“Growing up on Ocean Isle Beach in the 1960s and 1970s, I was honored to be a part of the evolution of this beautiful, isolated spit of land. Watching the transformation of OIB into a thriving village for thousands of people was a true joy. Ocean Isle, an island only six-miles long and half a mile wide, is located in Brunswick County, N.C. just north of the state line between North and South Carolina. It is geographically thirty miles from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and thirty miles from Wilmington, North Carolina. It’s been home to me for over sixty years, and now it’s home to many more.
No one who had a part in this transformation, from those owning this former goat farm, to those earning a living fishing, building beach houses, or cooking up seafood, could have had any idea that in just a few decades OIB would be a thriving beach vacation destination for tens of thousands. Now dotted with million-dollar vacation homes, many flourishing communities and beach resorts, Ocean Isle Beach welcomes families from all over the United States and all over the world.
The following pages offer a glimpse into the people who made Ocean Isle Beach the place we love today. Many of the people in the stories are gone now, but they live on within these pages. Their memories and history shared—each one helped create a cherished patchwork of the fabric that is now our beloved island’s legacy.
These are my personal recollections as well as those of my mother, Lomie Lou Mills Cooke, who was 94-years- young at the time we were preparing to publish this book.
Join us. Go back in time, and experience growing up on Ocean Isle Beach. We hope you enjoy reading about our journey as much as we enjoyed sharing it with you.”
– Stuart Cooke