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Was there ever a Dairy Queen at Carolina Beach? And if so, where?

Ben Steelman

This detail from a photo in Daniel Ray Norris' Volume II, “Carolina Beach: Images and Icons of a Bygone Era,” shows a Dairy Queen coupon being clutched by a a little girl in the in 1950s.

We’ve had a little trouble pinning down dates. But the Carolina Beach Dairy Queen was a landmark for local youngsters (and more than a few adults) back in the mid-1950s.

According to Babby Nivens of Britt’s Donuts — who used to buy treats there as a little boy — the Dairy Queen was located on Lake Park Boulevard (U.S. 421) almost exactly where the McDonald’s stands today. It was operated by Bob and Carol Lamb. Unlike modern Dairy Queen’s, it didn’t have a walk-in restaurant; instead, customers sidled up to the counter.

Eddie Capel of Durham, who spent plenty of summers at Carolina Beach and still owns property there, was another regular. “They also had a truck that cruised the beach, selling Dilly Bars and ice cream sandwiches, etc.,” Capel wrote. “I ate many of those Dilly Bars in my time.”

According to longtime resident Elaine Henson, who compiled a postcard history of Carolina Beach, the Lambs also operated  a stand on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk called Lamb’s Corner, “where they sold ice cream, snowballs, hot dogs and short-order food.”

Photos of the old Carolina Beach Dairy Queen seem hard to come by, but Daniel Ray Norris, in Volume II of his “Carolina Beach: Images and Icons of a Bygone Era,” has a photo of a happy little girl in a ’50s vintage straw hat and swimsuit, clutching a Carolina Beach Dairy Queen coupon.

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6 Responses to “ Was there ever a Dairy Queen at Carolina Beach? And if so, where?”

  1. On May 11, 2012 at 7:23 am Jack Dunn wrote:

    I remember a Tastee Freeze at that location. They served soft ice creme like the Dairy Queen. The building had a sign the shape of a large twist cone on the top. It opened a little after the Dairy Queen that was on Dawson Street.

  2. On May 11, 2012 at 7:55 am Michele Poppe wrote:

    Ah yes, I remember the Dairy Queen well in the ’60’s. Dad would take me down some evenings for a cone, such a good treat on those hot summer evenings!

  3. On May 12, 2012 at 8:12 am Richard Eller Sr. wrote:

    When my future wife and I started dating in 1969 we laid out on the bench at Carolina Beach many a day. On the way back to Wilmington we enjoyed stopping at the Dairy Queen on Lake Park Boulevard. And as I said that was in 1969. I can’t recall exactly when they closed it but recall stopping there many times I thought even after our marriage in 1970. It was always so nice getting the soft-swirled vanilla in a cone dipped in the chocolate coating after being so hot from lying on the beach!

  4. On May 12, 2012 at 9:37 am Phil Winter wrote:

    It was still there til the mid- 60s too. Was always very crowded at night during the summer as tourists came up from the boardwalk before heading back to their hotel or cottage.

  5. On May 13, 2012 at 1:01 pm Jerry Hardee wrote:

    A couple of comments: The Dairy Queen at Car. Beach was still open in the early 60’s. Mrs. Lamb was my 6th grade teacher and drove the ice cream truck during the summer. The Lambs’ also owned the Dairy Queen at 16th and Dawson.

  6. On May 13, 2012 at 1:07 pm Jerry Hardee wrote:

    Although not intirely sure, I believe Mrs. Lamb’s name was Clara instead of Carol.

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