Cape Fear Beaches (Images of America, North Carolina
by Susan Taylor Block
In Cape Fear Beaches, with more than 200 rare, black-and-white photographs, you will step back into affectionate memory, when early residents slept in hammocks in precarious beach shacks, when grand buildings, such as Lumina and the Oceanic Hotel, dotted the beachscape, when road repair meant a shovelful of oyster shells to mend a pothole, and when bathing suits left almost everything to the imagination.
This volume also recounts the black community’s experiences along these beaches, primarily at Seabreeze and Shell Island, and shares their personal stories and triumphs in a changing social scene, in which Reconstruction values slowly gave way to Civil Rights-era equality. Throughout the book, scenes of proud fishermen, both amateur and professional, with their daily catches, snapshots of family picnics on the beach, and photographs of friends posed with the ocean as a backdrop remind us that at the beach, the pace of life is measured not by the hands of a clock, but by the steady, changing tides.
Local historian and author Susan Taylor Block, on behalf of Cape Fear Museum, has created a wonderful complement to her previous visual histories of the Wilmington area: Along the Cape Fear and Cape Fear Lost. Ranging from North Topsail Beach to Wrightsville Beach to Bald Head Island, Cape Fear Beaches, in word and image, allows readers a rare opportunity to stroll along the boardwalks of yesteryear and discover their favorite beaches’ rich histories.
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing (June 25, 2000)