‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Hatteras-style” *

With a nod to Major Henry Livingston, Jr. who wrote the Original Version

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all over the isle,
Not a creature was stirring, mile after mile.
The ghost crabs were snug in their holes on the beach,
Hoping that the beach re-nourishment machines would stay out of reach.
The surfers were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of gnarly swells danced in their heads.
The crab-pots were hung by the buoys with care,
In hopes that some blue claws soon would be there.
When out on Shelly Island there arose such a clatter,
The Park Service sprang up to see what was the matter.
Away to their vehicles they ran with their lamps,
And began an ascent on all open ramps.
The moon on the sand made quite a reflection,
While waves were crashing in every direction.
When what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But a tricked out 4 by 4 and eight island deer.
With a little old driver hunkered down in the truck,
They knew in a moment it must be Old Buck!
More rapid than kite boarders the deer hurried along,
And he whistled and shouted and sang them a song.
“Now Buxton, now Kinnakeet, now Salvo and Frisco –
On Rodanthe, on Waves, on Hatteras – let’s disco!
To the edge of the Point, to the top of the Light,
Let’s have a great time and party all night!
And like dry leaves before Hurricane Maria did fly,
They hit Highway 12 and continued on by.
He was dressed in a wetsuit from his head to his feet,
And he smelled like Skeeter Beater with a hint of DEET.
A bundle of seashells he had in his pack,
And a bottle of Kill Devil Rum in a sack.
He spoke not a word but took special care,
To bring a gift to the island and all who live there.
It had been a tough year, this the old man did know,
So his gift was one that didn’t require a bow.
He sprang to his truck and laid on the horn,
To make sure everyone knew it would soon be Christmas morn.
And we heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight,
And to all, a good night!


*Old Buck mentioned in this poem is a fixture of the “Old Christmas” celebrations still held in Rodanthe. Old Buck is a part of the fabric of the island.

Old Buck Hatteras Style Christmas - Cape Hatteras Motel


Written by Janet Morrow Dawson, Buxton NC, 2016 and revised in 2017!




[stop by our office to get your ‘soon to be collector item’ T-shirts].

We Got pumped T-shirts - Cape Hatteras Motel


Cape Hatteras Motel recently topped 12,555 fans on Facebook!

power on, nourishment pumping stopped - Cape Hatteras Motel

Buxton Beach POWER & Re-nourishment Update VIDEO For Friday July 28, 2017

Power is ON, we’re taking RESERVATIONS but pumping has temporarily stopped.


Check out the latest Buxton Beach Re-nourishment Update VIDEO for Friday July 28, 2017 by Jan Dawson at Cape Hatteras Motel

[stop by our office to get your ‘soon to be collector item’ T-shirts].

We Got pumped T-shirts - Cape Hatteras Motel

Cape Hatteras Motel recently topped 10,875 fans on Facebook!

Honoring Clifford Morrow - Cape hatteras Motel

“Honoring a Life Well Lived”

The Cape Hatteras Motel officially opened the “Clifford Morrow” Gallery last night. Located in the new office area, the gallery features the work of this Pennsylvania native turned OBX retiree who was the father of Jan Morrow Dawson, who along with her husband Dave, run the Cape Hatteras Motel.

Morrow, a distinguished artist throughout his career with the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, began a love affair with the Outer Banks, and in particular the Buxton area, with his family in the mid 1960’s. He knew immediately he wanted to retire there and made that happen in the late 1980’s. Once he and his wife Dolores moved to the island, he set up a studio and began to turn his talents toward capturing the beauty of Cape Hatteras. Through prints, pottery, sculpture, and more he created a special feel for the natural world that surrounded him here. He even used the unique shape of a wave to design the new altar at Our Lady of the Seas Church in Buxton.  His work was sold at several galleries in the area, until illness put a stop to his ability to work.

Upon his death in 2011 he left many items in his studio.  After Mrs. Morrow passed in October of last year, Jan and Dave began the bittersweet task of working through a lifetime of art work, which culminated in the creation of the gallery. In addition to Mr. Morrow’s work, there is a room of other beach art, and local products including salt from Hatteras Saltworks also made in Buxton, and “Skeeter Beater” – a product made locally to assist guests and locals alike with those pesky summer insects!

Whether you are a guest at the motel or just driving by, you are invited to visit the gallery, which is open anytime the motel office is open. Perhaps you will find that special something that reminds you of your happy place, to take home with you. Or maybe you would just like to see the work of an artist who found his happy place right here, and had the ability to forever share it with others.


Honoring Clifford Morrow - Cape Hatteras Motel

Honoring Clifford Morrow - Cape Hatteras Motel

Honoring Clifford Morrow - Cape Hatteras Motel

More Beach To Love Re-Nourishment - Cape Hatteras Motel

“More Beach to Love” Restoration In Buxton

That’s the catch phrase from Dare County for this summer’s beach re-nourishment projects in several coastal communities including Buxton.

Plans for the project were explained to community members and property owners at a meeting at the Fessenden Center in Buxton Tuesday evening. The Buxton project is a collaborative effort which includes Dare County, the National Park Service (Cape Hatteras National Seashore), Coastal Science and Engineering, and Weeks Marine.

The following are important take-aways not only for guests of Cape Hatteras Motel, but anyone planning to visit our area this summer.

1. The project will be 2.9 miles in length from just south of Avon near Canadian Hole to the old lighthouse foundations.
2. Approximately 2.6 million yards of sand will be relocated.
3. The borrow area (where the dredging will occur) will be about a mile and a half off-shore.
4. The project will proceed in sections. During the time the work is being done in a given section (about 5-6 days per 1000 foot section), the beach will be closed off. If a section of beach is wide enough there will be a back-shore corridor for public access. The pubic is welcome to view the work from that corridor but Weeks will maintain strict safety guidelines in and around the work area.
5. The primary staging area will be at the south end of the entire project at the decommissioned USCG facility.
6. The end result will be an additional 140 feet of sand on the beach.
7. The timetable is all approximate and is subject to change as the project is weather dependent. As of now the start date is June 1 and end date is August 31.
9. During the time the work is in front of the motel, guests can expect to see large pipes and heavy equipment. The work will be 24/7. There will be construction lights on overnight. There will be the sound of bulldozers backing up. However, AC units will likely drown out some/all of the noise overnight. The dredge (which is the noisiest part of the operation) will be too far off-shore to be heard. The work will progress 200-250 feet a day in a 1000 foot section.
10. Dare County has created a website “MoreBeachToLove.com” with information, updates, and FAQs. Please visit this website often. The County will also be developing a mobile app to track the progress of the work. On the website you may sign up for e-mail notifications specific to the Buxton project. It will be easy to unsubscribe from the notifications once the information is no longer pertinent to your vacation.
10. You may also get information from the Cape Hatteras Motel Facebook page, the Island Free Press, and/or Radio Hatteras.
11. There will be required sea turtle monitoring during the duration of the project.
12. The quality of the sand will be closely monitored and will be equal to, or better than, the sand currently on the beach. They are not pumping rocks and mud.

We know that there will be a certain amount of disruption during the days that the work is in front of the motel. We ask our guests to remember how long we in the Buxton community have waited for this work to occur, and how important Highway 12 is to the viability of our island community. Especially at our motel we are weary of ocean over-wash and the expense of sand removal. Some of you have been here during storms. Many of you have seen videos and photos of what a hurricane or ‘nor-easter can do.

We will do everything we can to make sure your vacation is enjoyable. An amount of flexibility and understanding will be required. There will be beach access to the north or south depending on which way the work progresses.  The work will be fascinating, and it will be exciting to be here and be a part of the energy surrounding the entire endeavor. The entities involved will have individuals on site to answer questions or concerns. We will also have contact information at the County level to address questions and concerns that we at the motel can not answer to your satisfaction.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. We know how much you love the Buxton area, and we also know you want it to be sustainable in the years ahead. This re-nourishment effort, which has to occur in the summer months when the weather is least likely to be severe, will go a long way to insuring our stability for the next several years. We look forward to seeing you in the summer of 2017!

Please contact the office and ask for Jan or Dave if you have any questions at 252-995-5611. We will do our best to answer them for you or get you the answers you need.  Thank you!


Beach Restoration - Cape Hatteras Motel

Beach Nourishment - Cape Hatteras Motel

Beach Restoration - Cape Hatteras Motel

Beach Nourishment - Cape Hatteras Motel

Hatteras-Ocracoke Ferry Service Meeting - Cape Hatteras Motel

Seashore Invites Public Comment On Proposed NCDOT Passenger Ferry Service Projects

Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore), in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), will host two public meetings in late March to obtain public comments on projects related to a new NCDOT passenger ferry service from Hatteras Island to Ocracoke Island. Several projects are proposed on park lands and the Seashore has been collaborating with NCDOT on planning to accommodate certain aspects of the passenger ferry project. Specifically, within park boundaries, the Seashore and NCDOT are working on:

1) The location of enhanced parking for passenger ferry vehicles on Hatteras Island,
2) A location for a shade/rain shelter for passenger ferry patrons at the Silver Lake/visitor center area,
3) A possible restroom capacity enhancement at Silver Lake or the  park visitor center area, and
4) A minor modification to the Silver Lake boat docks to accommodate passenger ferry docking and safe maneuverability.

The Seashore will be completing an Environmental Assessment to fully analyze a variety of these proposed project actions. The Seashore would like to invite the public to the following meetings to discuss the proposed actions:

· Wednesday, March 29, 5-6 pm
Education Room
Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum
59200 Museum Dr
Hatteras, NC 27943

· Thursday, March 30, 11am-12pm
Ocracoke Community Center
999 Irvin Garrish Hwy
Ocracoke, NC 27960

The Seashore will be taking public comments at the meetings and online from March 15 until April 13.

Comments can also be mailed to:
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
1401 National Park Dr
Manteo, NC 27954


Buxton Beach Nourishment - Cape Hatteras Motel

Informational Meeting for Buxton Beach Nourishment Project

Dare County will host an informational meeting for the Buxton Beach Nourishment Project at the Fessenden Center in Buxton on Tuesday, March 7 at 6 p.m.

All are invited and encouraged to attend. This session will provide an opportunity for property management companies, business owners and employees, homeowners and citizens to learn details about every aspect of the nourishment project, the construction process, what’s involved and what to expect.

Representatives from the contracting company, Coastal Science and Engineering and the dredging company, Weeks Marine, will present an overview of the project followed by a question and answer session. Staff members from Dare County and the National Park Service will be in attendance to answer questions and review the “More Beach to Love” website that will be the go-to source for updated information about the project, once construction begins.

Construction of the Buxton Beach Nourishment project is scheduled to begin this summer and includes approximately 2.9 miles of beach from the “Haul Over” north of Buxton to the oceanfront groin near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

For more information, call Dare County Public Relations at 252.475.5900.

Beach Nourishment Release - Cape Hatteras Motel