Interested in the Lore of Pirate Treasure and Mystery?

Treasure. Danger. Mystery. It’s what makes up the intrigue of the pirates. Who knows what they were really like? Where they left their treasure? And what daring exploits they had? When you come to Topsail, you get to indulge the inner child in you as you surround yourself with legends of buried treasure and ghost pirate ships. 

We can’t wait to have you come and visit us in Topsail this spring! We have so much to offer your inner child, as well as your actual children. Not only do we have wonderful homes for you to stay in, but we also have the mysterious air of the pirates hanging over our island to delight you. 

Places often get their names in interesting fashions or from interesting people. For example, Raleigh is named after Sir Walter Raleigh, who was an explorer for Queen Elizabeth and established the lost Roanoke Colony (one of the great, real life mysteries of our time). Another example is the state of Virginia, which was named after Queen Elizabeth or "The Virgin Queen.” 

Topsail (pronounced " topsul”) received its name in an interesting way rather than from an interesting person. In the 1700s pirates - yes, real live pirates! - roamed the coastal waters around Topsail Island. To increase their chances of being able to surprise and capture a merchant vessel, the marauding pirates would hide their ships in the channel between Topsail Island and the mainland. Then, as the merchant ship passed, the pirates would dash out from behind the island and give chase. As this continued to happen, the merchants became wise to the pirates' strategy. So, the merchants began to look for the pirates "topsails" over the top of the island so that they could attempt to avoid an attack. 

In the 1700s, the colonists in America had no factories (the first factory in America was built after George Washington became president), so many of their goods such as cotton fabric had to be shipped to them. And of course, there were the other luxury goods such as the infamous tea that was dumped into the Boston Harbor that had to be shipped over from the mother country. All of this shipping meant that the coast of the Americas was ripe for the picking by pirates. Including Blackbeard. 

Most likely born and educated in England before emigrating to the Caribbean, Blackbeard (or Edward Teach as he was more properly named) joined the royal navy before entering the privateering world. He then began his reign of terror, moving from the Caribbean up to the coast of the southern American colonies. He never actually killed any of his captives, though he was still the most feared and most infamous of the early 18th century pirates. Instead of using force and death, Blackbeard instead used intimidation and appearances. Hence his famous flaming black beard. It is reported that he wove lit fuses and burning hemp into his braided beard in order to make himself appear like the devil. Towards the end of his career, Blackbeard blockaded Charleston to gain medical supplies for his crew. After which he journeyed to Bath, NC to receive a royal pardon. On his way there, he ran his boat The Queen Anne’s Revenge aground in Beaufort Inlet, just north of Topsail Island. Local legend has it that before "accidentally” sinking his ship, Blackbeard buried his treasure somewhere on Topsail Island.

Blackbeard’s ship was found in 1996, and you can see the artifacts discovered from it at the Maritime Museum in Beaufort. His treasure, though, was never found. For all everyone knows, it is still buried beneath the sandy shores of Topsail. The ghost of a pirate ship is also reported to lurk around Topsail Island. Even if you don’t see the ghost ship, you still might see a boatload of pirates if you take The Belle of Topsail’s Pirate Cruise.

So, come me hearties, and get yer fill of the most marvelous beach on this here green earth! Come to Topsail for your next vacation! Who knows, you just might discover treasure. Whether that be pirate gold, beautiful shells, or priceless memories, you are sure to bring home something unforgettable. Hurry and book now!

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