10 Fascinating Facts About The Whalehead in Corolla NC


The Whalehead Club, standing majestically in Corolla, North Carolina, holds many stories within its walls. Let me take you on a journey through time and share this historic monument's fascinating tales!

The Whalehead Club in Corolla North Carolina

{photo credit: shutterstock/Cvandyke}

1) This grand edifice wasn't built as an ordinary residence but as a testament of love. Edward Collings Knight Jr., a wealthy industrialist, constructed this stately manor in the 1920s as a surprise for his wife, Marie Louise, who was refused membership in a local hunt club simply because she was a woman.

2) The Whalehead Club is a shining example of Art Nouveau architecture. With its distinctive copper roof, uniquely designed Tiffany lamps, duck-themed weathervanes, and the rarity of an elevator, the mansion was well ahead of its time, a true testament to the Knights' taste and vision.

3) Inside the mansion is an astonishing network of 30 rooms, each resplendent with the charm and elegance of the past. The grandeur of the living area, the intimacy of the private quarters, and the function of the service rooms all stand as a testament to a time when attention to detail and the uniqueness of design were paramount.

4) The Knights were well-known for their love of entertainment. They often hosted lavish parties, inviting friends and family from far to wide to indulge in their shared passion for waterfowl hunting, followed by grand feasts and soirees stretching well into the night.

5) Nestled within the 21,000-square-foot mansion is a 3,650-square-foot basement, which once housed an extensive wine cellar. It's said that this cellar was stocked with some of the finest wines of the time, fitting for the extravagant parties held within the mansion.

6) An air of mystery surrounds a certain Steinway piano in the grand hall of the Whalehead Club. Legend has it that the piano was played by President Franklin Roosevelt. Although this fact remains unproven, it certainly adds a touch of intrigue to the club's history.

7) The Whalehead Club holds an impressive art collection. Specifically, its Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts furnishings are remarkably well preserved and are a major draw for visitors who appreciate fine, historic interiors.

8) The Whalehead Club has worn many hats over the years. It's been a rocket fuel-testing site during the war, a summer school for boys, and even served as the private residence of several families.

9) Today, the Whalehead Club is a designated heritage site and operates as a museum. Visitors are invited to walk its historic halls, marvel at its elegant architecture, and return to a world of opulence and grandeur.

10) Perhaps one of the most enduring facts about the Whalehead Club is the spirit of generosity and hospitality that Edward and Marie Louise Knight instilled within its walls. Despite the passage of time, this spirit still resonates within the club, reminding visitors of the Club's storied past and its continued place in the heart of Corolla.


Indeed, the Whalehead Club is much more than just a building. It's a symbol of enduring love, a testament to the vibrancy of the past, and a beacon of cultural significance in the Outer Banks!

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