Monthly Archives: May 2024

Les and Elsie’s Place

The May 15 edition of Island Free Press reported a whale skull washing up on the beach in Salvo. It reminded me of a home there years ago, with a similar find decorating the front yard.

Leslie and Elsie Hooper’s home was perhaps a hundred feet off of Highway 12. I didn’t know what the unusual yard ornament was until being told by their son Jimmy, with whom I worked on John Luke’s crew, building cottages. The sun-bleached whale skull was huge and must have taken the village to remove it from the beach.

In 1975 something about it appealed to me, enough to stop and take a picture. I adored the simplicity of the house, the yard with a fenced in garden, the old wagon wheels and fig trees. I also adored the family living there. The village had more of a rural feel back then. 

Les and Elsie were active in the community, involved in church, the volunteer fire department, fish fries and bake sales. She made the best pineapple upside down cake, and  Les was a ferry boat captain for NCDOT. To say the family had deep roots here is an understatement. 

The house built from the timbers of shipwrecks was destroyed when Hurricane Irene damaged it beyond repair. For details see the link below.

Miss Elsie’s Place