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Currituck Tour of Historic Homes set for this week

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In this file photo from August, Janet Rose (right) and Knotts Island resident Cliff Scott chat after the opening of the Flyway Lodge on Knotts Island. The building in the background is the Flyway Farm Building, one of the 15 sites on the Currituck Chamber of Commerce's first-ever Currituck Tour of Historic Homes on Friday and Saturday.

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By WIlliam F. West
Staff Writer

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

CURRITUCK — History buffs will have a chance to explore 15 historic buildings from three different centuries later this week during the first-ever Currituck Tour of Historic Homes.

The tour, sponsored by the Currituck Chamber of Commerce and the Currituck Historical Society, is set for Friday and Saturday and will feature six structures in Corolla and Carova on the county’s Outer Banks, two on Knotts Island and seven on the Currituck mainland. The tour on Friday will focus on the structures on the Outer Banks while the tour on Saturday will include the structures on Knotts Island and the mainland. Tickets are $20 and good for both days of the tour.      

Currituck Chamber President Josh Bass said the tour offers a good cross-selection of historic buildings in the county.

“You’ve got three different centuries of buildings — 18th, 19th and 20th,” Bass said.

Sites on the tour, Bass noted, include not just houses, but also a church, a former general store, a couple of former hunting lodges and a couple of former life-saving stations used by the forerunner of today’s U.S. Coast Guard.

In Corolla on Friday, ticket holders will tour the Wash Woods U.S. Coast Guard Station at 1994 Sandfiddler Road that dates to 1917. The former life-saving station is in the Carova area and only accessible by four-wheel drive vehicle. Limited seating tours are available from Twiddy & Co. at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Bob’s Wild Horse Tours will also offer limited-seating transportation to the former life-saving station on Friday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Horace Bell will provide ticket holders some history of the station during the tour. The tour will both depart from and return to Pasquale's Pizza at 1210 Ocean Trail.

In Corolla Village, restored buildings will be open for tours at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

The Corolla Schoolhouse, if available, will be on the tour, as will the Parker Home. Both are on Schoolhouse Lane.

Other Corolla sites open for tours on Friday include:

* Pine Island Club at 300 Audubon Drive. The club, which began in 1850, features the site of the oldest standing hunting clubhouse in the county. The National Audubon Society owns and maintains the clubhouse, which dates to 1913, as part of a wildlife sanctuary and coastal resiliency research and education center. The site closes at 1 p.m.

* Light Keepers House at 1101 Corolla Village Road. The station, which dates to 1876, had keepers who lived onsite until 1937 and continues to serve as an aid to navigation.

* Original Kill Devil Hills Life Saving Station at 1142 Ocean Trail. The station, which dates to 1873, is one of the original North Carolina life-saving stations. The structure was moved from its original location in Kill Devil Hills in 1986 and is currently a sales office for Twiddy & Co.

The county’s Whalehead tourist site at Currituck Heritage Village in Corolla will also be open for tours on Friday. Built by northern businessman Edward Knight in 1922, the former mansion and hunting lodge is today owned by Currituck County. Reduced-admission tickets will be for sale for $5.

On the second day of the tour on Saturday, ticket holders can visit two sites on Knotts Island between 9 a.m. and noon. They are:

* The Flyway at 220 Marsh Causeway. New York newspaper publisher Ogden Reid built the Flyway Farm Building for his hunting estate, the Flyway, in 1930. The building is unique both as hunting club architecture in Currituck and as a high-style example of a domestic outbuilding.

* Knotts Island United Methodist Church at 677 Knotts Island Road. The church, which dates to 1911, is perhaps the tallest building on Knotts Island.

On the Currituck mainland, the sites on Saturday’s tour include:

* Martin C. Poyner House at 192 Shingle Landing Road, Moyock. Built in 1899, four generations of the Martin C. Poyner family called the two-story Queen Anne home before it was sold in 2014.

* Buckskin Farms at 2310 Caratoke Highway, Sligo. The two-story, three-bay single-pile house dates to 1770 and is believed to be Currituck’s only surviving example of a house with a late Georgian interior.

* Walker-Snowden House at 154 Courthouse Road. The house, which dates to 1875, is the second-oldest dwelling in Currituck Village.

* Walker-Snowden Store at 150 Courthouse Road. The structure, which dates to 1895, offers a glimpse of what a general store in small Southern communities looked like. 

* Dr. W.T. Griggs House at 204 Poplar Branch Road. The two-story house, which dates to 1912 and built by Griggs’ brother-in-law, is considered one of the most architecturally significant dwellings in Currituck. The structure shows the transition from the Queen Anne-style home to the Colonial Revival-style home.

* The Gallop-Sawyer-Beasley House at 7081 Caratoke Highway, Jarvisburg. The structure, which dates to 1917, contains elements of the Victorian, Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles.

Also open on Saturday will be the Historic Jarvisburg Colored School on the mainland. The Jarvisburg school, built in 1911 as one of the earliest schools built for African-American students in the state, will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is no charge to tour the site.

Although ticket holders may visit sites in any order on Saturday, Bass advises they begin by touring the sites on Knotts Island first.

The Currituck Tour of Historic Homes is being held in conjunction with Currituck’s celebration this year of the 350th anniversary of the founding of both the county and region. 

For more information about tickets to the tour, call the Currituck Chamber at 252-453-9497 or visit online at www.currituckchamber.org.

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