PLANTING DAY at Core Sound Museum!

Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center is working on a huge project - a wetlands restoration project.  They really need your help!!

The wetland restoration project is happening this week and on Friday, June 16, they will be PLANTING hundreds (yes, hundreds) of grasses, native plants, etc.

This is a project that Charles Jones was working on prior to his passing, so it is an important project for many, many reasons. Will you help the museum finish this beautiful new learning place (and natural water quality protection system) on their museum site?

They need lots of helpers ... of all kinds/sizes/ages.

The engineer will be onsite to direct those working and Carolyn Hoss, our lead Master Gardener, will be there to help, but they need lots of hands to make this happen in a day ... RAIN OR SHINE.

Can you help? Lots of little plants need lots of little hands !!!

8 am until it is done!

Bring whatever planting equipment you might have .. or they will supply. Water, snacks and lunch provided.

"At the End of the Road"

Pass the word ... and let them know if you have a few hours to share !!!

Thanks to Duke Energy for funding for this project ant Cape Lookout National Seashore for their partnership.


Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary June 23 - 24.  During these years, many people have contributed to the museum's growth and the contribution the museum has made to the Down East communities. 

Make plans now to join the celebration!  It will definitely be another great even at "The End of The Road!"

The weekend schedule is below:


Friday, June 23 – Core Sound’s 25th Celebration Begins

6 PM | 25th Anniversary Gallery Reception

7 PM | Purcell & Helen Jones Heritage Gallery Dedication & Recognition of Purcell’s Circle Members

7:15 PM | Exhibition Opening, Ribbon Cutting, & ”This is Core Sound” Film Preview 

7:30 PM |  Documentary Premiere of Core Values: Reflections on Core Sound Duck Hunting and Decoy Traditions


Saturday, June 24 – Core Sound Community Day

7:15AM - 1 PM | Kent Hood Superior Craftsmanship Competition

8:30AM - 11:30 AM | Core Sound Rig of Six Competition (10am, Competition at Shell Point)

9AM - 6PM |  Arts & Crafts – ENC’s Finest Art, Decoys, Photography, Model Boats, Collectibles

9AM - 6PM |  Health Screenings Provided by Carteret Health Care

10AM | Core Sound Anniversary Welcome – Recognition of Anniversary Sponsors

10AM - 6 PM |  “Building a Place for the People” Anniversary Exhibition Open All Day

10AM - 6 PM | Antiques (Waterfowling) Roadshow: Hosted by the NC Decoy Collectors Association
                         Decoy and Hunting Artifact Identification and Appraisals

10 AM - 6 PM | Gift Shop Porch Sale & Book Signings

10 AM - 6 PM | Children’s Science Learning Activities

11 AM | Tribute to Harkers Island’s Legendary Ivey Scott, Fiddler and Others

11:30-6 | Carteret Co Fishermen:  Fresh Core Sound Shrimp burgers and hot dogs

11:30-6  | Core Sound Crew – Core Sound’s original SWEET PUPPIES

12-6 | Harkers Island Traditional Music – Celebrating the Scott-Rose Family

1PM | North Carolina Working Shorebird Program

2-3 | IWCA-Style Decoy Competition (float tank)

3:30 | All Decoy Competition Winners Announced


Scrolling through Facebook yesterday, I saw this beautiful picture of a horse.  Intrigued, I definitely read the story attached to it.  Anyone living in or near Carteret County knows the majestic nature of the horses that live each and every day on Carrot Island or Shackleford; and so I felt compelled to share. 

The below article was written by Jared Lloyd, who is by the photos I've viewed, is a wonderful photographer.  This account about a stallion on Carrot Island describes portions of the life of this wild horse, named Wavelength.  Wavelength  lived on Carrot Island, which is part of the Rachel Carson Reserve in Beaufort, NC.    Another part of the story, was told to me by Margaret Haskovec Harper.  Margaret is another great nature photographer and she and a friend found Wavelength hours before his passing.  Thanks to Margaret for pointing out this story to me and to Jared for his permission in allowing me to post. 

Lillie Chadwick Miller


For those of you who have spent time out on the coast of North Carolina photographing wild horses with me, I have sad news to report.

Wavelength is dead.

Since I began photographing this population of wild horses, this stallion has reigned supreme on his island and has been the focus of much of my work there. He has been featured in magazines across the world, and images of him hang in homes and businesses all over this country.

In 2015 Wavelength was injured in a fight with another stallion I call Cyclops because he has only one eye.  The fight, like most between stallions, was over a band of mares.  During the initial chase, it was obvious that Wavelength had been injured.  The fight took place in an area that is dominated by soft mud and vast stretches of submerged oyster beds. 

Cyclops kept up his attempts to steal the harem over the next several days forcing an injured Wavelength to stay constantly on the defensive until finally, completely exhausted, the other stallion got the better of him.

We watched the entire thing unfold over several days.

For the next year, the rivalry continued.  One day Wavelength had control over his old band.  The next, Cyclops.  But every time I saw Wavelength, he was skinnier with less and less muscle mass. 

Finally, a few weeks ago Wavelength went down and couldn’t get back up again.  Though still alive, he laid there suffering unable to stand, unable to eat.  And so the decision was made that the humane thing to do for Wavelength was to end his suffering.

The reserve manager told me that they were not exactly sure how old Wavelength was, but that he was between 20-25 years old.  This is extraordinary for a wild horse. And especially for a stallion that is forced to regularly do battle with younger upstarts for the right to breed.

While alive, Wavelength was the master of all he surveyed.  His was a world of blue horizons and crimson sunsets.  A landscape dictated by the phases of the moon and the ebb and flow of tides.  He weathered hurricanes that literally swept other horses from the islands to their death.

This is my eulogy, not for just a wild horse, but for a friend.  A creature that I admired.  That I respected.  That I spent countless hours watching, photographing, and learning from.

You will be missed Wavelength.

Rest in peace.

Children's Summer Reading Program 2017

The Down East Public Library will host a Children's Summer Reading Program with registration beginning in June 12.  The reading program will conclude August 5.  Below provides information about the program and other events held at the library:

Age Groups
PreK Program:  0-5 years old
Primary Program:  6-8 years old
Intermediate:  9-12 years old

Time Logs
*Reading logs may be turned in weekly for prizes

Story Time
Story Time at the Down East Public Library will continue for children ages 2-5 on Mondays at   
10 am throughout the summer.  Registration is requested by calling the library in advance at 252-728-1333
Special events are scheduled during Story Time on June 19 and July 17
     June 19:  "Sea Turtles, Alligators and Snakes, Oh My!!"  All Ages

    June 26:  2-4 pm:  "Drones for Science"  Grades 6-8
   July 10:  3-5 pm"Decoy Painting"  Grades 6-8
   July 17:  10 am"Introduction to Martial Arts"  Grades 2-5
   July 17:  11:30 am"Introduction to Martial Arts"  Ages 6+
   July 21:  3 pm"Basics of Fiberglass Boat Lamination"  Grades 6-8
   July 24:  2 pm"Programming Robots"  Grades 3-5
   July 26:  3-5 pm"Decoy Painting"  Grades 3-5

Tales & Tails
The library will be continuing their R.EAD. program with Myia, their reading therapy dog throughout the summer.  Myia will be at the library June 23 and July 28 from 3:30 - 5:30 pm.

You can sign up at the library to read with her.


New Beginnings Church Down East

Throughout all thirteen Down East communities, faith is an important part of our daily lives.  As in older days, many community events are sponsored and held at our churches because the church was and continues to be a central part of the life of the people. 

Paul Gillikin, a Harkers Island native, has begun a new church and describes below how they are progressing.  Thanks to Paul and his wife, Aprille, for sharing with us about their endeavors and they continue in their work for God.    Please taken note of two upcoming events listed at the bottom of this article. 

A New Beginning!

After returning to Down East Carteret County in October 2011, Rev. Paul D. Gillikin (Pastor Paul), began seeking God's will for a new ministry. In March 2012, God put His plan into motion.  For nearly four years Pastor Paul shared the Gospel throughout the Down East community.  In February 2016, God changed the ministry direction and New Beginnings Church began with nineteen members. In April 2016, the church was incorporated as New Beginnings Church Down East, Inc.  

New Beginnings Church is a nondenominational ministry where all people are welcome. Hope through Jesus is the central message, with a heart-focus on love and relationship with God and man.  Everyone needs Hope, Love and Relationship.  God's Holy Bible is both guide and instruction.  The Worship is contemporary in style but stands on sound Biblical principles. 

New Beginnings Church is an Elder(s) led ministry under the leadership of the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ.  Everyone is important at New Beginnings Church, and all are encouraged and challenged to serve in love. Currently, service opportunities include teaching, music, nursery, youth, visitation, food and prayer ministry.  

At New Beginnings Church, the Mission is to Help Others Believe, Belong and Begin Again in Jesus and the Vision is to Finish our Journey Together as we look for Christ's return.  We understand the difficulty of life, that people make mistakes and that no one is perfect, so we set goals and work towards those goals. Our Statement of Expectation is our goal as we grow in Jesus. It reads:  "With my sincere expectation, I will glorify God with my life and witness, and promote unity within the Body of Christ through unconditional love and forgiveness, and support God's New Beginnings Church in obedience to God's Holy Word, and pray faithfully for the growing of Christ's Church, and serve diligently to accomplish God's purpose, and proclaim the Gospel through the power of the Holy Spirit."

New Beginnings Church has a theme song that sings, "Come as we are, as we are, before the Lord."  It's an invitation to come and Worship the Savior; no rules, no requirements, no pressure, just Reverence, Praise and Worship.

The first meeting of New Beginnings Church was in the home of Paul and Aprille Gillikin but only God knew His plan.  God opened doors and Otway Fire Department welcomed New Beginnings Church for a season.  In April 2017, God led us to our current location, The Bridge Downeast-Ramsey Center on Harkers Island.  The facility is awesome and huge and newly renovated.  The New Beginnings family are very excited about our new location and we anticipate lots of people will come and Worship and serve and grow together in Jesus.  You are invited!!  

To God be all the Glory!

First Event
Concert and Worship
Joshua Lewis Praise Band
May 21 , @ 10:30 am

Second Event
RiseUp (weekend Revival)
Kerry Willis, Vision Pastor
September 8-10, 2017


Used Book Sale by the Down East Library

The Down East Library will be holding their final sale of used books Saturday, May 20.  The sale will begin at 10:00 am and continue until 2 :00 pm.  All proceeds from the sale will be used to benefit the Down East Library.

The Down East Library is located in Otway between Snap Fitness and Pizer Family Practice. The library is also part of Carteret County Public Library so books or materials at other county libraries can be shared with this library. 

Visit the library if you haven't had a chance to do so.  There are great resources available. 


Photo Archive Project for Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center

Calling all Down East folks!!!  We want your photos to be part of the Photo Archive Project!

Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center is currently working on a Photo Archive project that, when completed, will document the history and the people of Down East.  The focus is to collect photos from each Down East community – old photos – current photos – of people/places and events/happenings.  The photos will be scanned at a high resolution format and will include a credit line for each photo (credited to the owner of the photo).  Great care will be given to protect the photos during the scanning process and will be returned to the owner as quickly as possible. 

We will also be available at each of the Community Nights happening each month at the museum.  At these events, you can bring your photos, and we'll scan them during the program.  The schedule of Community Nights is below.  Each Community Night begins with a covered-dish meal at 6:00 pm with the program beginning at 7:00 pm
May 22:  Stacy - Sea Level
June 26:  Otway - Bettie
July 24:  Straits - Gloucester
August 28:  Diamond City
September 25:  Atlantic - Cedar Island
October 23:  Promise Land
November 27:  Harkers Island

If you have photos that you would be willing to let be scanned for the Photo Archive Project, please contact Lillie Chadwick Miller at 252-728-4566 ( or Core Sound Museum at 252-728-1500.  This is a great project that will document history of Down East!


Volunteers Sought to Lead Lighthouse Tours and Orient Park Visitors

HARKERS ISLAND, NC The Cape Lookout Lighthouse public climbing season begins Tuesday, May 16, 2017. The park is seeking volunteers who can assist with leading tours of the lighthouse and orient park visitors during the summer. The current lighthouse, lit in 1859, serves as a beacon for the region and attracts visitors from around the globe. Come join the Cape Lookout National Seashore team and help the National Park Service and local community tell the story of its importance and place in North Carolina history.

 If this sounds interesting to you, we invite you to join us for an information and recruitment session on Tuesday, May 16, at 6:00 PM at the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum (Harkers Island). On hand will be the park superintendent, chief ranger, and chief of interpretation to answer questions and share information about volunteerism at Cape Lookout. This is your chance to learn more about the park and possibly become a National Park Service Lighthouse assistant.

 A light supper will be provided, followed by a brief presentation and discussion and question and answer of what is involved.  We hope to see you there.

 When:  Tuesday, May 16, 2017 – 6:00 p.m.

Where:  Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center

 If interested, please be sure to R.S.V.P. by Tuesday at noon, May 16:  (252) 728-2250, ext. 3014 or

Atlantic Civic & Beautification Committee Fund Raiser Announced

Atlantic Civic & Beautification Committee will be hosting a Fund Raiser this Saturday, May 6, at the Atlantic Fire Department from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm.  They will be selling BBQ sandwiches, hot dogs and baked goods.  All of the monies raised will be used for community projects.

This committee is very active and has contributed to the community in many ways.  A few of their accomplishments include:  erecting a “Welcome to Atlantic” sign as well as a Welcome sign on the Old Cedar Island Road, they maintain lighting at the harbor, they have purchased American flags and Christmas flags to decorate the community during holidays, which also includes purchasing new brackets, flags and poles which are damaged during extreme weather conditions.  They also support Down East communities by donating to The Boys & Girls Scouts, the Bridge Down East Youth Center, and the Atlantic Elementary School principal’s fund.  They also donate to needy children at Christmas.  They are currently working on securing possible storm shelters for local citizens during and after storms and/or disasters.  

Atlantic Civic & Beautification Committee is extremely active and provides a huge service to the community.  Please support their efforts by attending the fund raiser Saturday, May 6 beginning at 10:00 am at the Atlantic Fire Department!

Birthplace of Pepsi-Cola to Host Celebration in New Bern

New Bern, NC:  On Wednesday, May 3rd, the Birthplace of Pepsi, the actual site where Pepsi-Cola was invented by Caleb Bradham in 1898, will host a celebration in recognition of the annual Stockholders meeting taking place in historic New Bern, NC.  The PepsiCo meeting also coincides with Bradham’s 150th birthday. 

“Being one of the world’s largest international companies, PepsiCo could go anywhere for their meeting, but they choose to come back to New Bern,” stated Sabrina Bengel, Managing Partner of the Birthplace of Pepsi.  “I think this really showcases the respect they feel for the history and integrity of their brand.  The fact that the meeting is taking place around Caleb Bradham’s 150th birthday makes it even more special.” 

From 1 to 4pm on Wednesday, May 3rd, visitors to the Birthplace can view the original recipe book that once belonged to Bradham, on loan from the Tryon Palace Collection. This notebook contains detailed, handwritten notes for a variety of drink recipes as well as formulas ranging from “Camp Bryan Mange Lotion” and “Skeeter-Get!” to “Smell Sweet” and “India Skin Lotion.”  Guests will also receive a complimentary 6oz Pepsi, the original size sold by Bradham, and a cookie while supplies last.

For those visiting New Bern on Memorial Day weekend, there will be a second celebration on Bradham’s actual birthday, May 27th, from 10am until 4pm.  Guests can enjoy free birthday cake and a Pepsi for only a nickel.

The Birthplace of Pepsi is located at 256 Middle Street in New Bern, NC.  To learn more, please visit or follow us on Facebook at

ANNUAL FISH FRY - Carteret County Fisherman's Association

The Carteret County Fisherman's Association will host their annual fish fry, Saturday, May 13,        11 am - 6 pm at Wheatly Boys Tire in Otway.

There will also bebake goods, t-shirts and a raffle for several really nice items.

The funds raised will go to support our commercial fishermen and preserving their livelihood. 

Tickets are $10 per plate.

A MESS OF FEESH - Photo Exhibition

Throughout the communities of Down East, you will find families whose livelihood depends upon the waters that are a major part of want makes them who they are today.  Although the numbers have dwindled over the past decades, there are still fishermen that spend their days and nights working on the water.  It’s certainly their way of life.  It’s also a life that many others throughout the state depend upon for fresh, local seafood. 


Sharon and Michael Starks view the Dan Smith Exhibition at Core Sound Waterfowl Museum.

Dan Smith, photographer, has spent the last two years learning and experiencing this life.  Through the generosity of Eddie and Alison Willis, and of course, Maggie their daughter, he indeed experienced the life of a commercial fisherman up close and person and was able to capture the spirit of that life through the lens of his camera.  As Dan related to the group gathered for the opening of the exhibition, the story he has shared through photography is only a small slice of the greater story – there are so many more stories to tell.  But this story is the beginning!

"Though the images may focus on the story of a single family, I think the images and the story they tell are vital to the broader story of Harkers Island and the communities of the Core Sound. As a North Carolinian, what led me to Harkers Island, in the first place, is the understanding that the commercial seafood industry isn’t simply an economic factor, but a key component of the state’s culture... The opportunity to show these photographs and tell these stories on Harkers Island, is vital, not only in illustrating the hard work that puts food on so many of our tables, but also to celebrate the way of life intertwined with the fishing industry." — Dan Smith

The exhibition will be open and available for viewing throughout the summer at Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center.  Make plans to visit the museum to see the work of Dan Smith.  As you view the images, focus not only on the Willis family, but imagine the many other commercial fishermen that have similar stories to tell.   Commercial fishing is a part of the heritage and culture of Down East and these photographs “celebrate the way of life.”




Community Nights at the Museum

Community Nights at Core Sound Waterfowl Museum are scheduled throughout the year.  They're great fun and loaded with wondeerful fellowship - not to mention a covered dish meal!  Review the schedule below and make plans to attend.  The discussion portion of the night is led by Rodney Kemp, local historian, who tells stories about each community.  Those attending have opportunities to share their own stories as well!

Take a look at the schedule and make plans to attend!  Bring your covered dish at 6:00 with the program beginning at 7:00 pm

Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday, August 28, 2017

Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday, October 23, 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017

Military Appreciation Day 2017

On June 3, 2017 the Morehead City chapter will host our Heroes for a fun day of fishing and they can expect the gamut the ocean has to offer, inshore, nearshore, and offshore fisheries should all be red hot and bountiful.  The organization will host Active Duty Military, Guard and Reserve to a day of fishing, food and fun. 

Volunteers are still needed to help make this event another huge success.  Below lists the opportunities available for volunteers.

MAD Morehead General volunteer registration is open.
MAD Morehead Boat Volunteer registration is open.
MAD Morehead Troop Registration is open.

For more information, visit their website:   Military Appreciation Day


William Chadwick Took First Place!

William Chadwick, son of Chris and Kathryn Chadwick of Stacy, took first place at the NCTSA conference in Greensboro on April 5, 2017.  William's speech focused on the regulations being placed on fishermen which will be detrimental to their ability to provide fresh, local seafood. 

Richard Coffey, PLTW teacher at Down East Middle School,  was instrumental in preparing these students for this competition.   Other Down East students receiving awards were Christian Gillikin, Daylen Piner, and Ellie Fulcher took second place with the tech bowl in the state.

Below is William's speech and congratulations for representing Down East in such an outstanding manner!


Defining our Future TSA 2017

By William Chadwick

As I was growing up in a Down East fishing community, commercial fishing was king, and most young men were striving to be the best fisherman in Core and Pamlico Sounds. These sounds are the same sounds John White illustrated in 1585, with Indians fishing nets, and I can trace my ancestors back to the late 1700’s being fisherman. Fast forward to the twenty first century and with all the new laws that have been put into place, that dream is no longer a reality for young people in my community.

My great-grandfather William E. Smith Sr. was a second generation fish dealer.  He, like his father, ran a family owned seafood business in the Atlantic community of Down East Carteret County.  Starting with a handful of trawlers and a fish house by the name of Luther Smith and Son Seafood, this business became a symbol of small business and servitude towards its town, citizens could depend on the financial security to pay their bills and put food on their tables, just as their ancestors before them did. In time the business expanded to Beaufort, with deeper waters, and a deep water inlet nearby which provided access for larger boats to unload their catch, and a place to ride out harsh storms.  My grandfather William Smith Jr., ran the Beaufort fish house and started building a fleet of steel trawlers with the help of Tinker Wallace, a talented craftsman of steel vessels.

Upon the passing of my grandfather in 1991 and later my great-grandfather from a fishing accident in 1996, things were starting to change.  About this time the dynamics of the North Carolina fisheries started changing.  All kinds of new regulations were placed on the fisheries and the fisherman; this was the start of a downward trend in the number of fishermen and vessels working in the industry.

My mother often talks about teenage boys in the 1980’s making enough money in two summers on a shrimp boat to buy a car when they turned sixteen.  All of the Down East communities were thriving at this time with many successful businesses.

What happened you ask?  Mainly government regulations! Conservation groups have shut down industries and put so many regulations on the seafood industry that fisherman have been forced out of work.   Many fishermen are having a hard time providing for their families in our Down East communities.  It is sad when restaurants on the Crystal Coast are buying shrimp from Asian countries, that have been fed products containing fecal matter, and are injected with chemicals and preservatives that have been banned is this country for years.  Why do you think this would happen?  Because it is “cheaper”.  Unfortunately, many tourists do not know the difference between local and imported shrimp, which is really sad.

Many people are moving away from Down East because our once thriving communities are no longer thriving.  When people move away it hurts our schools, businesses, and churches.  I know it has hurt my former school Atlantic Elementary, and my church. If regulations continue as they have, I do not know what the future will hold for Down East. People being put out of work has a trickledown effect on everything. Defining my future means saving the commercial fishing industry and the community that I live in from the oppression of the government and its laws.

How am I going to do this you ask?  Education and information, I want to educate people on the difference in cheap imported unhealthy seafood and fresh local chemical free seafood. Did you know only two percent of imported seafood is inspected by the FDA.  These foreign shrimp farms have been linked to slave labor and are thought to harm the environment.  I want to inform every citizen in our state that they are stakeholders of our waters and need their voice heard in Raleigh.  

Right now, there are people in our state who are trying to implement new rules on shrimping, that could have catastrophic effects on our local economy and the seafood industry.  Where do these people think their seafood is going to come from?  Not everyone lives on the coast and if they do, has the means to go out and catch their own seafood.  These waters are public trust and all the citizens of North Carolina should be able to have seafood harvested from them.  What will happen to the pristine waters of Pamlico Sound if a trawler cannot turn over the bottom? It will die and the seafood will die with it.  Join me in helping educate and inform every North Carolinian of the fresh local seafood in our pristine sounds.  If everyone said NO to the chemical laden imported seafood, and demanded fresh local seafood everyone would win, and my Down East communities could hopefully thrive once again.


Spring is coming!  And that means the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center is on the lookout for volunteers!!  Summer is almost here and that means a busy 25th ANNIVERSARY YEAR!  They have much to share about the celebration and would like for anyone interested in volunteering to join them on Monday, April 3 for their SPRING VOLUNTEER ROUND-UP!

Volunteers provide a huge investment in the work of the Core Sound Museum.  Volunteers keep the doors open, the lights on, the yard clean, the visitors happy, the mailings stuffed, the light bulbs changed, the students learning, the dishes washed, the tables cleaned, the desserts delicious, the porches cleared, the events successful and the Museum growing every day!  They cannot do it without you - the volunteers!

The museum group hopes you will join them on April 3! Supper at 6:00 pm (their treat) and a meeting at 6:30 to go over the spring/summer/fall plans). 

Please call (252-728-1500) and RSVP by Saturday, April 1.