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...
MMS FINAL NRHP National Register Registration Form Amendment 4-16-2019.pdf
Size : 4767.435 Kb
Type : pdf
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.
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.