April 13, 2016
We made it to Dillon, South Carolina yesterday. We drove through rain, but nothing bad. Again, we thank God for watching out for us.
We are camping at Bass Lake RV Park in Dillon, South Carolina. We are just south of the North Carolina border. Not a bad park for a few days. Would not want to camp here for more than a few days. The sites are grass and sand, level and wide.
We had an early dinner at BC Steak and BBQ in Dillon. The BBQ was very good. The buffet was less than $10.00 each and had 3 meats and several vegetables and a salad bar. Quite the bargain. No pictures, sorry, I forgot.
On Wednesday, April 13, we decided to check out Wilmington, North Carolina. 1.5 hour drive north east.
First stop, the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial.This is a replica of the first USS North Carolina 1824 -1867. There was also a Confederate Ironclad North Carolina 1863-1864. An Armored Cruiser North Carolina was built and put into commission 1908-1921.This was given by the State of North Carolina to the Armored Cruiser North Carolina. The tradition of cities and states expressing civic pride by giving presentation silver began in the late 1880’s.This silver service was placed on the USS North Carolina Battleship BB55 until it was removed before it went to war in December 1941.
We went aboard. The USS North Carolina BB55 began construction in 1937. The North Carolina was the first American battleship to be built in 16 years. Commissioned on April 9, 1941, she was established to be the protector of aircraft carriers. She defended the carrier Enterprise against air attacks during the Battle of the Eastern Solomons in 1942.They have a plane.
From the stern of the boat we could see the waterfront of Wilmington and a Coast Guard ship.
One of the mess hallsHow we live now and reminded us of the houseboat.
I have no comments on this photo.
We were allowed down all 4 levels.
Each ship has its own flag. The blue and white checkered flag on top means this is the USS North Carolina.This is the wheel house. It is not normally open to the public, but there was a class of students coming aboard and most of the volunteers were there to help. Lucky day for us.View from the wheel house and not a very safe place to be during a battle.The bow. These are the chains for the anchors. Wow!All the decks are teak.The Kill BoardAnd the battle ribbons. By war’s end, she lost only ten men in action and had 67 wounded. She was decommissioned June 27, 1947 and placed in the Inactive Reserve Fleet in New Jersey. When the US Navy announced its intentions to scrap the ship in 1960, the citizens mounted a campaign to bring the battleship to North Carolina. The ship opened to the public in October 1961.
We loved the ship. If you ever get a chance to go, you should go.
Then across the bridge to downtown Wilmington and the waterfront.Elijah’s for lunch.Cliff had Fish and Chips and it was very good. I had Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche and it was awesome. Beautiful day and wonderful lunch.
After lunch we decided to take a trolley tour of the historic district. Not the best tour guide, but we saw some beautiful homes. Captain Rod in St. Simons Island really spoiled us on tour guides.
Wilmington, NC was basically saved during the civil war because when the Union troops arrived, no one shot at them. That is what the guide told us.This is the back of the house.This is the front that faces the water. It was built by a man who also started a shipyard just below this house.A very unique draw bridge. The whole thing goes up instead of splitting the bridge in half and raising each half.We did not get much information about these houses, but we thought they were pretty.This is the Burgwin Wright House, built 1770-1771. Originally commissioned by John Burgwin of England. For a few years it was overtaken by Lord Cornwallis in 1781, during the Revolutionary War, as his primary headquarters. This is a old house. Over the next 2 centuries, the home changed hands several times.
The Latimer House was built in 1852. It was occupied by 3 generations of Latimers until 1963, when it was passed on to the Historical Society and became a museum.
This is the First Baptist Church. Apparently, it is not very historic, but we thought it was beautiful.
The Basilica Shrine of St. Mary. Construction began in 1909 and completed in 1911. The architect was the Guastavino family of Spain. The Guastavino are nationally known for their building techniques. Constructed without nails, steel or wood beams. The Guastavino “Tile Arch System” vaults consists of tiles that are held together by strong mortar. Examples of their work is found throughout the United States. These include in North Carolina: the Duke Chapel, Motley Memorial Chapel in Chapel Hill and the Basilica of Saint Lawrence in Asheville. St. Mary Church is one of only a few buildings for which the Guastavinos were actually the architects.Kenen Fountain 1921The Bellamy Mansion which we did not get to see. Need to go back to this one.
This is a beautiful town, but we wish we had taken the walking tour instead of the trolley.