“BEACH TOWN IN a Forest – The Story of Pine Knoll Shores” is on exhibit at the History Museum of Carteret County through March 15, 2017. This display, produced as a joint effort of the History Committee of Pine Knoll Shores and the Historical Society of Carteret County, occupies the remodeled Rodney Kemp Gallery. The museum intends to use the Rodney Kemp Gallery to showcase the history of Carteret County towns. Pine Knoll Shores was selected to be first to exhibit, and in coming years, the story of other communities will fill the same space.
The intent of the current exhibit is to bring to life a few of the people and events that formed the foundation for the Town of Pine Knoll Shores. The story starts with native people, the age of exploration and early settlers – specifically, the Meginnises, Royalls and Abonita adventurers. Visitors stopping in this area of the exhibit need to be careful not to scare the alligator, typical of wildlife once common on the island.
Alice Green Hoffman came to Bogue Banks in 1915, brought property and left a light footprint environmentally. In this exhibit, she is presented in a life-size mannequin wearing an outfit she favored while walking her Bogue Banks property. She carries one of her pistols. The mannequin stands out in contrast to the photographs of her, which suggest the life she led and the clothes she wore as a socialite in New York City and Paris.
World War II brought its share of changes – roads, utilities and the introduction of thousands of people from around the country. When walking through the World War II area, visitors are introduced to the many military activities that shaped Carteret County, Bogue Banks and Pine Knoll Shores after the war.
By the late 1930s, Hoffman was a full-time resident and her niece’s children, the grandchildren of President Theodore Roosevelt, legally assumed rights to her property. However, it was not until 1953 that the Roosevelt family and some local North Carolinians began development. They worked for the next 30 years building a community that today still has a concern for preserving the natural environment, a legacy of President Teddy Roosevelt and Alice Hoffman. Current photos and artifacts reveal not only the look but also the way of life in this beach town in a forest. A touchscreen adds pictures and stories for those who want more.
The museum is located at 1008 Arendell St. in Morehead City. Parking is in the rear. It is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 4pm and the first Saturday of each month. For more museum information, call 252-247-7533.
The History Committee of Pine Knoll Shores DOES NOT operate a brick and mortar museum. In its place, we present our discoveries and research results in an electronic format on the Internet—an e-museum. The stories presented in the Rodney Kemp Gallery exhibit are all based on material detailed in our history blog, which can be read at pineknollhistory.blogspot.com.
By Walt Zaenker