Our Mission

The NCCHA supports development of seminars, lectures, tours, demonstrations, and publications that encourage an appreciation for the history and cultural heritage of NC’s sound country communities.

Radical changes are in the forecast for centuries-old coastal lifestyles, traditions, and occupations. Diversity invades the coast as Technology transforming traditions into obsolescence.

Environmentalist Rachel Carson observed, ”The lines between land and sea are constantly changing.” Lines that separate cultural lifestyles and occupations among coastal communities are shifting and dissolving. Communities are now impacted by a migration of new paradigms swept in with a rising tide of new development.

NCCHA programs and projects can lead to better understanding of how the coast and the coastline are weathering the forecast changes.


NC Poet Laureate Shelby Stephenson contributed an opening poem for the book, Sound People. He has published a new book, Our World.
See more.

NCCHA invited to participate in Chowder Cook-Off, March 17.
Check out the events page.

New NCCHA President

Commercial fisherman Keith Bruno of Oriental, NC is the new president of NCCHA. An strong advocate for a common sense approach to this industry, he is often sought by UNC-TV to provide narratives on many aspects of coastal heritage, from family life to the science of sustainable resources.

“I am honored to be given the opportunity to help preserve our heritage. Our lifestyles, our stories, our people. We might be a throwback to another era; we are definitely not comfortable in a disposable society, and all of our coastal people are worth learning from and protecting. Going forward together and meeting the challenges that we all face in a modern society, we can all help remember and learn from the past while living in the present. Thank you,” Keith Bruno

Make a difference. Friends don’t let children of friends grow up without learning to appreciate their heritage.

What We Do

NCCHA is the organization that is speaking up for coastal heritage.

Wooden boat building heritage classes

“Heber, why don’t you get something going in the summer for kids that have nothing to do but ride around and get in trouble? My 3 kids stay home all day, every day, and just watch TV all day.”
~ Parent from Marshallburg, NC

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Sound People: The Book

Folklore has spawned volumes about Core Sounders, their flat-bottomed skiffs and the Harkers Island boatbuilders.
Sound People presents a record of conversations with down east natives. Core Sounders describe their cultural history, from their perspective.

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Building A Boat

For centuries, Down East fishermen have built boats in their yards. Aaron Styron from Cedar Island said that in the early 20th century, a boat was under construction in almost every yard around Core Sound. Over time, many fishermen discovered they preferred building fishing boats over fishing. A separate industry was born.

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NCCHA Project Updates

With construction of NCCHA’s Core Sound workboat in its final stages, NCCHA can begin focusing more on an expanding cultural/heritage education agenda.

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NCCHA Project Updates

The Frances Mae, built by Harkers Island native Heber Guthrie for for the NC Coastal Heritage Association, is almost finished.

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