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Company & Atlantic Beach History, Facts and Some Memories

If you would like to know some of the history of this part of the beach, we hope you enjoy this page. Through the power of the Internet we may possibly share some pictures and enlighten each other on some of the history of the beach. Everyone has a story as the Circle in Atlantic Beach, NC has touched a lot of lives through the years.

My father, J. C. Sherrill Jr., owned and operated the amusement park from a start in 1958 at the golf course on the front right hand corner, where the bumper boats were the business which grew to include the entire “triangle” – a triangle shaped lot where he operated and leased some of the stands, rides and other concessions. From 1958 to early 1980’s, my grandfather, JC Sherrill Sr., operated the golf course. The entire operation was operated as Anchor Green Enterprises.

I have a lot of memories from this era as my two younger sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and I grew up around the Circle. Funny, we all called it “the lot” or “the place”. (The back part with the rides was “the lot”.) It was a different time then… The beach was open for all and was a place for families to bring the children during the summer. You felt safe and everyone was decent, polite and seemed to look out for each other back then. The beach was a place where you dressed up to go. And the town provided free parking and lifeguards.

When the 70’s rolled in, the beach seamed to take a turn. With the gas crisis, high interest rates and the Vietnam War, the beach began to change. Rougher folks and alcohol pushed out the families and once they left, they haven’t come back like it was in the 50’s and 60’s.


Dad never sold alcohol and most all of the parking was owned by the Town of Atlantic Beach so he couldn’t control the crowd as Jungleland, the other park in Pine Knoll Shores area, could.

I have seen a lot of comings and goings and have a vivid memory of some of the faces sounds and smells when I was growing up. Cotton candy, popcorn, peanuts, candy apples, merry-go-round, bumper cars, Tilt-a-Whirl, Ferris wheel, Paratrooper, Scrambler, Round Up, Squirrel Cages… they are just a start.

Other main beach memories for me would be of The Embers Club, The Big Surf, The Pavilion, Horton’s Motel and Mr. Horton’s water works. He provided the water as a private company for the town. Lookout after Easter as the pressure went down to a trickle! Coral Sands Motel, John’s Motel, Gambles Motel, Davis Beachwear and Beach Bingo are more places from “memory lane”.

I found the golf course was my favorite place to work. We sold snow cones there. In order to get the ice we would go to Morehead City or Beaufort and buy a truck load of block ice from Carteret Quick Freeze. These blocks of ice were about 3 ft tall, 1 ft deep and about 5 ft long. We would try and go early due to the heat and the traffic. (Remember the old draw bridge?) We would use ice tongs to place these blocks in a large cooler. We then used ice picks to chip off pieces to grind up to make snow cones. My how times have changed...

I wish the Grove and the Town of Atlantic Beach the best of luck in this new venture. Change is a coming. I know that it will be new memories for future generations and families that come to the place we all love.

Should you have any questions feel free to call me for further details. I would be most happy to discuss anything you like. Remember, at Total Comfort, your comfort is our commitment, and we are here to serve you.

Mr. Fred Bunn (developer of the Grove) asked me why I bought the Ferris wheel and what was I going to do with it? Where else could we launch Total Comfort’s new website and get this kind of prime time exposure?

Now you know whom to call for your comfort needs. Thanks for visiting and sharing the memories.
J. Cecil Sherrill III


Total Comfort Heating & Cooling | 106 Old Causeway Rd | Atlantic Beach, NC 28512
 (252) 240-COOL or 240-HEAT