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Topsail Island Museum Offers New Exhibit On Black Heritage

By Staff Reports, posted May 17, 2024
The Historical Society of Topsail Island recently opened a new exhibit in the Missiles and More Museum entitled “Historic Ocean City Beach.” 

The exhibit, which opened April 20, spotlights local Black heritage, according to a news release.

Ocean City Beach was established in 1949 and became the first community in the state where Black people could purchase oceanfront property, the release stated. 

“The close-knit community, which became a part of North Topsail Beach in 1990, continues to grow. Despite the passing of time, Ocean City Beach remains a community united in values and tradition,” according to the release.

Ocean City Beach was inducted into the N.C. Civil Rights Trail in 2022 and is honored with a Civil Rights marker. In 2014, the community was inducted into the Jacksonville-Onslow African American Heritage Trail.

“Our Ocean City Beach exhibit panels were damaged during Hurricane Florence,” said Laurette Gordon, museum director, in the release. “I have enjoyed working with the Ocean City Citizens Council to redesign and reopen this exhibit about historic and beautiful Ocean City Beach.”

The Missiles and More Museum, housed in the Historic Assembly Building, 720 Channel Blvd., Topsail Beach, opened in 1995 and expanded in 2005. 

Exhibits include Topsail Island’s natural history, a Native American canoe, Pirates, Women Airforce Service Pilots, Camp Davis, Operation Bumblebee and more.

Admission is free, but donations are welcomed, the release stated.
 
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