Currituck County

About

Established in 1668, Currituck is one of the first areas settled in the United States. Bordering Virginia, Currituck Sound, Albemarle Sound, and the Atlantic, the county was home to one of the five original ports in North Carolina.

The western part of the county is driven by agriculture – predominantly soybeans, corn, and wheat — while the eastern portion is sustained by tourism. The county’s allure as a destination dates back to the 19th century. In the early 1800s, the county was known for its fishing villages. By the end of the century, Currituck was known as a sportsman’s paradise.

The county gets its name from the Algonquin Indian term meaning “the land of the wild goose,” which befits the abundance of waterfowl found in Currituck. In the late 19th century, wealthy tourists would travel down from the Northeast to fish and hunt waterfowl and small game. The oldest active shooting club in the U.S., the Currituck Shooting Club, was formed in the county in 1857.

One such wealthy couple to become enchanted with Currituck was the Knights from Rhode Island, who would end up building one of the county’s top attractions: the Whalehead Club. Located in Corolla, the Whalehead Club sits on 39 acres and is a sprawling 21,000 square foot vacation home built in 1925. Edward Knight, a wealthy industrialist, built the estate for his wife Marie who enjoyed hunting waterfowl but was prohibited from entering the all-male hunting clubs. Known for its art nouveau architecture and design, the property took years to complete. At the time of its construction, the home cost $400,000. Upon its completion, the Knights named the property “Corolla Island.” It was not called Whalehead Club until 1939 when new owners took over the estate. In 1992, Currituck County purchased the property and began restoration in 1999. Since 2002, the opulent home has been open to the public as a museum. Lore has it that the house is haunted, and visitors can take ghost tours offered by the museum.

A discussion on Currituck would be incomplete without mentioning the wild horses of Corolla. Descendents of Spanish Mustangs, Corolla’s feral Banker horses are the last remaining wild herd in the world and are considered endangered or nearly extinct. The Corolla herd is currently comprised of about 100 horses and has been under the care and management of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund since 2006. In 1999, Twiddy and Co. restored the old Corolla Schoolhouse, built between 1890 and 1905, and turned it into a museum dedicated to wild horses. Today, it is the home of the Wild Horse Fund and Museum.

Politically, Currituck County solidly favors Republicans. Currituck voted Democratic until 1968 when the county supported George Wallace. In 1972 the county broke for Richard Nixon and has supported GOP presidential candidates ever since — the only exception was in 1980, when the county backed Jimmy Carter. Over the last decade, the county has grown even more favorable for Republicans with Donald Trump receiving 72% of the vote in both 2016 and 2020 compared to Mitt Romney, who won the county by 66% in 2012.

Geography

County Seat: Currituck
Biggest Cities:
  • Mooyock
  • Currituck
  • Corolla
  • Grandy
  • Coinjock
Media Market: Norfolk, VA

Elected Officials

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County Data