81. The Historic Whalehead Club

Whalehead club

Whalehead in Historic Corolla offers you and your family a chance to appreciate the elegance and splendor of a luxurious, yet remote, estate built in the 1920s.  Architecture lovers will thrill at the different styles of building used in the structure, and everyone will be amazed by the beautiful examples of Art Nouveau ornamentation used in the décor.

Nearly a century ago, Edward Collings Knight, Jr. and his wife, keen waterfowl hunters, nature lovers, and conservationists purchased what was then the Lighthouse Hunt Club on the remote Currituck Outer Banks. By 1925 they had completed a lavish winter residence which they named Corolla Island, where their love of hunting could be enjoyed.

The history of Whalehead is fascinating.  Over the years the beautiful home has had many incarnations. During WWII the Coast Guard used it as a rescue and recruiting center.  In 1957 it was converted to a boys’ summer boarding school.  And, it even had a very unique life as a research facility for the development of solid rocket fuel!

By 1994 the property had been broken up and sold. Currituck County bought 39 acres, including the grand residence and boathouse, to ensure public access to the sound. They then began the painstaking process of restoring the estate to its original 1920’s grandeur.

Whalehead displays interesting accounts of its history with picture and video galleries, as well as providing tours through the mansion. The Boathouse contains a variety of artifacts from the heyday of wildfowl hunting on the Outer Banks. These include displays of fishing and hunting implements of the era.

Also offered, are many children and family friendly activities and events. The grounds provide plenty of space for your children to run around. To make the visit complete, pack a lunch and enjoy the picnic pavilion while you bask in the sun imagining life in this remote part of the Outer Banks during the roaring 1920s!


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