Saving history: Hardy family finds new home for classic house

Published 7:14 am Thursday, May 4, 2023

When Dan and Pat Hardy had a chance to purchase and move a historic oceanfront house in Kill Devil Hills, they decided it was a good fit for both their family and a vacant lot they owned in Kitty Hawk.

So, with the planets, permits and police vehicles all lined up just right last Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at 6 p.m., the 1,350 square foot single story beach house rolled north 6.5 miles to its new location just off the bypass on a cleared dune-top lot.

A number of police units, a state trooper and several wide load escort service vehicles used a coordinated attack to get the house up the Beach Road and over to the Bypass. Along the way, people waved, made videos and simply took it all in.

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“I thought it went great, very smooth” Dan said last Thursday. “Elite [Structural Movers] did a really good job, everything stayed where it was … even the rockers on the porch.”

As the miles clicked off, a few of Dan’s friends posted on Facebook.

Kristine Braunsdorf Kiousis of Stack ‘Em High in Kitty Hawk was first to report the location.

“We just came up on it, north of Target,” she said.

Next, Kim Ezzel Parker said it was in front of Henry’s Restaurant at the Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills town line.

“Love the rocking chairs still on the porch,” she said.

David L. Rhodes spotted it too from another nearby restaurant and summed up what a lot of folks were thinking.

“Enjoyed watching this while dining at Pony and Boat tonight,” he said. “Thank you for preserving that which is rapidly disappearing here.”

Dan said the move continuing to run smoothly all the way to the eastside of the highway lot where it was brought in after the Elite crew built some bridging across a ditch.

“It’s on the cribbing right now,” Dan said. “The pilings are next.”

The project’s goal was two-fold for the family – save a cute four-bedroom cottage from being torn down and create a lasting home for their son, Daniel.

Inside the cottage, there’s original tongue and groove knotty pine walls and ceilings with solid red oak floors. Outside, there are loads of decks and covered porches.

Of course, the building will eventually sit on piling foundation creating a ground level first floor. Their plans call for a master bedroom with a closet and adjacent bathroom, according to Daniel, who can’t wait to move in.

So, in one fell swoop, the project addressed a problem that so many are facing on the Outer Banks: where to find housing. Daniel has been out of graduate school for a while and has a good job working with his parents at the family business, Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates Inc.

The Lamb family has deep roots in the real estate business in the five beach towns of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head. Joe said they also moved a different house to West Chowan Street for their son Joe Lamb III to live in around 40 years ago.

He seemed happy about this move as he followed the house in a car with his wife Ann and her sister Patsy McGee who was driving. The patriarch has a unique distinction in North Carolina real estate – he’s held his license longer than anyone else. They’ve been in business since 1968.

All three of the Lambs’ children live on the Outer Banks – Zee, Joey and Pat, along with four of their seven grandchildren. Daniel is the youngest and last one to get his own residence, which he’s stoked about.

“It’s exciting and kind of nerve racking seeing sitting there on the ground almost,” he said last Thursday after work. “It’s a pretty cool house to be my first.

“It certainly has the old school vibe,” Daniel added. “The downstairs will be modern, upstairs … classic.”