Ocean piers have a long history in North Carolina. The first one was built at Wrightsville Beach in 1910, but was destroyed by fire ten years later. The oldest pier still in operation is Kure Beach Pier which was built in 1925. The number of piers peaked at 36 in 1980. In 2007, only twenty remain. Hurricanes caused the loss of some, but accelerated development on the barrier islands, especially Bogue Banks, is the main reason for closing piers. The price of beachfront property is soaring, and pier owners are selling to the developers. Barnes discusses a number of these vulnerable, wooden structures and why they hold such a special place in the memories of the people who visit them.