Salter Path Museum, Inc

About Us

          Salter Path Museum and Art Gallery began in 2014 with two purposes.  First, to make a home for memorabilia, photographs, and information about the history of Salter Path.  Second, to provide a place for local artists and craftsmen to display and offer their work.

          Dr. Charles Zwerling, owner of the museum and gallery, approached Douglas and Kathleen Guthrie with an offer to use the building for a museum for the community.  After some thought, they decided to take him up on his kind offer and began to clean and fix the building and collect photographs and items from people in the village.  With Dr. Zwerling’s support and much help from their children and grandchildren, they opened the museum in the Spring of 2014.  The structure itself, on the sound side next to the Crab Shack Restaurant, has its own history, beginning as a net house to store fish nets and then serving as a fish market.  Hurricane Ophelia destroyed the back half of the building in 2005.  Much of the shoreline was also wrecked by the storm.  The front part of the building only was salvaged, although completely flooded.

          Two rooms make up the museum and gallery.  The museum room houses many pictures of Salter Path and its people, some photographs going back nearly one hundred years.  It also contains information about commercial fishing, which villagers relied on for their living.  Beach fishing, scalloping, and shrimping are highlighted.

          People in Salter Path played baseball and softball and a display case holds trophies, pictures, and uniforms concerning men’s and women’s ball.

          One display is about Irvin Smith’s store which was a gathering place for the villagers, where children waited for school buses, where people got their groceries and fishing gear, where people picked up delivered packages, and where people called if they needed anything.  Also in the museum are accounts of Salter Path churches and the post office.

          The museum records a goodly amount of the unique story of Salter Path.  The village was owned for many years by Alice Hoffman, a wealthy New York City socialite, who left the town to her heirs, four of President Theodore Roosevelt’s grandchildren.  Controversy between Hoffman and the Salter Path people lasted a long time and formed the village into a faraway, isolated, closed community.  The effects of Hoffman and the Roosevelts remain today.

          One museum item that many enjoy is a map of old Salter Path by villager Romaine Willis.  It shows homes, churches, businesses, the Coast Guard station, and horse pens.

          The second room in the building is the gallery where local artists have their work.  Oils, watercolors, collages, and painted glassware can be found.  Felted fish, jellyfish, and boxes are the creation of one artist.  Another makes beautiful wood objects, including baskets, jewelry boxes, lighthouses, and boats.  One local lady fashions delicate jewelry from shells she finds on the beach, while others use shells to make Christmas ornaments.  There are cards, t-shirts, caps, shells to color, and many other things for sale.

          On August 15, 2017 from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM,  Salter Path Museum and Art Gallery will host an open house to meet the artists.  They will be there, as will Kathleen Guthrie, author of the popular book, Alice Hoffman queen of bogue banks.  Ms Guthrie will sign books.  Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served and a door prize will be given.

          Salter Path Museum and Art Gallery is a delightful place to visit.  Artists often work in their particular medium while sitting in the gallery and questions about the museum and village most often are well answered.  The place is open Wednesday through Saturday evenings, 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM.  It is small, but contains a lot.


Below are the Board of Directors of the Salter Path Museum
PRESIDENT Douglas Guthrie
VICE PRESIDENT Kathleen Guthrie

A native of Salter Path, NC, I grew up mullet fishing, catching scallops and shrimp, and raking for clams.  My fondest memories are of striking schools of mullet in Bogue Sound and then having a wonderful dinner of mullet, slaw, cornbread, and watermelon.  I am fortunate that my daughter, Katy, has been able to carry on that tradition at my parents’ home, my home.

I fear, however, that that tradition may be lost all too soon which is one of the most important reasons I became involved in the Salter Path Museum.  Its mission is the preservation of the villages’s traditional culture, not only for the villagers, but also for people who consider Salter Path their “second” hometown. Many folks from upstate North Carolina came to Bogue Banks to fish, go to the beach, get together with family and friends on vacation, or to just “get away.”  They loved the town and its people.  The museum brings back childhood memories and continues the connections they made with Salter Path throughout their lives.  Others, who have never been to the village, are enthralled with the traditions, history, and beauty of the place.  Beach fishing, using Farmall tractors to pull nets in, particularly surprises and delights those not familiar with the town’s fishing traditions.

My work has reflected my lifelong priorities.  After high school at West Carteret, I attended NC State University, graduation Cum Laude with degrees in history and business.  Shortly afterward, I earned a law degree from Wake Forest University.  Rather than following the traditional practice of law, I decided to use my education to help conserve our natural resources. I began a career in environmental conservation in the state of Washington, working in Snohomish county with its salmon recovery efforts.  Wanting to come home, I accepted a job as project manager for the NC Wildlife Resources Commission in its effort to preserve important and valuable game land.  Our efforts added over 80,000 acres to that program.  I then worked for The Trust for Public Land, a national non-profit organization, as program and project manager.  I led two key projects for TPL, the Marks Creek and the Upper Neuse Clean Water initiatives, which preserved ecologically sensitive lands and local cultural heritage.  The lands were kept for passive recreational use.

When Dr. Charles Zwerling and my parents began the Salter Path Museum, I knew I had to get involved.  It has been wonderful to see the growth of the museum in the last four years.  The museum has also become a place for local artists and writers to offer their wares.  I hope to help in its continued growth using my education and skills as a conservationist and preservationist.  It has inspired me to return to NCSU to pursue a master’s degree in Public History, so I can help Salter Path and other places document their pasts and show the public the importance of individual community histories.

Currently, I live in Apex, NC, with my wife, Claudia, and my daughter, Katy.

We go home to Salter Path every chance we get so Katy can help her Gram and Grandaddy run the museum.

ART CONSULTANT Cathleen Hooper is a fabric artist and teacher who specializes in work with computerized sewing systems. She has many years of experience in corporate sales and service work, elementary education, small business, and event management.

Board of Directors Salter Path Museum:

Chairman of the Board

Charles S. Zwerling, MD is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of the Heritage Dance Foundation®  In 2005 the Salter Path Museum was created as a subsidiary of the HDF to promote the local visual arts, develop youth art programs and preserve the history of Salter Path community. Now the Salter Path Museum Inc is a separate private non-profit corporation. Charles Zwerling is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of the Salter Path Museum, Inc.
Melissa Grimes Zwerling is the President of the Heritage Dance Foundation and producer of various theatrical productions of the HDF. In March 2013 she co-produced the Animals Of Wonderland at the Paramount Theatre in Goldsboro, North Carolina. This fundraiser for the animals benefitted the local Humane Society adn Animal Shelter.Ms. Melissa Grimes Zwerling is the Vice chairman of the Board of the Salter PAth Museum, Inc.
William D. Hooper graduated Columbia University (BSE, MSE, MBA) and The Barnes Foundation (Art and Aesthetics). He is a retired corporate executive, and now a senior Business Development Consultant. He has 40+ years experience creating value for blue chip corporate, small business, academic and non-profit organizations. He works at the Board and C Level, and has done start-ups, build outs, turnarounds, and wind downs. He has traveled widely in Asia, North America, and Europe and brings knowledge of diverse cultures to his work.

He has also had lifelong involvement with the arts, especially where art intersects with technology and business. As example, he pioneered courses in Digital Imaging and in Computers in Photography at The New School / Parsons School of Design in the early 1990’s – at the dawn of the digital photographic age. He is a professional level photographer, and member, American Society of Media Photographers, and the Royal Photographic Society. In addition to visual arts, he enjoys ballet, modern dance, chamber music, and other performing arts.

Mr. Hooper also mentors teens and young adults to make successful transitions from high school to college, to internships, and to work. Also on to graduate school or to change jobs. He is currently a mentor in Columbia University’s Entrepreneurship Program, and is a board member of the Plant a Seed, Inspire a Dream Foundation.



  • · Jane McConologue and Freda Kyle,co-owners of Carolina Artist Studio Gallery in Morehead City
  • · Ruby and Dale Davis, local artists
  •   Craig Guthrie,Crab Shack
  •   Jimmy Farrington, County Commissioner, member of Economic Development Board, grew up in Emerald Isle