Dr. Chris E. Fonvielle Jr., Professor Emeritus in the Dept. of History at UNC Wilmington, for the sixth in a series of local history-themed tours for Wilmington Water Tours on Sunday, September 22, 2024, from 10:00 to noon. Dr. Fonvielle will talk about issues that affected Cape Fearians in the post-Civil War years and to the end of the nineteenth century. Wilmington experienced turmoil as a result of the U.S. Army occupation and unexpected arrival of thousands of released Union prisoners-of-war and homeless refugees. As conditions deteriorated, citizens and displaced persons alike suffered. African Americans, however, relocated to Wilmington in droves as they came to see the city as a Mecca for economic and
political opportunities. But growing racial tensions led to confrontations and eventually the Riot of 1898, which uprooted the Black community and dramatically affected race relations for decades to come. Wilmington maintained its status as
North Carolina’s most populated city and busiest seaport in the second half of the nineteenth century. Maritime businesses grew as shippers and merchants exploited the cotton trade with Europe that had been so vital to the Confederate war effort.  Dr. Fonvielle will also share human interest stories from the time period. A young
German immigrant named William Ellerbrock tragically died with his best friend, a dog named Boss, by his side in a terrible fire in downtown Wilmington in 1880. Folks who lived in a rural community called Maco near Wilmington began seeing a mysterious and an inexplicable glowing orb that moved up and down the railroad
tracks and became known as the Maco Light. More stories and more fun.

 

“A splendid time is guaranteed for all.”

 Tickets here:  https://wilmingtonwatertours.net/cruises/

 

 

Sunday, October 20, 2024

 

Join Dr. Chris E. Fonvielle Jr., Professor Emeritus in the Dept. of History at UNC Wilmington, for the seventh in a series of local history-themed tours for Wilmington Water Tours on Sunday, October 20, 2024, from 10:00 to noon. Dr. Fonvielle will discuss the city’s important role as a center for shipbuilding and military training,
and as a war zone during World War II. The postwar years saw the creation of the Azalea Festival; the Azalea Open Golf Tournament; and the establishment of Wilmington College (UNC Wilmington today); and the departure of the Atlantic Coastline Railroad, the city’s largest employer. How would Wilmington businessmen fill the void? The end of the century witnessed the opening of Interstate 40 that
spurred tremendous growth in Wilmington and surrounding counties that continues to this day. Dr. Fonvielle will wind up the tour with more of Wilmington’s history mysteries.

 

“A splendid time is guaranteed for all."

Tickets here:  https://wilmingtonwatertours.net/cruises/

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Contact Chris for inquiries and bookings.

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