As far as we can tell, Greenfield Park. At least that’s what Wilmington city directories from the 1940s called it. The City of Wilmington acquired the park property in 1925 and developed and terraced its grounds in the 1930s using WPA workers.
You might be thinking of Greenfield Terrace, a public housing project consisting of 150 cinderblock duplexes, built for shipyard workers along Greenfield Street before and during World War II. The property, along with nearby Lake Forest was sold in 1947 to Veterans Homes Inc., a non-profit cooperative, to provide housing for returning veterans.
As Wilbur D . Jones Jr. noted in his history of wartime Wilmington, “A Sentimental Journey,” Greenfield Park was a favorite spot for picnics and other social events during World War II. GIs often met their girls there.
In the 1940s, the park marked the southern end of Wilmington, and the adjoining intersection where South Front and Third streets joined to form Carolina Beach Road — so close to the shipyard — was the scene of many serious traffic accidents. One of the worst was a car-truck collision on Nov. 12, 1944, which killed three off-duty Camp Lejeune Marines, all of whom had just returned from combat service at Tarawa, Saipan and Tinian. As Jones notes, city and state officials debated who was responsible for dealing with the traffic problem at that point.
In 1944, Jones reported in “The Journey Continues,” the city also had to cope with a rash of flower and shrubbery thefts from Greenfield Park, as well as from local cemeteries. Two women were apprehended and fined $50 plus court costs.
Date posted: April 3, 2013
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