CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WECT) - A big observance for the four communities in southern New Hanover County will be held this weekend. The area was incorporated years ago, and local officials will be holding an anniversary party for the area known as Pleasure Island.
Several years ago, Carolina Beach resident Daniel Norris published a couple of books about the history of Carolina Beach and nearby communities.
A look at the some of the pictures depict the early history of the beach town, which was established in 1857. Much of what was around Carolina Beach in its earlier years is still there today.
In 1938, a Chamber of Commerce was formed at Carolina Beach, but it was a marketing idea by merchants and business owners that happened in the mid seventies that gave Carolina Beach, Fort Fisher, Wilmington Beach and Kure Beach the name Pleasure Island.
"There was a marketing committee that got together, and decided to call it Pleasure Island," said Gail McCloskey, President of the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce. "And it also included the region of the county, from Myrtle Grove Junction south, so we have always said Monkey Junction was part of our area. And obviously it is, because that was the way they were marketing the area back then."
Today, the entire Pleasure Island area is considered the perfect family vacation destination.
As it was years ago, at Carolina Beach, the business district is centered around the yacht basin. Plus there are even more fishing opportunities as the Carolina Beach State Park recently remodeled their marina area. Nearby, the Boardwalk area has undergone a revitalization and rebuilding.
Carolina and Kure Beaches now occupy the area where Wilmington Beach was. And farther down Highway 421, at Fort Fisher, you will find the state's most visited historic site, the Civil War battlefield and museum, and the North Carolina Aquarium.
More vacationers are coming to area than ever before. With gasoline prices continuing to fall, it looks like that trend will continue along the narrow strip of land known as Pleasure Island.
"It is going to be just the same old great summer, just like last year, but only better," said McCloskey.
The public is invited to the 75th anniversary party of Pleasure Island, Sunday afternoon at the Fort Fisher Air Force Base recreation area, beginning at 2 p.m.
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