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.

Norris Austin

Norris is the grandson of Maggie and Erb Tillett and often visited them in the Woods. He still lives in the Outer Banks.

Vandelia Tillett Brown (not pictured)

Vandelia is the sister of Marshall Tillett and grew up in the Woods. 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.

Ester Tillett Beacham

Ester is a daughter of Maggie and Erb Tillett. She grew up in the Woods and then moved to Arlington with her husband.

Sylvia Culpepper

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.

Evelyn Wise Gray

Evelyn is the daughter of John and Mary Wise and grew up in the Woods. She and her husband moved back to Kill Devil Hills following his retirement from the Coast Guard.

Texie Tillett Meekins & Mildred Tillett Midgett (not pictured)

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

Boone Tillett

Boone is a son of Erb and Maggie Tillett and grew up in the Woods. He moved to Virginia to practice law.

Leland Tillett

Leland is the cousin of Marshall Tillett. His father was born in the Woods and Leland was a frequent visitor.


Marshall Tillett

Marshall is the son of Tilgham and Harriett Beam Tillett and grew up in the Woods.