Aycock Brown Photographs
The Aycock Brown Photograph digital collection contains a variety of images taken by Brown starting in the 1940s. Images range from Brown family photographs, Outer Bank aerials, beach and fishing scenes, to documenting the evolution of the Outer Banks as a popular tourist destination. This will be an ongoing project and additional images will be added as they are digitized. The physical collection is available at the Outer Banks History Center.
Who was Aycock Brown?
Charles Brantley Aycock Brown (1904-1984), was a journalist, publicity director, and photographer. During the summer of 1928, Brown was hired to promote the Beaufort and Atlantic Beach area, after which he accepted a job promoting the Pamlico Inn on Ocracoke Island in exchange for room and board. He met and married Esther Styron, an island native. Together, they had three children, two boys and one girl. Brown wrote a popular column, "Covering the Waterfront" that ran in newspapers across North Carolina. He also wrote for the Durham Herald, edited the Beaufort News and founded the Ocracoke Beacon. In the 1930s, he worked for the Beaufort Chamber of Commerce.
During World War II, Brown worked as a civilian intelligence agent where he reported sinking ships and submarine sightings for the U.S. Navy. He also interviewed survivors, examined bodies that washed ashore, and arranged for proper burials. In 1948, he came to Dare County to be the publicity director for The Lost Colony outdoor drama, which was on the verge of closing due to dwindling audiences. He used promotional celebrity nights, news articles, and photographs to breathe new life into the play. In 1952, Brown became the first director of the Dare County Tourist Bureau. He held this post until 1976, when he decided to work part-time as news director for the bureau and become a photographer for the Roanoke Island Historical Association.
Learn more about the Aycock Brown Photograph collection by searching the DOC online catalog.