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Centennial Celebration Set for Lock No. 1

RIEGELWOOD — On Saturday, Oct 3, the Lock and Dam No. 1 will officially celebrate its centennial. Festivities include guided tours, exhibits, games, and food. Gates open at 10 am.

Ranger Tom Charles looks forward to a large crowd.  “This is a great opportunity to show the public what Lock and Dam No. 1 has to offer.”

Kay Lynn Plummer-Hernandez is a wildlife biologist and serves as the education coordinator for the nonprofit Cape Fear River Watch.

“I am excited to celebrate the partnership, the volunteers that keep things moving there, and the Cape Fear River at the Centennial Event,” Plummer-Hernandez said. “There is a lot to celebrate, considering that an economist from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates an annual boost to our economy of $5.5 million if the striped bass population recovers and the fishery re-opens.”

Exhibits, Activities and Tours

Lock and Dam No. 1 was completed in 1915 at a cost of about $2.4 million. Photo: Corps of Engineers

Lock and Dam No. 1 was completed in 1915 at a cost of about $2.4 million. Photo: Corps of Engineers

Roger Shew, a professor of geology, oceanography and environmental science at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and also a board member of Cape Fear River Watch, will lead boardwalk tours.

The N.C. Wildlife and Resource Commission’s 300-gallon mobile aquarium and live animals from the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher will be on display.

New Hanover and Brunswick County cooperative extension services and the Cape Fear River Partnership will have booths.

Members of the Cape Fear River Watch education committee will host fun and educational activities for children and offer prizes for corn hole competitors.  Two local vendors will sell food at the event.

Facilities include a concrete boat-launching ramp, fishing pier, elevated boardwalk, comfort station, water fountains, picnic tables, charcoal grills, a picnic shelter and canoe access steps for portage around the dam during off hours. These facilities are available free of charge and are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Lock and Dam No. 1 is at Kings Bluff, about 39 miles north of Wilmington. Lock and Dam No. 1 is accessible to public use via state road 1734, Lock No. 1 Road from N.C. Highway 87. The address is 996 Lock No. 1 Road, Riegelwood, N.C. 28456. Phone: 910-655-2605.


About the Author

Denice Patterson

Denice Patterson is a preschool teacher and free-lance writer in Ocean Isle Beach. She has degrees from Penn State and N.C. State universities and has been writing about people and places in North Carolina for 25 years. She has been published in the "North" and "South Brunswick" magazines, "Carolina Gardener" and "Our State" magazine.