Sunset Beach celebrates its golden anniversary - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Sunset Beach celebrates its golden anniversary

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Some 3,600 people call Sunset Beach their home, but that population swells to over 15,000 during the summer months. Some 3,600 people call Sunset Beach their home, but that population swells to over 15,000 during the summer months.

SUNSET BEACH, NC (WECT) - In 1963, America was getting ready for the British invasion. It was also the same year that a tiny piece of land in Brunswick County became known as Sunset Beach.

The town actually had its beginnings in 1955, the year after Hurricane Hazel devastated the Brunswick County coastline. What was referred to as Bald Beach was purchased by Mannon Gore, a farmer turned land developer.

"Dad bought four miles along the waterway from International Paper Company and the island from the Brooks family to develop Sunset Beach," said Ed Gore, who helped his father develop Sunset Beach. "He sold farms to develop the island and build the causeway and bridge."

Some 3,600 people call Sunset Beach their home, but that population swells to over 15,000 during the summer months.

Town Council Member Karen Joseph said, "We welcome all people to our small town, there is a lot to see and do here, of course, everyone loves our beach."

For many, this is what they have heard about Sunset Beach, the old pontoon bridge that used to cross the Intra Coastal Waterway, to the island. After being replaced a few years ago by a new, high rise structure, the old bridge has become a tourist destination. It is one of many places town officials say you should visit when at the beach town.

"We are building a museum there, in the tender house, for people to come and visit," said Dian Robbins, a member of the Sunset Beach Anniversary Committee. "We have lot of events there during the summer."

Sunset Beach is unique that it encompasses both a mainland and an island. The area offers shopping, educational assistance, relaxing spots on the beach, and golf. Ideal living situations for many people.

"We are a small community and we try to get to know neighbors and help each other and to make everyone feel welcome when they come here," said Brenda Snead, a Sunset Beach resident and Anniversary Committee member.

As part of the year-long celebration, town residents are being asked to bring items of interest to be placed in this time capsule, which will be placed at the Sunset Beach town hall this time next year.

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