Kindred Spirit Mailbox
On the sands of Bird Island, North Carolina, about a 1.4-mile walk from the pier at Sunset Beach, sets the Kindred Spirit Mailbox. It has been there for over 35 years, with a blank notebook and a few pens inside, so that anyone passing by could leave their thoughts and notes within it. Until 2014, when an interview with CBS News aired, it was a mystery as to who the mailbox's founder was. In that interview, however, an 87-year-old man named Frank Nesmith revealed that he and a former girlfriend Claudia erected it all those years ago. Over the years, an estimate of over 100,000 people have visited the isolated mailbox, and fresh notebooks and pens are still available to visitors who hope to write their own messages in the box today.
Backstory and Context
Claudia originally had the mailbox placed on a patch of sand at Tubbs Inlet, which separates Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle Beach, but when they small island got washed away in 1983 they relocated it to it's current spot on Bird Island. Claudia passed away in 2013, but Nesmith as well as his friends Jacqueline DeGroot and Sandy Payne still help take care of the mailbox and its secrets within.
Nesmith stated in his 2014 interview that he never expected the Kindred Spirit to become as well-known as it is, for over the years, an estimate of over 100,000 people have visited the isolated mailbox. Within the notebooks they record their hopes, fears, joys, griefs, and words of inspiration for others to read.
The journals that have been filled up through the decades are now kept in a special collection at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and the collection continues to grow. Though Nesmith, in his old age, is not able to make the walk down to the mailbox as often as he used to, it is still kept up by DeGroot and Payne so that the Kindred Spirit can remain a staple to Bird Island. Fresh notebooks and pens are still available to visitors who hope to write their own messages in the box today.
Reid, Chip. “"Kindred Spirit" mailbox collects secrets from around the nation.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 23 June 2014, www.cbsnews.com/news/kindred-spirit-mailbox-in-north-carolina-collects-secrets-from-around-the-natio....