Welcome to the
Outer Banks Beachcomber Museum
Home of the
Nellie Myrtle Beachcomber Collection
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
"This beautiful book written by
Richard currently serves as the North American Sea Glass Association president and has visited the Beachcomber Museum twice and appraised the collection's rare treasures.
“When it comes to beachcombers of the 20th century, no one single collection comes close to the wealth of artifacts as those amassed by Nellie Myrtle Pridgen. Her trove of gifts from the shoreline and dunes of Nags Head serves as a 60-year time capsule of life on the Atlantic as items adrift from north and south found respite along North Carolina's Outer Banks. The shelves of a once thriving grocery store display thousands of stunning sea glass shards and dozens of antique bottles.”
“Like the reclusive collector herself, the
diverse items from our past have remained mostly out of the public eye,”
LaMotte says. “She passed away in 1992 and never desired attention for her
collection. Dorothy Hope and Chaz Winkler now carefully watch the store and its treasure. Their reluctance to move anything out of the nest is easily
understood. Members of the beachcombing community would likely agree that this is
the immaculate collection.”
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."
"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
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!
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.
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