Mattie Midgette behind the counter in her                                                                                                                       historic circa 1914 grocery in 1941.

Below is the result of the research we have been doing to have the description 
of the history of what we now call the Twiford ~ Midgette House, circa 1890. 
We have submitted our finished research on the true origin and history of the 
house out back which was previously thought to have been constructed in 1933 
after the Store was moved from its original location on the soundside to the present
location in 1932 after the construction of the Beach Road, NC Hwy 12. 

The historic grocery has served as the home of the internationally acclaimed "Nellie 
Myrtle Beachcomber Collection" since 2003 and is the oldest and most important 
commercial structure on the northern Outer Banks. We now know the Twiford ~ Midgette 
House is the sole surviving home from the once thriving Nags Head Woods community 
of the local "Banker" families.

Read below about the discovery of the origins of the historic building and the 
interesting history of the family that built it in the woods of Old Nags Head...

Mattie Midgette's Store & House
The House was built in Nags Head Woods 
by Willie and Nellie Twiford circa 1890 and 
moved just southwest of the original sound-side location of Mattie's Store sometime between 
1930 and 1932. (Photo by Celia Pearson)

Mattie with her granddaughter and museum founder 
Carmen Gray, circa 1955, in front of the grocery she 
opened on the soundside in 1914.   
Nellie Myrtle Pridgen circa 1943


Original soundide location of Midgette'e Store & House seen from aerial photographs taken in 1932.

Beachcomber Museum Open House 

In December of 2016, the Museum was awarded the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution's Historic Preservation Recognition Award. "The Award recognizes and honors individuals or groups that have done recent remarkable volunteer work at the community level." 

Nell's photo of helicopters flying over the crowd on
Kill Devil Hill at the  50th Anniversary Celebration in 1953.

Closeup of Midgette's Store and House on the soundide

This three full page article, "Lady of the Sand"
appeared in Norfolk Virginian Pilot, August,2013.

1993 article on Nellie Myrtle and the legacy she
left behind. Dorothy is seen at top pointing to
some of the treasures she had placed on the 
shelves of her mothers historic grocery.

Video of our Open House, Christmas ~ 2014

Visit the museum website Here...

Nellie Myrtle on the south side of the monument on
the top of Kill Devil Hill for the 50th Anniversary of the Wright Brothers historic 1903 flight. Her grandparents, Willie and Nellie Twiford, owned Kill Devil Hill, the sand dune the brothers flew from, before selling it to
Frank Stick, in 1928.
After State Highway 12 was constructed in 1932, the Midgette's moved their thriving grocery from    the soundside location to the Beach Road across      from Cottage Row, making it more accessible        to the growing community on the beach.
Mattie Midgette"s Store circa 1972

Mattie Midgette and her daughter Nellie Myrtle    on the soundside, circa 1953.

Mattie's Store & House were individually listed in the NRHP in December of 2004

Mattie and her grand daughter and Museum founder
Carmen Gray, out front of her grocery.                        Her son's seafood and ice house can be                      seen in the background of this 1955 photo.

                  Certificate of listing on the NRHP                   December ~ 2004

Aerial view of Old Nags Head:

Here is a brief drone video of the area that gives                                                                                                                 a really great view of the Cottage Row Historic District.