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Celebrating 60 Years


Perhaps you are one of our newest friends having discovered us during the anxious months of 2020 and 2021 when most travel seemed unsafe, but staying in a cottage by the sea with sunshine and salt breezes felt not only safe, but heavenly after months of mask wearing, Zoom meetings and virtual school. If your first visit to Emerald Isle was by traveling in the back seat of your parents or grandparents station wagon in the 1960s, then we would especially love to hear from you! We need your help as we celebrate 60 years as a family business on Emerald Isle. Please send us your stories and photos of your earliest memories of beach trips to Emerald Isle.


  • 1962


    Our founder, Mildred Batten Simmons, moved to Emerald Isle in 1962 to enjoy saltwater fishing with her husband, Clarence. She was just being a genuine, neighborly, North Carolina gal when other friends from Winston Salem began buying homes nearby on Emerald Isle and asked her to keep the keys to their beach cottages and “just charge a little something” to other friends who might want to come enjoy the then mostly uninhabited island paradise that was Emerald Isle in the early 1960s. From this humble, friendly beginning Emerald Isle Realty was born.

  • MID 1960's

    MID 1960’s

    Julia Batten Wax recalls Jim and Mary loading up the family station wagon and Dave, Guinn, Julia and cousin Nancy heading to Emerald Isle to spend the summers with Aunt Mildred, helping in every way she could in the office.

  • 1970's


    Emerald Isle bridge was completed in the early ‘70s, connecting the mainland to the island, opening up a whole new beautiful, unspoiled area for vacationers and surfers alike. Surfer Dave Batten sure did take advantage of the perfect waves on Emerald Isle as well!

  • 1975


    Julia and Mark soak up all of Mildred’s hospitality wisdom they can. Mildred passes, leaving the business to her brother, Jim Batten. Together Jim, Mary, Julia and Mark take over the thriving business that now had almost 200 vacation rental homes.

  • 1980's


    Now managing over 350 properties and Jim Batten, the Barefoot Broker, begins building his sales team. Snow days are always more fun at the beach!

  • 1990's


    Julia and Mark are trailblazers in the vacation rental industry by always being on the leading edge of technology solutions for property management, while at the same time ensuring each guest, homeowner and client is greeted with our legendary southern hospitality.

  • 1992


    The Batten and Wax families join their EIR family to break ground on new office at 7501 Emerald Drive. Jim and Mary are still very hands on owners leading with their characteristic traits of intelligence and kindness.

  • 2000


    All Wax children are working in the family business! Nathan is working full time in his first management role, while Allison is “Runner” for the Reservations Department before leaving for college and youngest son, James, enjoys welcoming guests at drive through check-in as a rising Middle Schooler.

  • 2000's


    It is the end of an era with the passing of Jim Batten in 2001 and Mary Batten in 2010. We love nothing more than hearing Jim and Mary stories from our guests and owners that have been vacationing with us for decades. Jim was one of Emerald Isle’s most unforgettable characters in the short history of our small beach town. Everyone knew his firm handshake and his word were the only guarantee they’d ever need that Jim truly had their best interests at heart. Mary is still lovingly known and remembered for her infectious smile and unwavering southern hospitality.

  • 2022


    Three generations of Batten Wax family gather on the beach. Since 1962, it has been our joy to welcome families that have become dear friends from all over the United States, and even from several other countries, to experience North Carolina hospitality, Emerald Isle Realty style. With a rock star team of close to 100 employees, we gratefully manage over 700 vacation rental and long term homes. Our real estate sales team continues to offer superior service to our clients while ranking as one of the top producing real estate companies in the county for decades.

    60 years and over three million happy and smiling vacationers.


Guest Testimonials