Back in the 1930s, 40s and 50s when the historic homes of the Outer Banks were being built, it’s doubtful that anyone thought they would ever be historic. Rustic, a place to getaway, built usually from whatever materials were on hand, somehow they’ve weathered everything the ocean and climate have thrown their way and now stand as icons of a different time and way of life.
Southern Shores and Kill Devil Hills held tours of their historic homes this weekend. On Friday it was the Kill Devil Hills Tour of Local Historic Landmarks and Saturday the Southern Shores Historic Flat Top Tour.
The homes are as different as can be; the Kill Devil Hill houses are rambling cedar shake homes with floor plans that seem to have sprung from the imagination of the carpenter building it.
The Southern Shores Flat Tops were the creation of Frank and David Stick and they were built to a plan, yet there is remarkable variety in them. Built as cheaply as possible, local lumber was used—luckily that was juniper the perfect wood for the Outer Banks environment. Rectangular box construction, the walls are cement block with the sand usually coming from Outer Banks beaches, complete at times, with shells that were scooped up with everything else.
Certainly two days well spent. Talking to the owners about their homes what came through time and again was a remarkable sense of ownership and responsibility and a sense that preservation is important.