Jean Dale Restoration

"Jean Dale" -- more than a wooden boat ...
             She is the story of Harkers Island

On September 16, 2000 the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum received an important addition to its collection, the Brady Lewis' built "Jean Dale."  On September 11, 2010 the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center celebrated the complete restoration of the "Jean Dale" and Harkers Island's long history and continued tradition of boatbuilding.

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Outer Banks National Scenic Byway

The Outer Banks National Scenic Byway connects the communities of Down East Carteret County, Ocracoke and Hatteras Island to provide visitors from around the country and world a beautiful travel experience along this edge of land we call "home." 

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Atlantic Ferry

Down East - A Heritage Shaped by Core Sound

The stories of the communities of Down East - from Cedar Island to North River, along with the communities of Portsmouth, Diamond City, Salter Path and Promise Land who share our history - are documented and shared through museum programs, exhibits and publications. Oral histories, photographs, family heirlooms and community artifacts tell the story of the people of these communities.

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Lookout Tower

From the tower, visitors can view the spectacular expanse of Core Sound in a manner and from a visual perspective that has never before been possible, even for long-time residents. The panorama includes Shell Point, Shackleford and Core Banks, Core and Back Sounds, and Cape Lookout Lighthouse, and many Down East communities. .

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Lookout Tower

Core Sound Waterfowl Weekend

A homecoming of friends, family and supporters, this is the time of year when it all comes together.  Beginning on Friday evening, the first weekend of December finds the Island filled with the best of the region's waterfowl art, local music, museum exhibits, beautiful carvings, community boatbuilding, lots of seafood, and even a fellowship service on Sunday morning. Come be a part of this true Down East celebration of heritage and home.

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TASTE OF CORE SOUND WINTER EDITION Friday, Feb. 27, Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center, Harkers Island. Wine and cheese begins at 6 p.m., Down East-style dinner at 7 p.m. and program with Special Guest Speaker -- Janice Marshall, Smith Island Crabpicker, Storyteller, Cake Baker, Songwriter, Community Leader and Waterman's Wife. Tickets are $100 couple for members, $125 for non-members. Seating is limited to 200.  Please call early for reservations. 252.728.1500 x 21.

CORE SOUND RUN, Saturday, Mar. 21, Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center, Harkers Island.  First-ever 10K, 5K and Family Fun Run-Walk “at the end of the road” Harkers Island.  Race begins at 9 am.  On-site registration starting at 7:30. Pre-registration at; sign up by March 7 for discount fees and guarantee shirt size.  Church, youth, scout teams welcome.  Call 252.728.1500 for more information.  Check Core Sound Run on facebook for race course and other details. 


Second Annual CORE SOUND SHRIMP-OFF, Saturday, Mar. 21, Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center, Harkers Island.  Second annual celebration of Core Sound shrimp with shrimp more than 20 different ways, shrimp stories and shrimp art.  Cooking competition:  Cooks vs. Chefs, featuring some of Down East’s best cooks with some of Carteret County’s best chefs.  Tasting begins at 5:30.  Tickets $35/person for members, $45/person for non-members.  Tickets go on sale March 1.  252.728.1500 x 21.


KING MACK & THE BLUES ARE RUNNING featuring the Coastal Cohorts – Celebrating 30 Years, Friday and Saturday evenings, April 17-18, Joslyn Hall – Carteret Community College, Morehead City.  Co-sponsored by the NC Coastal Federation and the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center, it is truly a North Carolina tradition.  Learn more about sponsorships offering reserved seating and cast party invitations by calling the NCCF or the CSWM&HC offices.  General admission tickets $50/person for members, $60/person for non-members; on sale now at  Only two performances, limited tickets;  call now.  Tickets are already selling.  



Click for Core Sound Trees



2014 Membership Campaign - Match Opportunity!


Dollar-for-Dollar Match up to $20,000 for
New & Returning Members 

Now through Waterfowl Weekend

Match Provided by Davis Bed & Breakfast ~ Jerry & Valinda Coates

Join (or Renew) NOW to have YOUR membership matched.

This is a wonderful opportunity to help us grow our membership support base and we hope YOU will help us by inviting friends, family members and local businesses to JOIN the work that is underway “at the End of the Road” on Harkers Island. Membership supports all that we do – keeping up our beautiful facility, providing programs for school groups, meeting space for local organizations, teacher workshops, events and gatherings throughout the year and a place for visitors to come and learn what CORE SOUND is all about!

Our thanks to the Coates Family for providing this CHALLENGE MATCH. We hope this dollar-for-dollar match will encourage YOU to join/rejoin (if you’re not a current member) and that you will share 
this offer to friends and family members who “just haven’t taken the time to write the check.” That’s 
what this challenge is all about ... The time is now!


In the People's Gallery ...

Join us daily at the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center for special exhibitions along with our two floors of Down East history, memories and special people.


Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10am-5pm, Sun. 2pm-5pm

Admission:  $5 

Museum Members, Students and Children are Free.

Due to budget challenges over the past several years, we are requesting an admission as of June 25, 2012.  We sincerely hope you understand the financial challenges we face in operating this beautiful facility and will support the museum. 


Every TuesdayQuilting Demonstration by the Core Sound Quilters




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Core Sound Calendar of Events

There's always something interesting happening at the End of the Road (or nearby). Check out these events coming up in August. Call the museum for details: 252.728.1500. Also – keep watching our FACEBOOK page for details!


Nov 1 Corner Store Christmas Open House – Annual Crabpot Tree Sale (20% off)

Nov 1 “CROW HILL HOMECOMING: Celebrating NC’s Waterfowling Traditions”. Ticketed event featuring wild game, local seafood, music, silent auction; Limited seating; please call for details.

Nov 15 Decoration/Work Day – Calling All Volunteers, working inside and out

Nov 22-23 Christmas Open House – Museum Gift Shop 
Have you been to the Gift Shop lately? New items arriving daily!

Dec 5-6-7 Waterfowl Weekend!!!


Roy Willis Exhibit

A display from the Collection of Roy Willis - Core Sound carver, collector, historian, waterfowler and Museum volunteer – has been made possible by a donation of the NC Decoy Carvers & Collectors Association and friends and family of Roy.  It gives Museum visitors a fascinating glimpse of Roy’s lifelong collection of Core Sound decoys and artifacts.

Fri & Sat

10am - 4pm

Core Sound Corner Store

Located in the Marketplace Shopping Center 

4950 Arendell St. - Morehead City







Find the best selection of renewed & recycled merchandise! 

Shop, Share & Support the CSWM&HC

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Sharing Core Sound News

Please invite your friends and family members to send us their email for e-newsletters, calendar updates, program previews and happenings here “at the end of the road.” 

Send to:

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Museum Hours:

Monday - Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm

Sunday 2:00pm-5:00pm

Willow Pond Loop Trail Hours: Dawn-Dusk


Due to budget challenges over the past several years, we are requesting a $5 admission.

Museum Members, Students and Children are Free.

We sincerely hope you understand the financial challenges we face in operating this beautiful facility and will support the museum. 


Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center Self-Guided Tour

On Your Way

Whether coming from the east by ferry or from the north, west or south by highway, your trip to Harkers Island will bring you over creeks, marsh, maybe even a river, past communities of working people who love this place we call Down East. So, be sure to take it all in on your way here and we will make sure that your trip "to the end of the road" is an experience you will want to share with others over and over.


Ward Brothers Decoys come to Core Sound


Lem and Steve Ward of Crisfield, MD, collectively known as the Ward Brothers, are arguably some of the most recognized decoy makers in the world.  From humble beginnings as barbers and carvers, they rose in prominence and artistic skill to not only produce decoys but poetry and flat works of art.


Early carvings from the Ward Brothers Decoy collection from the Ward Museum in Salisbury, MD are currently on display at the CSWM&HC. 


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While You Are Here

Visit the Cape Lookout National Seashore. Learn more at


Information on climbing the Cape Lookout Lighthouse


Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center's Taste of Core Sound Featured on North Carolina Weekend

Watch the video at 

The Museum is featured in Chapter 3.


Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center Featured on Tarheel Traveler


Harkers Island is known for duck decoys

Willow Pond's wildlife a wonder in Harkers Island



Core Sound Yearbook: Annual Report 2010



It's a trip you don't want to miss ...

Leave the mainland behind and come to the most romantic byway in North Carolina -- the Outer Banks Scenic Byway of the barrier islands. Tour its beautiful beaches, thriving wildlife preserves, historic towns, and well-known lighthouses. Travelers make plans to come back even as they leave.

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NC Rural Center Innovative Economic Development Grant Update - October 2010

NC Rural Economic Development Center Grant awarded Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center in June 2010

  • Purpose - To catalyze job retention, supplemental income generation, and small business development in natural resource-based sectors, especially the commercial fishing and eco-/heritage tourism industries
  • Focus – unincorporated communities along the Outer Banks Scenic Byway
  • Amount - $350,000 ($200,000 to implement community projects; $150,000 for educational programs, workshops and research); grant will cover two years of planning and development for the three areas of Hatteras Island, Ocracoke and Down East Carteret County.

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Be sure to learn more from our community planning resource guide at