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1898 Memorial Dedication

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Wilmington's dark history gave way to a much brighter future Saturday. The 1898 memorial was officially dedicated. Six paddles will forever be a lasting symbol in the heart of Wilmington. They recognize and honor those who lost their lives during the 1898 race riots. Residents, city officials and community leaders gathered to officially dedicate this memorial. It is intended to tell the story of the racial violence that defined a turning point in our city's history, and heal the wounds of the past. In 1898, a riot sparked in retaliation against African Americans holding public office. Wilmington resident, Grenoldo Frazier said, "It's a remembrance of all the wonderful people Wilmington lost during that time, because Wilmington was a very proud and wonderful city. A lot of people got run out of town." Many city officials have been working tirelessly since 1996 to see this day happen. The celebration ended at city hall where the origins of the race riots began. Wilmington resident, Cynthia Mitchell said, "There is so much history behind what has gone on here so this celebration is the culmination of years and years, decades of blood, sweat, and tears for a reconciliation among the people of this area." Wilmington was a much different place in 1898 and many agree the monument is evidence the city and the nation has come a long way. Rick Houston said, "The timing is perfect with Barack Obama winning the presidency and now with bringing healing to our community with the atrocities of 1898, the race riots. Now we see our community coming together, not only our community but our nation as a whole, realizing that there is strength in our diversity." Monday will mark the 110th anniversary of the race riots. The memorial park is located at the intersection of North Third and Davis streets.

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Taxpayer money? Don't think so...

The 1898 sculpture was built with private donations. The 1898 Committee worked very hard to raise money for the monument. The state turned the property over to the city at no cost following the park's construction. So now the city has a new park. Whether or not you like the sculpture is one thing, but you can't use the excuse that it cost city taxpayers any money...

Tax Payers

I guess the park was donated to the State to begin with. Or did Tax Payer money pay for it?

Point is that the park did

Point is that the park did not cost "city" taxpayers money to construct. All the taxpayers in the entire state paid for this property many years ago, when the DOT purchased it. Privte donations paid for the park's construction. Nothing was pulled from the city's current budget to build the park. So it has nothing to do with the current budget shortfall. The only thing the city has to do now is take over the care & maintenance of the park. Granted, this does cost money, but the plan for the park was put into place several years ago. Small price to pay for a free park on prime real estate.


What everyone always fails to inform people of, while speaking of the riots, is that it was WHITE DEMOCRATS that were the secret 9 and that the daily record was a BLACK REPUBLICAN owned and run print. Republicans recognized that having stood arm and arm with blacks during the war, they were more than capable of holding office and making decisions any white person did. Im sad to say, it is not the same today, with all the social programs and "entitlements"...helping to make some feel like they are owed something and that they shouldnt have to work hard because they dont have a chance anyways. GET OVER YOUR SELF PITY and WORK HARD...the race card has rendered itself null and void now, with a black president being elected.

They are not giant bowling pins!

Jeez! You people! Bowling pins are not flat on top. ANYONE can see they are giant bud vases... ...aren't they...? Seriously, abstract art usually doesn't cut it for public monuments. The paddles may signify something in Africa, but how many people know that? How many Blacks even knew that? They don't live in Africa; they're Americans. So they, like the White people driving past tell visitors, "Oh, that's the 1898 Memorial," and the conversation usually turns to "I have no idea what those things are supposed to represent" right after being asked, "What are those giant bowling pins?" Now, contrast the Confederate Soldier Monument on Third Street. You can be two-hundred yards away and know that it has to do something with honoring a military man. I believe that a traditional bronze monument showing Blacks rebuilding Wilmington, or something along the nature of a Phoenix rising from the ashes would have had far more eye appeal and conveyed the message far better, even to people driving past at forty-five. Perhaps six giant, long-stem red roses welded to the tops could at least improve the eye appeal. They couldn't possibly make the meaning any more vague.

Healing the Wounds of the Past

I have to question what wounds exist 110 years later. After all, is there anyone alive today who was present then? I guess I missed something. It's unfortunate the funding and time could not have been applied to some modern day issue. The drug and crime problems at Creekwood come to mind. Perhaps the issue of absentee Fathers who are present only at the time of conception and then fade into the sunset abandoning all responsibilities. How about the lack of success of so many of the high school youths who struggle because they are overwhelmed by all of the work thrown at them. There's 3 which come to mind. It never fails to amaze me how so many will focus on decades old issues which have no bearing in today's society. Yet they ignore or turn a deaf ear to the real issues facing our society and youth today.

Tom, we have thrown trillions at those problems

No amount of money can solve them. It takes a far rarer commondity, parents actually getting involved in their childrens' lives. That seems to be impossible today. When your fourteen year-old son is carrying a gun, coming in at dawn, and has more cash in his pocket than you do, I guess all you're expected to do is give the nonsensical "He was a good boy" speech at his funeral. "He isn't a good boy, ma'am. He's a thug...and he's a thug because you LET HIM become a thug." If they felt it necessary to build this monument, I only wish they had chosen a representation that didn't leave everyone scratching their head and saying, "Huh?"

what we have not thrown

is the active involvement of parents. Hold parents accountable; let them spend time in the slammer or picking up trash in one of the projects when Junior is picked up for curfew violations. For that matter does Wilmington even have a curfew for those under 18? What we have not thrown is the time all of these folks spend lamenting 1898. It's 2008; get on the streets, with the local ploice, and confront these youths who are out at 3 or 4 AM. Make the parent sit in class with the student when the student's behavious merits suspension or expulsion. What better monument could there be then an improvement in the quality of life in the projects and on the streets of Wilmington through a reduction in the crime rate and the end of youthful drug dealers?

Said it before....

and I'll say it again, this 'memorial' is an eyesore and a HUGE waste of tax payer money! And we wonder why there was a budget 'shortfall'.


What are those THINGS? Look like giant seed pods???


Great way to spend tax money when the city is in a budget shortfall, the sewers still need updating and the city is in a hiring freeze.

If I'm not mistaken, this

If I'm not mistaken, this "monument" cost a half million dollars. So the taxpayers get stuck with an over-priced eyesore that looks like a bunch of giant bowling pins, and exists to keep racial hostility alive. I see nothing to be excited about here.

Reply To Your Answer

I Think That You Are Very Right. Giant Bowling Pins ! && People Are Always Saying The Economys Bad && We Need This && That. Well Its Because When We When They Give Us This && That, It Ends Up Over The Little Things Not Saying That This Is Wrong But Before You People Build Something Take The Time Out To PLAN !!!!!!!!...

1898 Monument

Actually if you did some research, you would find that the monument was constructed from private donations. The park land, which was owned by the DOT, was conveyed FREE OF CHARGE to the city following the work.

Free? Nonsense. DOT land =

Free? Nonsense. DOT land = taxpayer land


"The park land, which was owned by the DOT, was conveyed FREE OF CHARGE to the city following the work." This is a product of public education. The property was owned by the DOT. That's us, the taxpayer. So we the taxpayer, gave away the property for nothing. That's what is happening today. People can't understand that EVERYTHING cost someone something. I believe this was a throwaway of our money. No one who drives past this giant Tinkertoy "art" piece will know what it is unless they stop and get out to look. There will probably be as many people at the park as those who ride the bus. That will be free soon and won't cost anything. Yea, right.


You are so right, ANYTHING to keep the hostility alive, no matter what the cost. Really really stupid.

I am all about some kind of

I am all about some kind of memorial to commemorate the horrid atrocities of 1898, however the design really strikes a nerve with me. The design is horrible...people driving by have absolutely no clue what the memorial is about. Couldn't we have spent that money on something more noticeable...or on something that would have meaning to the average person who doesn't know Wilmington's rich cultural history.