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What’s the story behind the concrete dolphin statue in the river close to Cape Fear Community College?

Ken Little
StarNews

The story begins in the 1960s, when a children’s playground was built next to the swimming pool at the Timme Plaza Motor Inn that included the dolphin statue and statues of other animals.

The property was acquired in the early 1970s by Hilton and became the Hilton Wilmington Riverside. The dolphin and other statues remained part of the playground until the city renovated and expanded the riverfront boardwalk, according to Hilton general manager Michael Keeler.

The statues were removed at that time, and the dolphin was placed in the Cape Fear River in close to shore and a nearby marina. When the river is low, the dolphin catches the attention of boaters and alerts them to nearby pilings, according to Keeler.

A concrete turtle behind the hotel was also once part of the playground.

Who created the statues remains a mystery.

“Not much is known about the dolphin,” Beverly Tetterton, local history librarian, wrote in 1995 as part of a “sculpture query report” detailing sculptures in the downtown area.

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2 Responses to “ What’s the story behind the concrete dolphin statue in the river close to Cape Fear Community College?”

  1. On November 14, 2011 at 10:17 pm Mike G wrote:

    Wausau Tile makes a concrete dolphin and turtle designed by Jim Miller-Melberg.

  2. On October 2, 2016 at 7:02 am fred wark wrote:

    Jim Miller-Melberg designed and built these structures in the late1960’s through the early 80’s at a location near South Lyon MI. His equipment was later sold to Wausau Tile who is still manufacturing some of Jims designs. I am looking for one of the turtle structures. Do you know of any which might be available? Thanks Fred fswark@yahoo.com



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