Just landward of Topsail Island, NC is a state reserved luckily saved from development in the 1980s.
Permuda Island is around 65 acres with 1.5 miles of shoreline. The island has a vast history, much of which is undocumented.
Archaeologists have cited that there is evidence of humans inhabiting and visiting the island as far back as 300 BC. It seems Native Americans used the island as a “satellite” village because of the vast oyster bed, plentiful clams and of course, fresh seafood.
In the 1700’s records show the island was granted by the Queen (Queen’s Grant) to John Baptistia Ashe (also the namesake of the Ash Island Community in North Topsail).
A few centuries later, the island was used by local farmers with the center being cleared for crops. There was also a homemade bridge made from Topsail Island (which was being farmed) to Permuda Island to allow a roadway for the farm equipment. In the early 2000’s, this bridge was demolished by the State of North Carolina, although some pilings remain submerged under water.
During this time, a true blue North Carolina farm house was built in the center of the island. Some of the older natives in the area actually visited the home but no photos have been located. There are some remnants of a foundation on the island as well as deep holes dug to collect water for feeding the livestock.
Check out the farmhouse photos, submitted by Lena Ritter!
In 1980’s, developers identified the island as a great candidate for a new community. After several years of fund raising & lobbying, the State of North Carolina declared it a State Reserve saving the island forever in its current state. Lena Ritter of Tar Landing NC was the unrelenting leader of this effort thankfully.
Today Permuda Island is home to a wide range of sea birds from herons to ospreys as well as deer, raccoons, possums and the like. Many oyster men still collect oysters along the shores as Stump Sound is the perfect oyster habitat.
The only way to visit the island is by boat or by kayaking. GPS Coordinates are 34.468342, -77.493567.