plantation years

In 1720, both pirates and Indians were virtually eliminated from the Ocean Isle Beach area. Most of the pirates were hanged in 1720 in Charleston and most of the Cape Fear Indians had left the area during the Tuscarora Indian War. Therefore in 1720, Ocean Isle Beach area was ripe and vacant for pioneers to begin settlements and try to make a living. Families such as the Gause family and the Frink family and the Brooks family and the Moore family settled here and started large plantations. Unlike most settlers in the 13 Colonies in the 1700’s who were poor and trying to survive on a small plot of land, the people who settled here in Brunswick County in the 1700’s were from nobility and wealthy families. They brought with them slaves and capital.

Mr. William Gause was a famous plantation owner in the Ocean Isle Beach area during the 1700’s. He had a plantation home on Gause Landing Road. Mr. Gause’s tomb is on Hale Swamp Road. The Gause Plantation reached from Gause Landing Road to the ocean and inland for thousands of acres. William Gause owned more than 200 slaves who worked mainly in the turpentine industry. Brunswick County is full of pine trees from which tar, pitch and turpentine were derived. The end of both Gause Landing Road and Seaside Landing Road were once thriving ports in an otherwise very desolate area. Sailing vessels on high tide would come in through Tubbs Inlet and sail to these landings to unload their cargo. These vessels would then be loaded with tar, pitch, and turpentine and depart for England.

 

Another large plantation in the Ocean Isle Beach area was the Frink Plantation. The Frink family, throughout the time of slavery in the South, treated slaves better than any plantation anywhere. Slaves actually wanted to be traded or sold to the Frink Plantation. Today in the Ocean Isle Beach area, local descendents of slaves still greet the Frink family with respect and gratitude for their kind care of their distant relatives more than 150 years ago. Many blacks in this area today have the last name Frink, as their ancestors worked on the Frink Plantation.

 

From 1712 to 1729, Ocean Isle Beach was part of South Carolina. However in 1729, North Carolina created New Hanover County and established the southern border of North Carolina to be Little River Inlet rather than the Cape Fear River. This meant that Calabash was on the state line. North Carolina separated off Brunswick County from New Hanover County in 1764 with Brunswick County consisting of all lands west of the Cape Fear River. So Brunswick County was founded in 1764.