The development of the Northern Currituck Outer Banks began in 1967, when Kabler & Riggs Realty in Sandbridge, VA put together an investment group to buy undeveloped beach land in North Carolina. At the time, they believed that North Carolina and Virginia planned to build a road joining Sandbridge with the northernmost area of the Currituck Outer Banks. The first subdivision platted was Carova Beach with 1,993 lots and street names identical to those in Sandbridge. Following Carova was Swan Beach in 1969 with 534 lots, North Swan Beach in 1971 with 414 lots, and Whalehead in 1972 with 858 lots. (Whalehead was thought to be the most speculative because there was no access from the south!) These properties were marketed and sold from the Kabler & Riggs Sandbridge office approximately 9.5 miles from the NC state line. Oceanfront lots in Carova began selling for around $11,500. They now sell around $750,000.
In 1973, plans for the road to link Sandbridge with North Carolina were abandoned because the Federal Wildlife Refuge south of Sandbridge was closed to all vehicular traffic, except by special permit. The story goes that Kabler & Riggs filed suit against the federal government to open access for a road and lost. They then offered the state of North Carolina $1 Million to put in a ferry from Knotts Island to Carova Beach, but the state refused on the basis that the Currituck Sound was just too shallow and maintenance would be costly.
In 1974, Kabler & Riggs negotiated with Earl Slick, owner of the Pine Island Hunt Club, and James Johnson, developer of Ocean Sands, to purchase road access rights through their property from the south, for $800,000. The agreement included the establishment of a guardhouse and limitation of access to property owners and guests. With a new (unpaved) route from the south, all but a few of the lots in Whalehead were sold out by 1977.
This new southern access prompted the development of (estates of) Ocean Hill subdivision, just a bit north of Whalehead, in 1979. It was sold out by 1983. Longtime local residents of Corolla Village objected to the guard gate and allegedly brought suit to have it removed. In 1984, they succeeded in their efforts to obtain the right to public access, and the road was taken over by the state of North Carolina as a continuation of State Route 12 from the south.
But how did Getaway Place come into being? Well, our home is a dream come true for us; but was hardly a passing thought when it first began way back in 1977. At the “wise” age of 23 and an active surfer for many years, the chance to buy a piece of sand at the beach was … well, pretty cool. Not to mention that the North Carolina beaches had great waves and I could surf and live right at the beach! Yeah, what a life! But actually, the thought only lasted about as long as it took you to read this paragraph. Real wisdom, huh!
It began when a friend of the family asked my parents if they were interested in buying a lot in Whalehead Beach, NC. Where? Having vacationed on the Outer Banks with my family and friends since a small child in Nags Head — coming just north from Virginia Beach — it seemed reasonable to think my folks would jump at the opportunity to start a permanent beach getaway. But, I guess money was in fact truly an obstacle, even at $500 down and $55 a month for 25 years. Yep, that’s right — fairly insignificant by today’s standards but maybe somewhat overwhelming for those who grew up in the 1920’s and 30’s. Well, not for me! With such infinite wisdom (really dumb luck), I borrowed the $500 from my aunt and scrounged up (?) the $55 per month for the next 25 years.
And here we are today — well, not exactly — I forgot to mention my partners. Along with my wonderful wife, I married into a wonderful family in 1984. And after one summer vacation on the beach at Cape Cod, MA — and the 60 degree water (maybe) — we decided to move south for warmer weather, warmer water, and surf! And for 20+ years now, we’ve been coming back to the Outer Banks ever since! What a great place here at the beach and what a great place to have a second home — yeah, that discussion had been going on for at least 10 years now.
The discussion of our beach home picked up two summers ago and then really got serious in the spring and summer of 2002. And while on vacation in 2002, my wife and I and one of her sisters and husband met with Stan White about the possibility of building our dream home here at Whalehead Beach. What other way to be tempted to do something than right in the middle of enjoying it! Well, things started moving fast — or as fast as they can here on the Outer Banks — and by May/June of 2003 our dream was complete.
But where did the name Getaway Place come from? Actually, most of the credit goes to Miss Kaylee — who joined us in 2000. While on vacation in 2001, Kaylee was learning her English when one loving spouse taught her to say “get away pest” to the other loving spouse. Well, maybe that’s really love after 20 plus years of marriage? Anyway, when the house name search began, several of us thought about our 2002 vacation and some of us remembered “get away” — and honestly, it wasn’t long before Getaway Place was the choice!
However you may remember our home and whatever name you may choose to call it, we sincerely hope you find much fun, relaxation and enjoyment here at Getaway Place, and you begin to make it a place to return year after year! Come and get away!
Kindest regards from your owners,
Bracey and Scibelli families