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

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Alice in Her Own Words

Alice Hoffman has left us about 200 pages of an autobiography, which she seems to have written and had typed for her in the 1940s. The manuscript is divided into titled, stapled sections—two of which are handwritten. It’s difficult to put them in chronological order, but her words increase our fascination with her.[i] Here are some observations about the structure, style and content of Alice’s autobiography.

91 years - Alice Green Hoffman Timeline

Alice had a long life, and one filled with numerous complex social patterns. She was born and raised at a prestigious address during the gilded age in Manhattan and spent the last years of her life in a home deep in a rural maritime forest at the end of a dirt road. In addition to homes, she had a vast array of real estate holdings and business interest in the New York City area, Paris, France and Carteret County.  Much of these activities were going on simultaneously. She was widely travelled, making dozens of Trans-Atlantic, Tran-Pacific, and Caribbean voyages, all on the finest ocean liners of the day. She had many business associates and adversaries, a regularly changing cast of lawyers and advisors as well as personal staff and servants, with her at all times. The following is an attempt to organize these complexities chronologically by year and by Alice’s age at the time. As new and more accurate information becomes available this listing will be updated.   

Landmarks — Part 2

Second of a three part story, Deeds, Landmarks, Boundaries.

Before GPS, charts, maps, and road signs were readily available, features of the landscape were the guideposts that helped people travel on land and navigate on the waters. They were a key piece of shared local knowledge. At the time, they were so well known and accepted as common knowledge that they were a fundamental part of legal documents and deeds.  This is the story of the search for and identification of those nineteenth and early twentieth century landmarks on the eastern portion of Bogue Banks.

Church Buildings of Salter Path

“7,250 feet from the church spire in Salter Path.” This phrase is used to describe a critical boundary in three separate land transactions. In a 1917 deed it establishes the western end of Alice Hoffman’s property. In a 1922 deed it establishes the eastern boundary of Henry Fort’s property. Again in 1940, it is used to place the eastern end of a land-use plan for the western part of Bogue Banks, the forerunner of what would become Emerald Isle. Verifying the exact location of the church from 1916 through 1940 will clarify these critical boundaries and eliminate a number of assumptions.