Outer Banks Beachcomber Museum

Welcome to the 

 Outer Banks Beachcomber Museum 

 Located in Historic 

 Mattie Midgette's Store 
 On North Carolina's Outer Banks 
 In the Heart of Old Nags Head 

  Home of the  

Nellie Myrtle Beachcomber Collection


The Beachcomber

Marimar MacNaughton

Wrightsville Beach Magazine 

June 2014

Check it out HERE...

 Speaking about this historic site 

 at the time of its listing in the 

 National Register of Historic Places, 

 Outer Banks historian David Stick said: 

 "Let’s put it this way, I would say next to Jockey’s Ridge 

 and the Wright Brothers Memorial, it is the most 

 historically significant place on the northern Outer Banks."





                            Mattie Midgette's Store  

The Beachcomber Museum will 

finish the 2015 season with two 


Open Houses:

Thanksgiving Day Weekend:

Friday, November 27


Christmas Season:

Saturday, December 19

Hours for are 10 AM ~ 4 PM, 

Admission is FREE!

Hope you can make it by for a visit!



The Nellie Myrtle Collection was highlighted  in sea glass and beachcombing Guru   Richard LaMotte's 2015 book, 

"The Lure of Sea Glass". 

LaMotte writes...

"In old Nags Head, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, is an important piece of history that could soon be lost to the fury of an Atlantic hurricane. Inside a weary 1920s bungalow patiently sits the most extraordinary and diverse collection of seaside relics ever amassed by a beachcomber. 

Known today as the Outer Banks Beachcomber Museum, this classic coastal cottage was once a local Nags Head grocery store and home to Nellie Myrtle Pridgen. Nellie was a woman with one primary passion since the 1920s; she walked the beaches almost daily in search of treasure, not gold or silver but virtually any items lost to the sea. "

"Her gatherings from the shore are a time capsule of goods from the first half of our 20th century.           She spent the majority of her life methodically accumulating and researching over 50 years of American history, along with a few objects that pre-dated her by several hundred years. Most of the collection is neatly archived in boxes or cases, on shelves or in piles. 

This is not a hoarder’s mess, Nellie was well read and understood history quite well, but the collection seems to have outgrown the modest cottage. 

Glass bottles and sea glass make up a noteworthy part of the menagerie.

 Exquisite shells like a rare Argonaut, tin soldiers and toys, as well as a plethora of fulgurites left behind by lightning strikes in the sand. 

One remarkable find is the top section of a stoneware jug, featuring a bearded man’s face,   a rare piece of German Bellarmine vessel likely from the 1600's." 

More on Richard LaMotte's 

"The Lure Of Sea Glass" >>> HERE...


For the latest information from the

Outer Banks Beachcomber Museum,

Follow us on Facebook   here...




Old Nags Head oceanfront, MP 13, January , 2015, with exposed sand fence

placed on the new beach after the 2011 Beach Fill project in Nags Head.


"I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull's way and the whale's way 

Where the wind's like a whetted knife."

From ~ Sea Fever ~ By John Masefield 

"For most of her 74 years, Nellie Myrtle – as everyone called her – walked at dusk and dawn, day in and day out, along the oceanfront, the sound side and the dunes at Jockey’s Ridge, scouting for beach glass, bottles, old dolls, anything interesting that the sea tossed aside or the sands gave up. By the time she  died in 1992, she had amassed jar after jar of sea glass, sorted by color; seashells of every distinction; colorful plastic toys that fill a big basket; bottles of every color and size, some containing messages; and numerous nautical artifacts."

 Catherine Kozak ~ The Virginian Pilot ~ Norfolk Virginia 



A stunning 12"  antique Japanese fishing net float hangs

from the ceiling in circa 1914  Mattie Midgette's Store



Nellie Myrtle, circa 1943 



Here is a water color of Jockeys Ridge by  the  Rev. Frank Dinwiddie, longtime Pastor of the  Old Nags Head Baptist Church.  More...



A portion of a giant Fulgurite Nellie Myrtle 

found on nearby Jockeys Ridge.  More...

 The Nellie Myrtle Collection 


Beach glass from the Collection:

A large piece of cobalt bonfire glass, a variety of blue beach glass, one stunning lavender chunk

and background cameos by green make this sunset array by Dorothy Hope a classic!







 Scenes from 

The Nellie Myrtle Beachcomber Collection

Mattie Midgette's Store ~ Old Nags Head 
















  Below, the morning sun lights up some of the shelves in the museum. 





















 "Old School Outer Banks" 



 Copyright © osob.net 2010 ~ 2012