Terrific Topsail Trivia To Impress Your Friends
How much do you really know about Topsail Island?
You already know that you should pronounce it "Tops'l" instead of "Top-sail". You have heard the rumors about Blackbeard's treasure buried along the coast. You might even know that Topsail Island is considered the "first Cape Canaveral" and was the site of over 200 test missiles before it became a vacation destination. Here are a few more interesting items you might NOT know!
"Salt Life" isn't just a bumper sticker.
During the Civil War, salt production was important to the economy around Topsail Island, selling for about $64 a bushel. That was a lot back then!
Sloop Point Plantation, located on the mainland between Topsail Beach and Surf City, operated an early saltworks by allowing salt water to evaporate in cast iron pans. Simple, right? Salt was especially important in those days to preserve meats, flavor food and to trade.
Topsail spans two counties.
This little island, which is only 26 miles long (and no wider than 1,500 feet at any point!) actually sits between two counties: Onslow to the North and Pender County to the South.
Topsail Island is made up of three communities: To the south, Topsail Beach is the smallest. In the middle, Surf City was the first municipality and is the largest with just under 2,000 full-time residents. Finally, North Topsail was incorporated in 1990 which makes it the newest of the three.
Military families call Topsail home, too.
We can actually thank the military for first developing this little barrier island. Only accessible by boat before the 1940's, Topsail went from a sleepy fishing island to an important site of military operations when the US Army built Camp Davis and a bridge!
Today, many military families call Topsail Island home year-round because it's a lovely place to live and an easy commute to bases like Camp Lejeune and New River Air Station.
Topsail is home to jet flight development.
It was named after a bumblebee because really, a fat insect with tiny wings shouldn't be able to achieve flight but bees prove that theory wrong, and so did this amazing program!
Hurricanes have been, and always will be a part of Topsail history.
Topsail has seen its share of hurricanes, but we have always been able to rebuild and come out better than ever. A few notable storms that have rocked the island in the past were Hazel in 1954, and then a two-fer in 1996 with Bertha in July and Fran in September! Bonnie hit in 1998 and then Floyd in 1999. Isabel was a late season surprise in January of 2002.
Our latest fury, Hurricane Florence (September of 2018) will leave her mark for years to come!