The Whalehead Club
Located in the heart of Historic Corolla, in the northern Outer Banks of North Carolina, The Whalehead Club is a spectacular example of Art Nouveau architecture and design, this magnificent residence was built in the 1920s during a time of prohibition and suffragettes. Mr. & Mrs. Edward Collings Knight, Jr. were wealthy northerners who owned homes in Philadelphia, PA and Newport, RI. With a love for Art Nouveau, and a passion for waterfowling, the Knights purchased a 4.5 mile tract of land and built what we now know as the Whalehead Club. It is rumored that the hunt club and vacation home was built for Knights wife who loved hunting, horseback riding and nature because hunt clubs in those days forbade women. The Knights called their home Corolla Island.
The Whalehead Club is a 21,000 square foot home with five floors. The walls are 18” thick and reinforced by steel beams. There are 5 chimneys, a copper-shingled roof and humidity resistant cork floors. The boat house supplies water and electricity to the home with a 2200 gallon pumping system. The area now known as Currituck Heritage Park was originally part of a 4 mile tract of land running from the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, south to the Timbuck II Shopping Village, and spanning the entire area between the Atlantic Ocean and Currituck Sound. After the Knights both passed away in 1936, the land and the residence (known as the Whalehead Club) sat empty for about three or four years until Mr. Ray Adams picked up the entire property for a mere $25,000! Over the years the property has been owned by a handful of people and corporations, and the amount of land included in the original tract has dwindled to the remaining 39 acres that is Currituck Heritage Park. Currituck County purchased the property in 1992 and restored the residence to its former grandeur. The Curator and Educational Team for The Whaehead Club have put together a comprehensive collection of tours encompassing history, architecture and construction, the lives of the servants, maritime heritage, and Outer Banks Legend & Lore. Currituck Heritage Park has much to offer visitors and locals. The park is comprised of 39 acres of lush green lawns, Live Oak trees, and is bordered to the west by Currituck Sound. Within the park, there are many activities both free and requiring admission: The Knights House, The Boathouse, Maritime Museum, and Historic Corolla Village. There is NO admission fee to enter Currituck Heritage Park, or to use the public boat ramp. There are fees for self-guided or guided tours, the Maritime Museum and the Lighthouse. Perhaps you just want to enjoy the natural beauty of the Park by remaining outdoors. It’s a great place to walk, ride a bike, fly a kite, fish or crab, view the sunset, have a picnic, launch your kayak or shallow draft watercraft, or just sit and relax. Check out the many events scheduled throughout the year as well. There is always something to enjoy at Currituck Heritage Park!