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9 Jun 2021
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History & Culture

In the town of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, along Glenmere Public Beach, you’ll find a little red mailbox with an ocean view. But this mailbox isn’t for mail, at least not in the traditional sense. It’s for hope. Here at Milepost 8, people have been coming for years to leave and receive some goodwill and inspiration. It’s a simple gesture of humanity that once brought comfort to its creator, but now it has developed into a landmark with multiple coastal locations, bringing hope to the thousands who venture to it. 

 

The Creation of the Little Red Mailbox

While the little red mailbox brings joy to many now, its origins are tender. After losing her mother, Sue Goodrich placed the first little red mailbox on a post by a beach-access gazebo with the help of her husband, Eddie. It was a way of matching grief with hope. Inside the mailbox she left a journal and pens for anyone who wanted to share their hurt or offer healing. 

The ocean had always been a soothing spot for Sue, so she and her husband donated the gazebo in 2004. Many mornings after her mother passed away, she would watch the sunrise there and think. From there, she had the idea for the mailbox and soon got it up and running, writing “Leave a Note of Hope” on the mailbox’s lid. 

 

Growing Popularity of the Mailbox

As the little red mailbox grew in popularity, this part of Glenmere Beach came to be known as the Hope Access. Locals and beach tourists alike venture to the spot, their eyes peeled for a pop of red. Finding it is now on the to-do list for many vacationers. People come from near and far to write their deepest thoughts and wishes, and to leave a hopeful message for others who come to the mailbox seeking solace. 

Because of its popularity, many have been inspired to put up little red mailboxes in other areas with the same purpose. In fact, there are now 11 mailboxes to date. Other locations besides the original little red mailbox in Kill Devil Hills include Salvo, Manteo, Nags Head, South Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, and more.

 

Where to Find the Little Red Mailboxes

Want to visit a little red mailbox? Check out one of these 9 locations:

 

♥ Glenmere Avenue Beach Access, Milepost 8

Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948

 

♥ Dowdy Park

3005 S Croatan Hwy

Nags Head, NC 27959

 

♥ West Lillian Street

Kitty Hawk, NC 27949

 

♥ 25972 NC-12

Waves, NC 27959

 

♥ Point Park

100 Washington St

Johnstown, PA 15901

 

♥ 8167 Mechanicsville Turnpike

Mechanicsville, VA 23111

 

♥ 3820 Sandpiper Road

Virginia Beach, VA 23456

 

♥ 1946 Weavertown Road

Douglassville, PA 19518

 

♥ 277 West First Street

Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469

 

 Other locations include Manteo, NC and South Nags Head, NC, though exact addresses aren’t specified. 

Interested in other favorite spots around OBX? Check out these suggestions for other fun OBX locations to visit.