In addition to the historic Whalehead Club boathouse, visitors to Currituck Heritage Park have another opportunity to learn about the region’s maritime heritage by visiting the boat shed newly built by the Whalehead Preservation Trust on property owned by the Outer Banks Conservationists in Corolla Village near the Currituck Beach Lighthouse. This beautiful building proudly displays two large shad boats made by Walter Otis Dough of Roanoke Island during the first quarter of the Twentieth Century. This innovative style of boat was invented at the end of the nineteenth century by a local boat builder, George Washington Creef, to better catch the many shad fish that traveled through the sounds. They soon became the local work boats of their day. Built with wide centers and narrowed bows, these vessels enabled larger loads to be carried while still maneuvering through shallow waters. The boats on display were owned by two hunt clubs in the area, Monkey Island and one in Back Bay, Virginia. The boat used in Back Bay was later purchased by Hambone Twiford and used in the Currituck Sound. The shad boat was designated the official State Boat of North Carolina in 1987.
Along with the boats, Currituck County was famous for wildfowl hunting. Some of the items used for hunting would have been kept in buildings similar to our boat shed. On display is a float rig from the former Pine Island Hunt Club. This is a type of floating blind that could be transported to different locations depending on where the ducks were flocking.