The Kindred Spirits Mailbox Story


Dear Kindred Spirit...   

        "Kindred Spirits," a limited edition reproduction print illustrating one of Brunswick County's most alluring  attractions. The South Brunswick Islands are filled with popular attractions, both natural and manmade--- beautiful beaches, scenic golf courses and charming fishing villages.  But the area's most alluring attraction isn't a specific place so much as it is the intangible feeling of harmony between man and nature exemplified by the Kindred Spirits mailbox on tiny uninhabited Bird Island. 


       The mailbox was last located on tiny Bird Island west of Sunset Beach.  It first appeared in 1981 on a small sandspit near Tubbs Inlet between Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle.  According to local lore, a driftwood bench for weary visitors and the mailbox are guarded by the Great Blue Heron and move from place to place depending upon the forces of man and nature. For a many years, visitors had to wade across Mad Inlet to Bird Island at low tide to reach the mailbox. Many times the Great Blue Heron would watch over visitors when their trek became challenging, due to the ever changing currents and shifting sand of Mad inlet.

      The journals contain entries written by visitors from around the world--- Kindred Spirits--- who have happened upon the mailbox during daytime sojourns across Mad Inlet at low tide.  Writers record anything from their most intimate feelings to simple greetings expressing the serenity of the peaceful mailbox site, where the high-rise buildings and bustling beaches of neighboring resort areas fade from view.

     Perhaps the most endearing story involving the mailbox is of two Kindred Spirits who exchanged wedding vows there in 1987.  On their first anniversary, the couple returned to the mailbox and reaffirmed their love for one another in journal entries.  Four days later the husband died, and the notebook containing his last written message to his beloved wife disappeared shortly thereafter.  Despite pleas written by the young widow in subsequent journals, the missing notebook never reappeared in the mailbox. 

    This unique mailbox was actually put up by two very interesting people, Frank Nesmith and his friend Claudia (secretly known as Kindred Spirit).  These two kindred spirits worked in anonymity to replace hundreds of full journals with blank ones, and occasionally, they even replaced the mailbox and it’s nearby bench.  The mailbox survived several large hurricanes which changed the location of the box and the island’s surrounding waterways.  Mad Inlet, as its name implies, shifted once again and even disappeared after another hurricane hit the Brunswick Islands but the mailbox will continue to be visited by adventurous Kindred Spirits in its new locations on or near Bird Island. These days, a new group of dedicated kindred spirits help Frank maintain and collect the journals. The filled journals have found a home at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington’s William Madison Randall Library. The collection now numbers over 500 journals.

   Pictured below, is the mailbox in one of its locations in the late “90s. Several stories have been written in Our State magazine, and the News and Observer and the mailbox was recently featured in Nicholas Sparks’ book, Every Breath.

To order a Kindred Spirit print click here.