South of Pawley’s Island, just across the inlet, Debordieu has been called Yahany, Sandy Island, and later Debordieu, after Joseph Debordieu, a prominent early citizen of Craven County. The name has been spelled differently over the years, including Dubordie and debidue, but is now known as Debordieu.
Joseph Alston and Theodosia Burr Alston (daughter of former US Vice President Aaron Burr) spent summers here in their island home, “The Castle.” On September 27, 1822, a massive hurricane claimed many lives and destroyed most of the property on Debordieu and North Islands.
During the Civil War, the blockade runner The Dan was nearly captured by Federals in 1864. The crew quickly made their way to Debordieu Beach and burned the ship and everything aboard so that nothing could be used by the enemy. They even succeeded in capturing some Union soldiers who followed them to the island.
Mrs. Robert Balding, who ultimately inherited Arcadia and Debordieu Beach, developed the area as a beach community complete with a golf course and system of canals. Today, 1,250 homesites occupy 2,700 acres. Residents of this gated community enjoy 6 miles of beach, the Pete Dye Golf Course, tennis, and more. Vacation rentals are available.