The Shore Line Story Continues...
Among big news stories in 1976 are a marine resources center in Pine Knoll Shores, a miniature golf course on the town’s eastern border, a high-rise bridge over Cape Carteret, more condominiums east and west of Pine Knoll Townes, plans for a Fire Department, formation of a Community Appearance Commission and Shore Line’s introduction of new staff members. As the town marks another year of growth, Betty Hammon and Mary Doll remain as editors and receive official commendation for “the valuable contribution to the life of the community made by their paper.”
In July, they announce: “As the town grows so grows the Shoreline group.” Joining those collating and mailing issues are a typist and four new writers—Verna Armstrong, Audrey Hoffmer, Newell Haller and Louise Baker. All are volunteers, but mailing costs have risen, so 237 residences receiving Pine KnollShore Lineare asked to pay $3.50 for a year’s subscription, up a dollar from 1974.
The January issue begins with two announcements: the town has collected $54,683 in property taxes and has just added $1,373,000 worth of new property to its tax records. Following these reports is an amendment to the zoning ordinance preventing construction of a freestanding convention center. All year long, the paper reflects an acceptance of growth and a desire to control it.
Indicative of this tension is some discussion every month of small and large issues concerning the town’s appearance—litter, garbage, zoning and the need to preserve the island’s pristine natural environment. Then, in December comes news of a Community Appearance Commission,
…which shall attempt to assure “that proposed construction will make effective use of the terrain and environment, …preserve to the extent possible existing trees and vegetation and advise on exterior design and materials that harmonize well with the natural environment….” Town Attorney Taylor points out that such a Commission can advise only.
Following the Appearance Commission announcement comes an explanation of a “new provision” in the zoning ordinance:
…while maintaining the allowable density of ten living units per acre, [the provision] permits density to be varied on specific lots in a subdivision up to a maximum of 15 living units per acre in order to achieve best use of land and terrain, provided the average density of the entire subdivision does not exceed 10 living units per acre.
This revised zoning eases the way for developers who are about to build condominiums, while still controlling the size of those complexes.
In November 1976, a news “FLASH” appears:
On October 28 Ray Scoggins issued a building permit to Balwade to build 32 condominiums west of Pine Knoll Townes. …There will be two buildings, one behind the other parallel with the ocean. Much of the natural vegetation on the site will be retained and the rest restored to its natural condition once the construction is completed. Construction is also starting on Coral Bay West, which is west of the John Yancey across from Reefstone.
Twenty-four condominiums are in the plans for Coral Bay West.
In May, Shore Line writers admit not knowing much about existing multi-family units but begin to go outside their single-family community to introduce neighbors in Pine Knoll Townes. In the process, they learn about governance of units there:
Here’s the thing: …BEAHAVEN, INC… handle[s] the two western-most rows of the condominiums…. Soon they will be turning the development over to its owners’ association…. the other four rows of condominiums, to the east, are separate and function themselves, with their owners’ association in command; there are ninety-two units there.
The size of this complex is surprising since only 237 residences were receiving the Shore Line. Also, this was the first acknowledgement in the paper of homeowner associations other than PKA and PIKSCO. Reefstone, of course, must have had its own association, and with the new condos would come new associations.
Another acknowledgement of growth is creation of a Committee on Fire Protection and Rescue Squads. Its proposal is reported as follows:
Pine Knoll Shores take over its own fire and rescue work at such time as the town has a municipal center, fire and rescue equipment and a trained volunteer staff… that would include 25 men between 20 and 35 years of age, and more than 80 from the retired group.
Photo from Rescue Squad Album. Screenshot taken by Susan Phillips
There is no mention of a concern expressed earlier that Pine Knoll Shores does not have men young enough to staff a volunteer fire and rescue force. However, before taking action, commissioners wait for results of a referendum. In the meantime, the committee continues its work with Jack Goldstein and Bill Uebele as co-chairs.
1976 was an active hurricane year, and there seem to be regrets about nixing construction of a bridge in Pine Knoll Shores. Even though Bogue Banks does not experience a direct hit, worries are evident: “We might well be cut off because of high water toward Salter Path and high wind could force closing of the Atlantic Beach causeway.”
Opening of bridge from Cape Carteret also makes locals think about a third bridge:
DID YOU HEAR mumbles again recently about the third bridge to the island? The Emerald Isle one is such a breath-taker, rising above the waters gracefully, giving us that wide view of boats in the waterway, … egrets moving stifflegged along the edges of the many scattered islands, that we kind of hope a third bridge, if it comes, will be like that.
But, “mumbles” did not lead to action.
On March 11, 1976, lawyers representing owners of a miniature golf course ask Pine Knoll Shores’ Board of Commissioners for clarification of zoning for a lot identified as Commercial 4, retail sales and services. Then, in July, comes the announcement: “JUNGLEGOLF is here, like a setting out of Six Flags Over Somewhere Or Other, full of waterfalls, giant zoo creatures, and palm trees. And 18 holes of miniature golf nestled in its midst.”
Shore Line writers go on to say:
We talked with Mr. Al Tirrell, the builder and franchiser of this creatively put together playground on Salter Path Rd. next to the Yuletide Shop; he pointed out the lava rock they brought from California—it’s gray and shimmery and very lightweight which makes it easy to work with. There is sod from Georgia; there are thatch roofs from Florida, and 21 varieties of wildlife.
The original owners are L.P. La Bruce, described as “a nurseryman” and A.S. Miles, both from Myrtle Beach. Jungle Land would remain in business for over 30 years.
However, real excitement among locals is reserved for the long-awaited gala opening of a Marine Resources Center. The building is up and seems to start functioning before its official opening. In January 1976, the center has begun to host talks and films on coastal topics. It also has become a popular meeting place in town. Then, in May, Shore Line writers ask: “When will the Marine Resources Center open officially?” Their answer: “No one is quite sure.”
In describing the center’s functions, Director Ned Smith makes the first mention of “16 aquarium tanks,” which “will be seething with marine life typical of our very own coastal waters….” Also, we learn Charles Johnson will be the first “Aquarium Specialist,” and he talks about volunteers to help “in the washing of the gravel, …putting up some of the displays…. Then after that, the big thing will be keeping the tanks going—cleaned and replenished. Eventually tour guides will probably be trained….” It’s beginning to sound like Pine Knoll Shores’ Aquarium.
In June, readers learn the street leading to the Marine Resources Center will be been named “Roosevelt Drive” in honor of “donors of the property.” In August, the Board of Commissioners begin holding regular meetings at the center on the first Tuesday of each month.
Then, finally, in September, readers are told the “opening of the Marine Resources Center here in PKS” attracted a large crowd, “Somebody said that 300 chairs had been set up in the auditorium area and there were many standees in the periphery…. The Governor, in his remarks, said that the marine projects undertaken in these centers will have importance throughout the world….” Well, Pine Knoll Shores’ Aquarium may not be world famous, but the enthusiasm of Governor Holshouser and local residents seems justifiable given how successful it has been.
Seldom in the 1976 Shore Line is there any sense of changes in the larger world, but sometimes references make a contemporary reader think of such changes. For example, in 1976, articles during hurricane season refer to Civil Defense, which started in this country at the beginning of the Cold War—1951, to be exact—and gradually changed its mission from disaster preparedness in case of atomic/nuclear attack to recovery efforts after natural disasters. In 1976, Pine Knoll Shores has local volunteers working as a Civil Defense Corps. In 1994, Civil Defense morphs into Community Emergency Response (CERT) under FEMA, which has been part of Homeland Security since 2003.
However, the consistent focus of the Shore Lineis local, so it seems appropriate to end with a 1976 description of a talk given by Cap’n Jim Willis, a source then and now of local lore. He explains regional terms of address: “…a man over forty should be called Cap’n, and a man over seventy is called Uncle as a mark of respect. And most people are called by their first and middle name or by the first name with a descriptive prefix such as Little George and Big George to distinguish father from son….” To some extent, this tradition may persist among locals on Bogue Banks, but even in 1976, it sounds quaint to newcomers who are building Pine Knoll Shores.
Post Author: Phyllis Makuck