Beach Town in a Forest

Beach Town in a Forest
Beach Town in a Forest, Pine Knoll Shores located in Carteret County on North Carolina's Crysal Coast. Photo compliments of Bill Flexman and Dave Prutzman

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Boundaries — Part 3

Third of a three-part story: Deeds, Landmarks, Boundaries.

The post “Deeds” discusses the deeds and legal documents that relate to Alice Hoffman’s land purchases along with the limitations of surveying on Bogue Banks in the early nineteen hundreds. The post “Landmarks” identifies the landmarks that are key to understanding the deeds.  This post charts the land that Alice owned on Bogue Banks as of 1925. 

There were three separate parcels that made up the vast majority of the property Alice owned on Bogue Banks. (See "Deeds"for details)

The first and largest parcel, consisting of 2,000 acres more or less, transferred through a deed (Book 46, Page 296) dated September 11, 1917, between John A. Royall and his wife Agatha of Boston, Mass, party of the first part, and Alice Hoffman, a citizen of the United States residing in Paris France, party of the second part.

The exact value of this transaction is open for interpretation. There is a deed, an agreement and an indenture; they each mention “other valuable considerations” in addition to one dollar or ten dollars. In her unpublished autobiography,[i] Alice Hoffman mentions negotiations in the range of $40,000 or perhaps $45,000. Whichever the value, the agreement calls for quarterly payments to be made to Karl Frederick of 49 Wall Street, NY, who will hold the deed until the full amount is paid.

The land is described as bordering on the north by the sound on the south by the ocean, on the east by the Lowenberg line and on the west by a line 7,250 feet from the church spire in Gillikin, NC (Salter Path).

It is worth noting that there existed several voids in this parcel: a dozen or so Abonita lots, a few of which she later acquired, and three lots in Salter Path that Royall had sold previously—a four-acre plot sold to Harvey Willis at Sam Smith Point, one and a half acres to the Board of Education for a school in Salter Path, and a quarter acre lot sold to the trustees of the Salter Path Methodist Church.

The second parcel, consisting of more or less 300 acres, was acquired from S.P. Hancock and wife in 1918 for $4,000 (Book 32, Page 202). At the time, Alice was identified as living in New York City, New York. Joseph R. Johnson owned this parcel before Hancock, and George Washington Styron before Johnson. The deed describes the land as being part of the Hoop Pole tract running south from Yaupon Point to the sea, thence east with the shore 266 poles, then north to the sound, thence west to the beginning. A pole is 16.5 feet, thus 4,389 ft.

The third parcel was purchased in 1920 from the Crescent Land Co of New York, who acquired the land from J. Wheeler Glover. On this deed Mrs. Alice Hoffman is identified as living in Carteret County, North Carolina.  The deed states (Book 32, Page 202) that this 600 acres changed hands for $1,000 and other considerations.  It borders the sound on the north, the ocean on the south, the Hancock land on the west and extended 9,678 feet to the east.

By the mid 1920s, the lands of Alice Hoffman covered a 10-mile stretch on Bogue Banks. Described in terms of todays landmarks, from Cedar Lane in Atlantic Beach (mile marker 2¼) on the east to the current Indian Beach/Emerald Isle border (mile marker 12¼) on the west. 

This represented the maximum extent of her holdings on the island. From that point on, through the action of numerous legal proceedings, some initiated by her and some by others, portions of her property were put under various legal constraints. Several parts of her property changed hands, from her and back to her, and then on to her cousin in Ohio and other parties, and eventually in the late 1940s to the Roosevelt Trust. The details and specifics of those transactions could be the subject of future posts – volunteers needed.
Apparently, when she died at Shore House, she owned no property in Carteret County. She lived in her home as a guest of the Roosevelt Trust.

Post Author: Walt Zaenker, revised 5/6/2014
To contact the author or the History Committee

[i] Hoffman autobiography, Typewritten Manuscript, Alice Green Hoffman Papers, Collection No.127, East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J.Y. Joyner Library, Eadt Carolina University, Greenville, NC. as quoted in Kathleen Guthrie thesis, 1994 ECU