Built in 1914 on the soundside before being rolled to the seaside, this unpretentious and once-thriving store houses the celebrated beachcomber collection of Nellie Myrtle Pridgen, Miss Mattie’s daughter who was a self-appointed protector of her beloved Nags Head beaches. In the museum, visitors will step back into time viewing artifacts discovered by Pridgen during her years of daily sound to sea jaunts. The collection is essentially the way Nellie left it. Rare shells, beach glass, war paraphernalia, buttons, barnacles, driftwood, messages in bottles and more chronicle her life’s time and its relationship with the sea. The unusual, must-see collection houses a huge fulgurite (crystallized sand caused by lightning) that took days for Pridgen to extract – with the help of a bicycle pump. At the time of this writing, the building has not yet become a full-time museum, but they do conduct several open houses at various times throughout the year. The next one will be on Nellie's 100th birthday – May 17, 2018. The best thing to do is just check by when you’re here to see if you’re lucky enough to coincide with one of the open times. You can also check the Facebook page, which is updated frequently.
4008 S. Virginia Dare Trail, The Beach Road, MP 13, Nags Head