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captured 21 July 2010    j0e


Sunday, July 18, 2010
1949 Outer Banks Telephone Book 
Posted by EOD at 3:14 PM   

An old 1949 telephone book tells us a lot about the Outer Banks of 60 years ago. 
Our local telephone office was located in Manteo, NC and staffed with two 
operators, Mrs. Ozella Payne and Mrs. (Anna) Belle Midgett. The latter was my 

In 1949, Annabelle McDonald was a beautiful, blonde, "Georgia Peach" who met and 
captured the heart of an Outer Banks coast guardsman named Seldon Midgett when 
he was among the first crew stationed at the new St. Simons Island Coast Guard 
Station, St. Simons Island, Georgia. Annabelle worked in that island's telephone 
office, so it was natural, that when she and Seldon married and returned to the 
Outer Banks in 1945 that she would become a Manteo telephone operator.

Even though my Mom worked for the the telephone office, her employer always 
misspelled our last name in the phone directory. And she was never called 
"Belle", but "Annabelle".

During that time, as today, the Outer Banks had two sets of Midgett(e)s.  You 
were either a Midgett or a Midgette.  And, we were Midgetts, despite what the 
phone company thought.  In those days, Midgetts believed that Midgettes were 
either too prissy or too wealthy, and we refused to acknowledge kinship, despite 
the fact we were all related somewhere down the line.

No one ever forgets their first phone number and I will always remember mine. 
It was 93-J and we shared a party line with Ab Wescott (Manteo Furniture 
Company) and family at 93-W.

Rest assured that with one's Mom on the other end of a 1949 telephone company 
switchboard, this kid had to watch what he said on the telephone. Even though a 
few folks had telephones on the Outer Banks in 1949, it would not be until 1965 
that my wife's family, who lived on Poor Ridge Road in Kitty Hawk (Village), NC 
would get their first phone line.  My, how times have changed.

Here are all five pages of the 1949 Manteo area telephone book.  See how many 
people you remember.