The Kindred Spirit Notebooks Go To UNCW

So many people ask what happens to the Kindred Spirit notebooks after they’re collected? Myself and other volunteers gather them up and take them home every week or so during the busy season, we try our best to de-sand them, and let them air out to dry. We gather and collect them for several months, storing them some place climate controlled to keep them intact.

After each summer season, I make the trek up to Wilmington to deliver the Kindred Spirit notebooks collected during the year to UNCW’s Special Collections Department. They catalog each and every notebook and note left in the mailbox, make sure photocopied, and then preserved. I know this must be a daunting task for them, below is a photo of the box of stray notes–ones I imagine people wrote ahead of time and brought there to leave behind. This year, I also brought both mailboxes (one brought down after Tropical Storm Ana and the other after Hurricane Joaquin).

Jerry Parnell, the Coordinator of Special Collections, is always helpful when I come for these visits. He and I keep in touch throughout the year and he always asks about Frank. He has a great interest in the mailbox and in preserving this type of folk-history for years to come. I love knowing these journals, the thoughts and prayers of so many, will be a part of North Carolina’s history forever.

Here are some photos from this year’s delivery:

The Kindred Spirit Notebooks Go To UNCW 2

The Kindred Spirit Notebooks Go To UNCW 3

The Kindred Spirit Notebooks Go To UNCW 4

The Kindred Spirit Notebooks Go To UNCW


6 thoughts on “The Kindred Spirit Notebooks Go To UNCW

  1. Great info. Thank you for taking the time to preserve them. I’m sure a lot of people didn’t know they were being preserved again thank you! Merry Christmas Carmel

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Hello. I have been going to Sunset Beach for 36 years. I started going with my Aunt and Uncle, who bought a house on the island, and my parents and more family and friends. I continue to go every year with my kids and they can’t wait to bring their children one day. I have watched the island grow and change each and every year. Sunset Beach is my peace, my happy place… The place that keeps me calm and just makes me happy. I hope one day to buy a house of our own.
    I’m so happy that the kindred spirit books are preserved. I remember having to watch the time and cross the inlet to go to Bird Island to the mailbox. We had to time everything just right so we could make it back to Sunset Beach. I have been leaving notes in the mailbox as long as I can remember.
    Thank you for all that you do in preserving and taking care of the mailbox and the islands.
    Love from NJ

    • Valerie, Thank you for writing. Your story is wonderful. You’ve been coming here a lot longer than I have! I remember the inlet and those fast moving waters when crossing at high tide. Almost lost a camera there once. There are probably many journals with your writings in them being archived at UNCW, but never doubt that they were all “posted” to the Kindred Spirit Mailbox. I hope you get to buy a home here one day. Thank you for being so caring of our beach and our special treasure.

  3. Thank you for taking such good care of all of our notes . This is a very special place for the Johnsons from Pennsylvania and Louisiana and Virginia. We came to the beach each summer and spent time with cousins and friends because of Bob and Bonnie Johnson . We cherished every moment and have so many wonderful memories. Thank you so much for keeping all the notebooks and preserving them . What a wonderful gift you’ve given us.

    • Pam,
      You’re welcome. It’s people like you who make all the work worthwhile. It is a special place and the journals are filled with wonderful thoughts and musings that I’m happy to see preserved. Hope you get to come back to the beach soon!

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