Visitors ‘so sad’ over loss of Cotton Gin gift shop en route to NC’s Outer Banks

A popular North Carolina gift shop was destroyed by a fire, media outlets report, and visitors are mourning its loss.

The Cotton Gin in Jarvisburg, near the Outer Banks, went up in flames Saturday afternoon, and multiple fire departments worked to put out the massive fire with the help of the Tanker Task Force, according to WVEC.

Everyone got out of the store safely, and no one was injured, according to OBX Today, but the building was destroyed by the fire.

Crews were still on the scene and U.S. 158 was still closed as of 8:30 p.m. Saturday, OBX Today reported, and officials are still investigating the cause of the fire, which seems to have started in the attic.

Visitors and locals are mourning the loss of the historic shop.

“It’s been about a year since I’ve been there but it’s going to be missed,” Donna Griggs, a local resident, told WTKR. “I cried when I heard about it”

The Wright family purchased a working cotton gin for their farm in 1956 and and in late 1960s transformed it into a general store called The Cotton Gin, according to the store’s website.

Then, in the 1980s, the family began operating the store as a gift shop, the website says It’s been a popular stop for visitors on their way to the Outer Banks.

“Many prayers to all involved and may you rebuild and prosper stronger than ever to remain everyone’s favorite landmark on the way to OBX,” one person wrote on Facebook on Sunday.

“I’ve been going here since I was a tot,” another user wrote.

“This is so sad,” another said. “Such a great store.”

The store has three other locations on the Outer Banks in Duck, Corolla and Nags Head, according to the website.

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Bailey Aldridge is a reporter covering real-time news in North and South Carolina. She has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.