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Bird Island, North Carolina

Kindred Spirit Mailbox

A mailbox that saved a nature reserve. 

For the last 30 years, a small black mailbox printed with the words “Kindred Spirit” has graced the shores of Bird Island.

Although no one knows the identity of the real Kindred Spirit, visitors have used the mailbox to express their hopes and thoughts, and have even stopped the development of the island with their handwritten pleas.

According to most stories, the Kindred Spirit Mailbox was first erected after the Kindred Spirit saw a mirage of a mailbox on the shore during low tide. Although the vision wasn’t real, they were inspired to plant a mailbox with a communal notebook so that visitors could leave proof of their having been there. Use of the mailbox quickly caught on and visitors flocked to the island to sit on a nearby bench, look out over the water and write their own personal message inside the mailbox’s journal.

Sitting just off the coast of North Carolina, Bird Island was a prime target for resort development. But handwritten messages posted in the mailbox saved the island and it is now a nature preserve operated by the state. Along with the powerful messages that stopped the tide of commercialization on the island, many of the personal thoughts and hopes left in the mailbox are now published on the Kindred Spirit’s website.

Know Before You Go

Bird Island is an uninhabited island at the west end of Sunset Beach, NC.