The People of the Woods

In 1986, The Nature Conservancy sponsored interviews with the following people who once lived in Nags Head Woods or visited often.

These interviews were published in the book Everyone Helped His Neighbor and are largely the source for this audio tour.

Ester Tillett Beacham 1910 - 2000

Ester is a daughter of Maggie and Erb Tillett. She grew up in the Woods and then moved to Arlington with her husband. Surviving relatives refer to her with first name pronounced "Easter".

Boone Tillett 1895-1992

Boone is a son of Erb and Maggie Tillett and grew up in the Woods. He earned a degree in law and practiced in Virginia.

Norris Austin 1938 - 2017

Norris is the grandson of Maggie and Erb Tillett and often visited them in the Woods. He was born in Corolla and served as Postmaster there for 33 years. He was a published storyteller and volunteered with many community organizations.

Evelyn Wise Gray 1908 - 1996

Evelyn is the daughter of John and Mary Wise and grew up in the Woods. She traveled around the country with her husband who served in the US Coast Guard, but returned to her native Outer Banks following his retirement.

Sylvia Culpepper 1910 - 1991

Sylvia was born in Wanchese, NC and joined the Woods community in 1923 when she married Hal Wood Culpepper. She is pictured here with author Lu Ann Jones.

Marshall Tillett 1902 -1992

Marshall was born and raised on his parents' farm in Nags Head Woods, located about one mile south of the Erb and Maggie Tillett homesite.

Vandelia Tillett Brown 1906 - 1997 (not pictured)

Vandelia is the sister of Marshall Tillett and grew up in the Woods on the family farm. In place of an interview, Mrs. Brown shared her memories of life here in a long letter. In this audio tour, clips from her letter are read by author Lu Ann Jones, PhD.

Leland Tillett 1913 - 1992

Leland is the cousin of Marshall Tillett. His father was born in the Woods and Leland was a frequent visitor. Leland served in the US Coast Guard in World War II.

Texie Tillett Meekins & Mildred Tillett Midgett (not pictured)

Texie and Mildred grew up in Wanchese but visited family and friends in the Woods frequently.