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Old Gray House Gifts and Shells 

Mary Parr
inside the Gray House

Hi! Thank You for coming inside The Old Gray House. A lot of this Old Gray House was built from the scraps found on the beach. As you walk around the house you will notice rafters from ships. In fact, when we changed the upstairs floor we found it was pieced from shipping boxes that had been discarded from ships. It was said that sailors who used to pass by Hatteras Island would toss items overboard to help those who lived on the isolated island. Living on Hatteras back then was like living in another world all to yourself. It is pretty much like that even today. Help yourself as you look around. As you notice I have filled this room with many different types of handmade gifts. Such things as handmade soap, doll clothes, towel sets, placemats and napkin sets, and Raggedy Ann and Andy sets. The room you are standing in now was originally a bedroom for Dewey's Uncles.

Step inside what used to be the parlor. Ops! watch your head. All the doors are short as were the members of the Gray Family. This is the room where they sat when they had company. If you crawl underneath the room you would find the old flooring is laying on logs from the Buxton Maritime forest. They had been flattened. In fact, the old House was sitting on stumps.

The Gray House Parlor

Gray House Kitchen

Now, this is not the original kitchen. It was much larger. The original kitchen ran way out across the parking lot. You can look at the tin roof and see where it was attached to the house. Due to age and the severe winds from a hurricane that kitchen twisted and the roof caved in. Deweys Uncle Kendrick who was living in the house with Grandma Gray built this little kitchen. He even moved the pump inside. The old kitchen was really the family room. At one time a wood burner stove always had a pot of something brewing on it. Also, the family gathered around the wood burner in the evening to share stories. Storytelling was the primary evening entertainment. In the kitchen was also the old oak table with claw feet that Dewey loved to crawl under as he listened to the storytelling. In here I like to display all of my glassware items that are brought in on consignment.

You might want to take time to step down into this room right off the little kitchen. It was added to cover the area where kitchen used to be. It was destroyed during a storm. The windows in it are very old. They are original windows that came from the Cape Pines Motel. Most of the repairs on the old house either came from items washed up on the beach or items from older homes. In this room you will find items that are one of a kind. Many are here today and gone tomorrow. Our merchandise changes often. One reason for the quick turn-over of our merchandise is low prices. You might want to read why Old Gray House prices are so low. Over the years it has amazed me how many times our visitors will come in and see something they liked not get it and then return in a couple of days to find it gone. It is also hard for some to understand that in a shop like ours much of our merchandise is one of a kind. Now letís back track and head up the stairs.

Step Down Room off Kitchen

Upstairs Loft

Now let's head upstairs. Notice the pictures on the wall. Those are the members of the Gray Family. There were seven children. The baby in Dewey's grandmothers arms is his mother. Be careful of the steps for they are very narrow. All the family had small feet. Here we are in the loft which was originally a bedroom for the girls. Look over in the far corner where you will see how they used pieces from shipwrecks to build their houses. It even still has an iron bolt in it. Look up into the open rafters in the ceiling you will see how they used pegs to tie things together. The old tin roof has been there for many years, and survived many a hurricane. When it got a small hole in it they would whittle a piece of wood and stick it into the hole from the bottom to stop the leaks. Of course you can see I have a lot of merchandise up here too, such as mirrors, wood carving, and etc.

Now lets step into Grandma Grays bedroom. Notice the old door. the latch on it was a peg with a string. One thing obviously missing in here and throughout the house is closets. They did not have closets, because they didn't have many clothes That is why most of the Island women washed about everyday. If you looked in the corner you will see a hole burned in the slanted ceiling where Grandma had an Aladdin lamp sitting on a stand. One time it almost caught the house on fire. The old bed is still like it was. Now, lets go back downstairs. Watch yourself going down those steps. I turn my feet slightly to angle as I go down. Dewey says, When going down the steps "Walk like a duck".

Grandma Grays Bedroom

These Chairs are
waiting for you to rock
on the Gray House Porch.

Now, let me walk you back out onto the porch, where we can sit and chat a spell. It was here Dewey wrote his first article for the Island Breeze entitled An essay on change and progress. Dewey fixed a place where I can sit and rock and chat with visitors like you. I like to hear all about the exciting things you do and learn about your family. Our goal here is not to make money but to make friends. We love to have people come back year after year to visit with us.

Dewey is waiting for you outside on The Old Gray House path. So why don't you take time to walk the path goto www.outerbanksshells.com/tourOutside.html

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