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

Friday, December 4, 2015

John A. Royall: Isle of Pines


Before there was a Pine Knoll Shores and before Alice Hoffman set foot on Bogue Banks, John A. Royall and his family lived here. He owned from Hoop Pole Creek to the western tip of the island. Royall or Royal is a rather common name, so it’s not easy finding the exact John A. Royall we are looking for, but we think we have traced him. 

1915 Schooner built in Boothbay, Maine, similar to one owned by John A. Royall. [i]

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Hurricane History


The story of Pine Knoll Shores would not be complete without a discussion of tropical storms. In fairly recent history, meteorologists have established June 1 to November 30 as hurricane season on the east coast. However, over the years, actual tropical events coming within 75 miles of Bogue Banks have fallen into periods of activity and periods of inactivity. The following discussion does not include nor’easters or general low-pressure periods that bring heavy rains, often with thunder and lightning. It begins with a definition of terms.

Garner Park

The Roosevelts named many common areas in Pine Knoll Shores for individuals who worked directly or indirectly for them and played a role in the town's early development. The story of Garner Park is somewhat different. [i]

 Photo taken in 2008.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Iron Steamer Pier Retrospective

Development in Pine Knoll Shores opened the area not only to people wanting a full-time or part-time place at the beach but also to day-trippers, people in driving distance wanting an occasional day on the coast. The following retrospective is a story of what used to be a perfect spot for such a visit.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

S.S. Pevensey

As remote as Bogue Banks seems today and as it certainly was in the 1860s, the Civil War touched its banks. The war story most clearly part of the history of Pine Knoll Shores is the account of the S.S. Pevensey. 

What Shall We Call This Place?

The Roosevelt family members Theodore III, Grace, Cornelius, Quentin, grandchildren of President Teddy Roosevelt, acquired title to Alice Hoffman’s land in 1945 by paying her debts and liens that threatened her land. As part of those legal arrangements, Mrs. Hoffman was permitted to reside on the land for the remainder of her life. Upon Alice’s death in 1953, the Roosevelt family gained full control of 2,000 acres on Bogue Banks and an additional 600 acres on the north shore of Bogue Sound.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Pistols and Parrots

Alice Hoffman had people around her at all times. She had a live-in assistant, secretary, maid, cook, and other support staff with her at her homes in New York, Paris and Bogue Banks. They also accompanied her on travels by car, train, or steamship. Whether at home or abroad or on a trip, she also often had her favorite pistol and a parrot named Polly.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Alice’s Teahouse

We know a good deal about Alice’s living quarters on Bogue Banks, but information about what she called the Teahouse is sparser. What we do know makes the history of this wooden beach structure worthy of attention and raises additional questions.

1940s photo of the Teahouse from Phyllis Gentry’s Salter Path Photo Album.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Conversation at Willis Seafood

A good way to get information about early days on Bogue Banks is to talk with people whose ancestors were here. We are fortunate to be able to talk with several generations of Salter Path’s residents. One of those conversations took place at Willis Seafood Market in Salter Path on November 7, 2014.

As it was in 2015. Original had been rebuilt after a fire.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Influence of Friends

Alice Green Hoffman had many friends. Most of what we know about them comes from Alice’s unpublished autobiography or from their having married famous husbands.The four we know the best are featured here: Helen Benedict Hastings, Edna Ryle, Lillie De Hegermann-Lindencrone and Princess Victor Duleep Singh.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Homeowner Associations: Pine Knoll Village


 The story of the area that is now Pine Knoll Village is the story of a town center that could-have-been, but, finally, the development that took place there added to the single-home subdivisions and homeowner associations.

Homeowner Associations: Beachwalk

Construction in the 1980s would determine the final mixture of single-family residences and condominium complexes. In this timeframe, multi-family complexes dominated, but the influence of the Roosevelts’ attitudes toward conservation and the trends they set in developing homeowner associations persisted.

Part VIII of the Homeowner Association (HOA) series focuses on Beachwalk, an oceanfront condominium complex, which started to be developed around 1982. When it was under development, Pine Knoll Association, PIKSCO, Reefstone, Pine Knoll Townes, Coral Bay West, Beacon’s Reach and McGinnis Point were already on the map.

Homeowner Associations: Bogue Shore Club

By mid-1986, Beachwalk had new neighbors and Pine Knoll Shores had another homeowner association, the Bogue Shore Club.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Main Street, PKS

Crossing the town from border to border, this road links all parts of the community together; it connects us to Atlantic Beach on the east and Indian Beach on the west and all places beyond. How State Road NC 58 came to be and why it follows the route it does is an interesting story.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Alice the Gambler

Risk-taking may have been the overriding character trait of Alice Green Hoffman. Coming to the remote island of Bogue Banks in 1915 as a single woman was certainly a gamble, but Alice had an early attraction to betting and had become accustomed to winning long before she started losing.  


"Races at Longchamp" by Manet. Note stylish women watching.[i])

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Abonita - Aibonita, Abonito, Aibonita

Before Pine Knoll Shores, before the Roosevelt family, before Alice Green Hoffman, during the time when John A. Royall owned three quarters of Bogue Banks, there was Abonita, Carteret County, NC. It was 82-acres of real estate bought by Oscar Kissam of Huntington, New York. Known on many early deeds and maps as Aibonito, it came to be variously spelled Abonito, Abonita or Aibonita. How this development started, who settled there and how it fits with the history of Pine Knoll Shores are all part of this story.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Chronology of Pine Knoll Shores Events


A timeline for the history of Pine Knoll Shores is a valuable tool, but we must admit at the outset that putting historical details in a chronological outline inevitably is a flawed project. The timeline includes some facts and omits others. It leaves out most elaborating details. But, we hope that readers will, nonetheless, find this chronology helpful. It provides a birds’ eye view of the sequence of events. And, fortunately many of the entries are or will be the subject of individual posts that attempt to tell more complete stories.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Why Its All About Trees


“Each generation takes the earth as trustees. We ought to bequeath to posterity as many forests and orchards as we have exhausted and consumed.” Arbor Day founder, J. Sterling Morton. Pine Knoll Shores takes this motto seriously.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Fire Fighting & Rescue

Today in Pine Knoll Shores, fire protection and emergency medical services are the envy of many communities. The improvements made since the first lot was sold in 1957 are remarkable, thanks to the work and dedication of our neighbors past and present. The approach, equipment, and technology have changed over time, but always with the objective of faster response time, improved on-site actions, better outcomes. This post provides a brief history, background and context of those efforts.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Garden Club

When formed in 1974, the stated purpose was “to beautify and preserve chosen areas within the town of Pine Knoll Shores.” But the reality is much more complex and far ranging, much more than petunias and daylilies.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Radio Island

A first time visitor when coming across a place with the odd name of Radio Island may, for a moment, wonder about the derivation of the name. It probably wasn’t named by European explorers in the 16th Century or Native Americans or even some early settlers. It was, in fact, first named Inlet Island.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A House Where Alice Lived

It’s just up the road, not the whole sprawling Bogue Banks house where Alice Hoffman lived from 1917 to 1953 but an important remnant of it—the old town hall.  A search began in 2013 after Corrine Geer, who had worked for the town in the mid 70s, said the old building was sold at auction when the new building replaced it. Discoveries made since correct past misconceptions. 

World War II on Bogue Banks











The time is 1940. England is experiencing war in all its savagery. The German Air Force has begun nearly daily bombing of London and other major population centers. The German Navy has implemented a blockade of the British Isles. The German Army is occupying Paris as well as most of the Continent and is planning to invade England.

American radio broadcasts are originating from London, hosted by war correspondents Edward R. Murrow[i]  for CBS and Walter Cronkite for UP. Americans are gathering around the radio set, carefully tuning the dial, searching for the clearest signal possible, to hear the latest news from Europe. Even though it is many months before the United States would formerly enter the conflict, preparations for war were underway, and Bogue Banks would soon be actively involved and on the front line of coastal defense.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Civilian Conservation Corps

It was 1935, the height of the Great Depression, Jane Hobson’s father, Fred Hobson, was an education advisor, stationed at the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp at Fort Macon. He was courting her mother, who was back home in Leaksville, NC. His letters home and the material he saved provide a look into life on Bogue Banks at that time. We thank our neighbor Jane Hobson for sharing this material with the Pine Knoll Shores History Committee. The letters, together with related photos and papers, started a research effort to learn more about the CCC on Bogue Banks.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Banks, Outer Banks


On the east coast of the United States from Maine to the southern tip of Florida, there are 165 barrier islands; all have the generic identifier "island" except four—Currituck, Core, Shackleford and Bogue—which carry the name “Banks.” Bogue is the southernmost land mass referred to as a “bank.” Beyond Bogue Inlet, the nomenclature “island” is used.
US National Park Service Poster, 1986, Charley Harper