by Bella Rum
I feel like I’ve been away a long time. We had a wonderful vacation, and I have a few pics for you. I know. You’re shocked. Our cabin is about a mile from the recently rebuilt Jennette’s Pier. Over the past two years, we’ve walk down to the pier every morning and evening during our visits to the Outer Banks. Filled with curiosity, we watched with interest as this incredible and most recent interpretation of the historical pier took shape.
Jennette’s Pier is an institution on the Outer Banks. Warren H. Jennette Sr. and the Jennette Brothers acquired the property in South Nags Head and began construction on May 22, 1939.
Many piers have disappeared along the East Coast of the U.S. due to soaring property values and powerful storms. Jeannette’s pier has been damaged and destroyed several times over the years by hurricanes and nor’easters, but with a determined spirit, it has always been repaired or rebuilt. Fishermen have dipped their lines into the Atlantic Ocean from it’s wood planks for over seventy years.Eventually, the Jennette family sold their interest in the pier. Years later in 2003, the pier was sold again to the North Carolina Aquarium Society. In September 2003, Hurricane Isabel hit the North Carolina coast, knocking down about 540 feet of Jennette’s Pier. The Aquarium Society rebuilt it, and it’s the most recent pride of Nags Head.
It’s no longer just a pier. It’s an educational outpost for the Aquarium. There are large aquariums on the first floor and a large gift shop. On the top floor of the Pier is a private reception area with a catering kitchen. It was staged for a wedding when we were there.
You can’t miss the three Bergey Excel-S wind turbines (in the first photo). They spin in the wind all day and all night. At maximum output, they are capable of fulfilling nearly half the facility’s electric needs.We had no idea that the grand opening would coincide with our vacation. After watching over the past couple of years as they rebuilt it, it was serendipity that we were there for the grand opening. Everywhere we went, the talk was about the pier. The hostess in the restaurant, the gift shop owner, the cashier at the Food Lion all talked about their new pier. Did you catch the grand opening? Have you seen the pier? Have you walked out on it?
It was open to the public without the price of admission on opening day. My favorite part was the parachute jump. Those men and women are impressive. Yes, one of them was a woman. I fell on my tokus when I attempted to stand to take these photos. Thank goodness it was in sand. You would have been proud of me. I never missed a beat. I thought of you guys and kept shooting – my butt in the sand and my camera turned skyward. H said I acted like a cat who runs into a glass door…. I’m fine, I meant to run into that door, don’t think for a minute that I didn’t know exactly what I was doing.
~~~~~There was a “sand-breaking” ceremony on May 22, 2009, exactly seventy years after construction on the first Jeannette’s pier began. The grand opening was May 21, 2011. It took two years to build it. This pier looks like it could withstand any storm, but I know Mother Nature laughs at declarations like that. She’ll do as she wishes. Still, I hope this one stands for a very long time. I know a lot of wonderful memories will be made there as small children and old men reel in their catches from the ocean.
I’ll be around to visit everyone very soon. Can’t wait to get caught up.
Source: Jennette’s Pier