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Icons of the Outer Banks

Icons of the Outer Banks

An essential part of Twiddy & Company’s legacy has been the preservation of local Outer Banks history. It’s in that spirit we’re excited to share Icons of the Outer Banks, a new mini-documentary series that tells the stories of the fishermen, historians, lifesavers, and trailblazers who have played a significant role in shaping the area’s past, present, and future.

“From Walter Raleigh to the Wright Brothers, the Outer Banks was built on the shoulders of visionary men and women who worked tirelessly and, in many cases, sacrificed much to make this area a place locals love to call home and vacationers from around the world visit year-after-year,” said Clark Twiddy, president of Twiddy & Company. “We are proud to share this important documentary series that illuminates and celebrates these individuals who’ve had such an enormous impact on the area’s history and identity.” 

To commemorate Black History Month, the inaugural episode of the series features the story of Richard Etheridge, the first black man to lead a crew of surfmen in the U.S. Lifesaving Service. Etheridge, a former slave, lived on the Outer Banks until his death at the age of 58. He and his all-black crew were responsible for some of the most harrowing rescues conducted off of the area’s coastline. 

In subsequent months, Twiddy & Company plans to release episodes featuring historic icons such as:

  • Aycock Brown, a colorful writer, and photographer who spent his career singing the praises of the North Carolina coast.
  • Cora Mae Basnight, mother of former Senator Marc Basnight, who became equally famous for her role as Agona, a Native American woman, in The Lost Colony. 
  • John T. Daniels a member of the U.S. Life-Saving Service in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, took the famous photograph of the first powered flight on December 17, 1903. 
  • Omie Tillet, a legendary Dare County boat builder who created the blueprint for the modern Carolina sports fishermen. 
  • Shirley Austin, a female Huckleberry Finn and maverick in Currituck County who loved all-things outdoors including fishing and duck hunting. 

Their stories will be told by historians, friends and family members.

Richard Etheridge

The inaugural episode features Richard Etheridge, the first black man to lead a crew of surfmen in the U.S. Lifesaving Service.