The names of Dr. William Sharpe, Gertrude Hurst, and John Hurst are bound to Hammocks Beach State Park's history. Sharpe bought the land in 1914, and Hurst, an Afro-American outdoorsman, managed it for over forty years. Sharpe planned to will the Hursts the property, but they knew they lacked funds to develop it. At their suggestion, Sharpe gave it to the North Carolina Teachers Association, an African American teachers' organization. In 1961, association gave it to the state for a park.