History

Imagine a man fishing on the beach. A young boy walks up to him and asks “What kind of fish is that, mister?” Thus began Stuart Ingram’s vision of sharing his knowledge of nature and science by creating a museum. The Museum of Coastal Carolina opened on May 25, 1991 in Ocean Isle Beach, NC. It is the only museum located on a North Carolina barrier island.

Now imagine a young World War II airman named Stuart Ingram learning to navigate his aircraft by looking at the stars. Years later, he points out different constellations to his family and friends on warm summer nights. Fascination with the night sky leads Stuart Ingram to dream of a planetarium where others can share his knowledge of and fascination with the stars. Ingram Planetarium opened in May, 2002 in Sunset Beach, NC — only four miles away from the Museum of Coastal Carolina in Ocean Isle Beach, NC.

With the first donation from his mother-in-law, the encouragement of a steering committee, the generosity of numerous friends, and the support of his wife, Louise, the local business community, and the citizens of Brunswick County, Stuart Ingram’s visions of the Museum of Coastal Carolina and Ingram Planetarium are a reality today.