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Can you tell me about the boardwalk that existed to the east of North Lumina Avenue at Wrightsville Beach?

Ben Steelman

It sounds as if you’re referring to Ocean Avenue.

Here’s a passage from “Tide and Time: A History of Wrightsville Beach” by Virginia Whiting Kuhn:

“According to Bill Creasy, Ocean Avenue was not an avenue per se, but an elevated boardwalk that ran between Birmingham Street and Augusta Street. (A period aerial photograph) shows the boardwalk running parallel to and slightly off the shore. Homes to the east of the boardwalk were connected by individual boardwalks, both standing high on pilings. Bill described the boardwalks as being of plain planked wood with no railings and added that residents had to be careful coming home after an evening out, particularly if the libations were stronger than iced tea.”

The Ocean Avenue boardwalk was apparently destroyed by Hurricane Hazel in 1954 and not replaced.

Madeline Flagler of the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History said that the boardwalk appears on maps as early as 1920. A second boardwalk, on the south side of Wrightsville Beach, ran parallel to the “beach car” tracks all the way to Lumina pavilion, but did not run on the ocean side of the island.

The Ocean Avenue boardwalk, in a 1935 photo. Courtesy Wrightsville Beach Museum of History.

User-contributed question by:
David W. Lewis Jr.

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