Before Joseph Ryder Lewis Jr. passed away in 2010, he bequeathed 10 acres with the condition that it be turned into a public park and preserve the Sugar Loaf earthworks which were part of the defenses of Fort Fisher which guarded Wilmington, North Carolina. The town of Carolina Beach and the Federal Point Historical Preservation Society worked together to ensure that Lewis’s goal was obtained in a way that would be beneficial for the entire community and for historic preservation.
The Sugar Loaf earthworks—named by Confederate soldiers—had originally been a mile-long defensive line constructed in 1864. The fighting that occurred along this line led to the fall of Wilmington in 1865, and it is also a battle area for U.S. Colored Troops. Over the decades, the earthworks have been flattened, and Lewis had wanted to make sure that part of the final remaining line could be preserved intact.
To learn more about this new historical park and how the community came together to complete the preservation effort, please view this original reporting: https://www.starnewsonline.com/story/news/local/2021/02/10/civil-war-park-preserving-confederate-earthworks-open-carolina-beach/4454809001/