Caswell Beach is a small seaside town located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Cape Fear River in Southeastern North Carolina. Occupying the eastern part of Oak Island in Brunswick County, its population was listed at 398 in the 2010 census. Prominent features include the Civil War era Fort Caswell, the Oak Island Lighthouse co-located with the Oak Island Coast Guard Station, and the Oak Island Golf Club, the sole business in town and one of the few eighteen-hole courses located on a North Carolina barrier island. Along with the Town of Oak Island which occupies the central and west parts of the island, Caswell Beach is considered to be in the Myrtle Beach metropolitan area.
Contiguous to Fort Caswell which dates from 1825, Caswell Beach was incorporated as a town in 1975; both were named for Richard Caswell, 1st & 5th Governor of North Carolina. The fort which is located on the extreme eastern end of Oak Island now houses the North Carolina Baptist Assembly, a Christian retreat and conference center and in 2013 it was designated a National Historic District. Also on the east end of town, the Oak Island Lighthouse which became operational in 1958 was acquired by the town in 2004 after extensive negotiations with the National Park Service. In 1975, the same year the town was incorporated, all 18 holes of the Oak Island Golf Club on the west end of town were first opened for play.
Caswell Beach slowly developed into a vacation resort community, but was plagued over the years by the incessant erosion of beach sand due to hurricanes and nor-easters. This eventually prompted the town to set in motion an intensive restoration and preservation effort abetted by the Wilmington Harbor Channel Project, which dumped huge amounts of sand on the beach as a least cost disposal option.