"Topsail Island has no history," I was told. But there were too many rumors and evidence of stories that needed to be told. I felt compelled to dig into the island past to pull out the facts. Seven years' mining of musty archives resulted in these books.
Stories of the people who lived here abound and are captured in ECHOES of Topsail - Stories of the Island's Past. It tells of Civil War salt production and a blockade runner that met its fate offshore, a four-year dig for Spanish gold in the 1930s, and military operations in the 1940s. The second edition of ECHOES of Topsail updates the island history to 2004 including stories about hurricanes of the 1990s and Topsail changing landscape.
During WWII, tiny Holly Ridge was transformed into Camp Davis, an antiaircraft training camp for 110,0000 soldiers. A History of Camp Davis tells the Camp Davis story including the use of Topsail Island for target practice and military maneuvers.
After WWII, a secret US Navy program code-named Operation Bumblebee launched some 200 rockets at the beach. Details of this well-kept secret were hidden in archives for over 30 years.
Browse these pages for more details. If you want to contact me, click on E-mail Me or call me at 910.799.3782.