Nov 26, 2018

Outer Banks History: Our Past, Present, and Future Selves

Our passion for historic buildings is much more about people than it is the buildings themselves

Preserving the Past

Doug and Sharon Twiddy’s unique journey on the Outer Banks combined a vision for the future with an appreciation for the past.  While founding Twiddy & Company in 1978 and working to evolve the Company for the future, along that path they both re-invested in our history by preserving a collection of special buildings with authentic links to the past. That collection–restored all–includes the original Kill Devil Hills Life Saving Station that is so closely linked to the intrepid inventors from Ohio. It includes the Wash Woods Station that celebrated 100 years this spring and the Corolla Schoolhouse, nestled among the live oaks in Corolla and over 100 years old, that today combines a historic renovation with modern technology in the form of the smallest public school in North Carolina. Many of our newest ideas, in the form of our children, attend that school.

Our passion for historic buildings is much more about people than it is the buildings themselves.


The Outer Banks is one of those rare places famous for more than one thing. We’d be famous for being the birthplace of aviation, and we’d be famous for the Lost Colony, and we’d be famous for pirates–we just happen to have all that and more. The Outer Banks is in actuality an extraordinarily historic seaboard.

Kill Devil Hills Lifesaving Station

From the stories of some of the earliest European settlers to more recent histories of World War II battles and world-famous hunting lodges, the small towns dotting the sand dunes of the beach have seen a remarkable amount of history sail before their eyes.


And while the bridges of today connect our islands to mainland highways and communities, it is our buildings–our restored buildings–that connect us to the peoples of the past.


Long before the sensation of Duck, towns along the Outer Banks were known by a series of small life-saving stations established by the federal government as the US Life Saving Service–the forerunner, with our lighthouses, of the US Coast Guard. The stations and the families around them became the crossroads and living rooms of our community.

Present Efforts

These efforts include many of the buildings of the Corolla Village area that is home to the Twiddy & Company Corolla campus. Our modern buildings mix, by design, quietly with timbers and shakes from a century ago all in a vision of harmony, continuity, and tradition.

Corolla Schoolhouse bell tower

The most recent effort involves a small farmhouse in the Kitty Hawk area flanked by massive oak trees hundreds of years old and with its own links to the Life-Saving Surfman and the Wright Brothers.  Appropriately in a family business, this story will continue as long as people care about the past and in the end, as Doug points out, people still believe the past is important.

Looking to the Future

Many of these restored buildings of the past today house the dreams and efforts of our most precious business resource–our people. We work to bring forth modernity and technology from these buildings never forgetting that while we evolve the future we honor Doug and Sharon’s belief in bringing with us our own bridges to the past. Doug and Sharon built the Company to reflect both their vision and their connections to the past. Like the buildings, their vision is on a solid foundation moving toward 2020 and beyond.

Restored Wash Woods Station

Twiddy & Company

Twiddy & Company

Nov 26, 2018

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