Mattie Midgette’s Store and House

  • 4008 South Virginia Dare Trail
    USA Nags Head , NC 27959
    Dare County
  • $1,100,000
  • 3,597 square feet
  • Lot Size: .43 acres / Zoning: Residential/Commercial

Dorothy Hope

Dubbed “The Soul of the Outer Banks”, NRHP listed Mattie Midgette’s Store & House presents possibilities & opportunities…. 

Once the heart of the community and a thriving grocery, seasonal tourist home, and commercial fishing operation, the property embodies the Outer Banks of a century ago. The old grocery now serves as home to the Outer Banks Beachcomber Museum, an internationally recognized collection of seaside artifacts collected by Mattie’s eccentric daughter Nellie Myrtle Pridgen.

Mattie’s two-story c.1914 store has 1,710 sq ft, is currently a residence and home to the Outer Banks Beachcomber Museum. The two-story, c.1890 House has 1,667 sq ft will require restoration (combined square footage of the house and store is 3,597).  The recently discovered history of the structure brings newfound appreciation for the site’s importance to local architectural and cultural history. The property is zoned C 2, a versatile, mixed use residential and commercial district that presents numerous options compatible with developing the site for preservation purposes.

Historical and Architectural Information

The property was listed in the NRHP in December 2004. A Virginian Pilot article about the listing at the time quoted pre-eminent Outer Banks historian David Stick’s thoughts on this celebrated site: “Let’s put it this way, I would say next to Jockey’s Ridge and the Wright Brothers Memorial, it is the most historically significant place on the northern Outer Banks. It is an integral part of the Nags Head Historic District.”

The circa 1890 Midgette House was built by Mattie Midgette’s parents, William Otis and Penelope Ella Twiford, at their property near the south end of the local Nags Head Woods Community. The USACE aerial photograph seen below shows the house next to the store on the soundside in 1932, after the completion of NC Hwy 12.

Statement of Significance

From the 2004 NRHP Nomination by Beth Keane: “The c..1914 Mattie Midgett Store is eligible for National Register listing under Criterion A for commerce. The central commercial establishment for Nags Head’s cottage families for over half a century, the two-story frame store was built in Nags Head’s original soundside resort development and moved to its present location in 1932. Also eligible under Criterion C for architecture, the Midgett Store, a commercial building with Shingle Style details, became a prototype for future commercial establishments on the island.”

The Future

After a quarter century of the challenging and rewarding stewardship of the site, the owners are now offering the property for sale as a preservation opportunity for a buyer or buyers to rehabilitate. In December of 2016, the OB Beachcomber Museum was awarded the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Historic Preservation Recognition Award.

Located next to undeveloped lots in the heart of the NRHP Nags Head Beach Cottage Row Historic District, the site, it’s two structures, and the Beachcomber Museum are uniquely positioned to anchor a one of a kind cultural heritage attraction. Buyers would qualify to apply for Historic Tax Credits for a certified restoration of an NRHP Property.

This is an opportunity for all of Dare County and anyone who loves the Outer Banks to make history with history, by writing the next chapter in the rich and storied legacy of this legendary landmark. Bring your energy, creativity, and imagination– the opportunity to create a new legacy at this singular historic property is awaiting your passion!

Local Outer Banks Information:

Links for More Information:

Mattie Midgette’s Store & House:
David Stick:
Press Clippings:
Twiford Midgette House:

Article about Nellie Myrtle’s life in Old Nags Head: 

Link to Facebook page: