The Cotton Gin
It is to many vacationers an iconic welcome to the Outer Banks. Surrounded by grape vines-it’s home to Sanctuary Vineyards; the store is like no other retail environment we have ever seen.
Spanning across multiple floors and several loft areas, it can only be described as an eclectic blend of just about everything. There is women’s clothing and accessories, collectibles, men’s clothing, candles, food items, a small book collection of local titles, linens, a Christmas shop, garden décor and several other departments.
The store was at one time a working cotton gin, although that ended back in the 1920s. The land is still farmed though, now into the eighth generation as John Wright develops his grape vines for the winery. Cotton is still raised in the fields behind the vines-or it is if cotton prices are high enough. If cotton is not being raised, there will be a cash crop in the ground. Sometimes it’s sorghum or wheat or corn, but the land is always in production. Although the store is a remarkable place and very much a part of the Wright family legacy, the land on which it sits on remains a working farm.
Behind the fields and out of sight of the store, Dews Island, one of the last remaining Currituck hunt clubs, recalls a different era.
There are three other Cotton Gin stores on the Outer Banks in Corolla, Duck, and Nags Head. Of the three, the Corolla store comes closest to the original Jarvisburg store in the products offered and the way everything is displayed.
Located in the Timbuk II shopping center, the Corolla store has three floors, a garden décor center, and a very extensive inventory of collectibles.
The Nags Head store, directly across from Food Lion just past the Outer Banks Hospital, carries everything the Jarvisburg and Corolla stores do, but it’s all on one floor and there is not quite as much space so the inventory is more limited. The store does have a very nice tasting area for the Sanctuary Vineyards wines.
The most recent addition to the Cotton Gin stores is the Duck location. It is the smallest of the four, and although much of the flavor of the Cotton Gin way of merchandising is retained, the emphasis here is on clothing.
No matter which location you visit, we are almost certain you will find something to hold your attention.