Thousands of years ago, Bald Head Island began its formation at the mouth of the majestic Cape Fear River. Beginning as just a small tidal flat, marsh grasses and small shrubberies soon took root to aid in creating the pristine island as it is today.
Throughout centuries, the marsh, tidal creeks, and Atlantic Ocean provided excellent fishing opportunities for the Native Americans who first inhabited the island. Later on, between the 17th and 18th centuries, Bald Head Island became an important stopping point for various pirates to replenish their provisions and bury their booty while sailing from New England to the Bahamas.
Bald Head Island also became a preferred hideout for the notorious pirate of pirates, Edward Teach - also known as Blackbeard - and Stede Bonnet, the intellectual-turned-pirate. Today, streets on the island are named after these infamous men. Long ago, pirates watched for vessels that would run aground on the treacherous Frying Pan Shoals, then commandeered the unsuspecting victims' cargo and valuables.
During the mid-19th century, a Civil War fort was built on Bald Head Island. One thousand Confederate soldiers were stationed there. The primary objective of the solders at Bald Head Island's Fort Holmes was to deny approaching ships access into the Cape Fear River Inlet.
Another historical presence on Bald Head is the Bald Head Island Lighthouse. It, unlike the infamous pirates of yore, still remains on the island. The Bald Head Island Lighthouse, affectionately nicknamed Old Baldy, is the oldest lighthouse in North Carolina, and it stands ninety feet high. Vacationers are invited to visit Old Baldy and the adjoining Smith Island Museum.
History thrives and flourishes on Bald Head Island. From Native Americans to sea ruffians, from Civil War troops to inquisitive vacationers, Bald Head Island has played host to an impressive spectrum of guests. We at Bald Head Island Rentals and Cape Fear Realty encourage our very own guests to appreciate and explore this unique and stunning environment.