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

Mattie Midgettes Historic Site up for Sale as Cultural Heritage Center After a quarter century of the challenging and rewarding stewardship of the site, the owners are now offering the property for sale as a preservation opportunity for a buyer or buyers to rehabilitate. Over a thousand people visited the museum during the Centennial Celebration of the Wright Brothers 1903 flight at "Kill Devil Hill", learning about Mattie's parents' connection to Frank Stick and the Wright Brothers Monument. Over the years since, thousands more have visited the Outer Banks Beachcomber Museum to see the 

old store and the sea side artifacts collected locally by Mattie's daughter Nellie Myrtle Pridgen, a legendary beachcomber.

In December of 2016, the Beachcomber Museum was awarded the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution's Historic Preservation Recognition Award

Located next to undeveloped lots in the heart of the Cottage Row Historic District, the site, its two structures, and the Beachcomber Museum are well suited to anchoring a much-needed Cultural Heritage Attraction. Buyers would be eligible to apply for NC SHPO

Tax Credits for a Certified Restoration. Mattie Midgette's Store is the oldest and most historically important commercial structure on the northern Outer Banks. We recently discovered the Twiford ~ Midgette House is the sole surviving home from the once thriving Nags Head Woods community of the local "Banker" families.

The site’s tangible and intangible assets could be presented in a way that encourages a deeper appreciation of the importance of 

historic places and an earnest commitment to preserving them for future generations. The newly restored site would become a “must see” attraction where locals and visitors can “Step Back in Time” and experience a bygone era.

Like the Little Corolla Keeper's Cottage at the Currituck Lighthouse, or the Ocracoke Island Preservation Society’s Odd Fellow's Lodge reclamation/preservation project, these irreplaceable relics from our collective past need to be preserved. By making the site a full time, income producing Heritage attraction, the resource will evolve and thrive. It will help the site realize its full potential for serving as an educational, research, and community resource. It could serve as a “Satellite” site that would be used in conjunction with the Soundside Event Site, Dowdy Park, or the First Colony Inn.

This is an opportunity for all of Dare County and anyone who loves the Outer Banks to make history with history. You can write the next chapter in the rich and storied legacy of this legendary landmark. Bring your energy, your creativity, and your imagination, the opportunity to create a new legacy at this singular historic property is awaiting your passion!! Visit the Preservation North Carolina website to view the listing HERE.

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

                                                                Mattie Midgette's Store & House                    (Photo by Celia Pearson)

Built on a 100’x100’ lot the Midgettes owned near the Croatan Sound at the northern edge of the Nags Head soundside resort in 1914, the “Jot it Down” style grocery served as the hub of the community year round through the following 6 decades of steady growth and development that swept over the Outer Banks.

The circa 1890 House was built in Nags Head Woods b
Mattie's parents, Willie and Nellie Twiford, and moved to  
the original sound-side location of Mattie's Store between 1930 and 1932, when the photo at right was taken.                                                         
The Midgette's Soundside location is at the top arrow, the present location is at the bottom.

The store was built on the Midgette's soundside parcel in 1914. The House was moved from Nags Head Woods to the site in 1930-32. 

Original soundide location of Midgette'e Store & House as seen in this in 1932 USACE aerial photograph.

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." The museum share that honor with the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station, Island Farm, and the Jarvisburg School.

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.


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.