Tickets for the April 30 flat top tour may be purchased at the Clarke-Gudas Cottage (pictured above), at 156 Wax Myrtle Trail, during the hours of the tour, as well as at the Outer Banks Community Foundation office on Skyline Road. Admission is $10; $15 for two.

The Town will hold a public information meeting on Tuesday (April 26) at 5:30 p.m. in the Pitts Center to address potential traffic mitigation measures that may be implemented this summer.

Town Manager Cliff Ogburn will be presenting a “draft plan of potential traffic calming measures” to use during summertime weekends, according to yesterday’s Town newsletter.

Southern Shores residents will have the opportunity to ask questions at Tuesday’s meeting about the proposed traffic mitigation plan and to comment critically on its anticipated effectiveness.

Mr. Ogburn will likely present a draft plan for cut-through traffic control to the Town Council for its consideration and approval at its May 3 meeting.

Last summer the Town arranged with the N.C. Dept. of Transportation to prohibit turning left on to South Dogwood Trail from N.C. 158-East during certain hours on summer weekends and experimented with erecting barriers along heavily traveled residential roads in the dunes, including Hickory Trail, Hillcrest Drive, Sea Oats Trail, and Wax Myrtle Trail.

Both a professional traffic consultant’s report, which the Town commissioned, and a Southern Shores citizens’ advisory committee on cut-through traffic recommended closure of South Dogwood Trail to non-resident traffic on summer weekends. The Town Council did not endorse this recommendation and held no public discussions about gating South Dogwood Trail.

The Town Council has vested full authority in Mr. Ogburn to devise a plan of action on cut-through traffic. Elected officials no longer take the lead on such initiatives—at least not publicly. 

Tuesday’s meeting will be recorded and available by live-stream and for later viewing on the Town’s YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/user/TownofSouthernShores.


The Southern Shores historic flat top cottage tour is back in force this year with 14 houses open for viewing next Saturday, April 30, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 each (two for $15) and are available for purchase during tour times at 156 Wax Myrtle Trail and 13 Skyline Road (the Outer Banks Community Foundation). All proceeds benefit the Flat Top Preservation Fund of the OBCF.   

The tour is self-guided and includes the following flat tops, located from north to south:

218 Ocean Blvd., the Mackey Cottage

176A and 176B Ocean Blvd., the Price cottages

170 Ocean Blvd., “Pink Perfection,” originally owned by Edith Pipkin

169 Ocean Blvd., “Atlantic Breezes”

157 Ocean Blvd., “Sea Breezes”

23 Porpoise Run, the Sokol-Clements Cottage

159 Wax Myrtle Trail, the Falconer Cottage

156 Wax Myrtle Trail, the Clarke-Gudas Cottage

113 Ocean Blvd., the Knight Cottage

69 Ocean Blvd., “Sea Spray”

43 Ocean Blvd., the Powell-Harritt Cottage

40 Skyline Road, “Beach Box Flat Top (Mitchell)”

13 Skyline Road, the OBCF office

The homes at 23 Porpoise Run, 156 Wax Myrtle Trail, 170 Ocean Blvd., and 218 Ocean Blvd. have been designated by the Town of Southern Shores as Southern Shores historic landmarks.

Further information about the tour is available on the Facebook page of the Southern Shores Historic Flat Top Cottages at https://www.facebook.com/Southern-Shores-Historic-Flat-Top-Cottages-421136131314749. You also may contact tour organizers Sally and Steve Gudas at seatide1@gmail.com or (804) 399-8342.

We encourage you to tour these historic homes that once dominated Southern Shores’ architectural landscape and meet the owners who maintain and preserve them for the benefit of everyone who loves the Outer Banks. They are a quaint reminder of a peaceful yesteryear when there was no need for a town traffic mitigation meeting because there was no traffic—nor was there a town.


A NOTE ABOUT THE BEACON: Last November we said that we were suspending publication of The Beacon for between three and six months. It has now been nearly six months, and while we are not committed to resuming the demanding schedule of reporting that we had before last November, we would like to drop into your lives every now and then with news items. We could not let the traffic meeting go unnoticed by Beacon readers who do not read the Town website or the Town newsletter. We also wanted to welcome the return of the flat top tour after an interruption of two years caused by the COVID pandemic.

Since November we have resumed working on a book project that we set aside in favor of The Beacon. Publishing that book is now our priority and will largely determine how often we report on The Beacon.

MAY 17 PRIMARY: We anticipate writing soon about the May 17 primary election, which, on the local and state level, concerns only Republican Party candidates. The only primary choices available to registered Democrats in Dare County are among the candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives (the seat currently held by Dr. Greg Murphy) and the U.S. Senate (Senator Richard Burr is retiring). Early voting for the primary begins Thursday, April 28, and will be held at the Kill Devil Hills Town Hall, as well as in Manteo and Buxton.  

Thank you.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 4/23/22 



  1. Glad to see you back Ann.  I have always valued your observations and insights into things “Southern Shores.”  I think you perform a valuable community service.  Please keep up the good work. Todd Hagenah197 Sea Oats Ct.


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