Flyway Farms provides a rare glimpse of history and waterfowl heritage in a beautiful setting on Knotts Island in Currituck County. It is the last of the historic privately owned hunting lodges in the Currituck Sound and Back Bay region and is featured in the book Gun Clubs & Decoys of Back Bay & Currituck Sound by Archie Johnson & Bud Coppedge. The estate sits on 26 acres overlooking the Currituck Sound and offers breathtaking sunset views over the water.
The rustic waterfront lodge has 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, a modern kitchen, and a gun room. There is also a 3-bedroom, 1.5 bath wing with living room that once served as the caretaker’s quarters. The wood-beamed living room has solid oak paneling, 3 inch thick wooden exterior doors, original leaded glass windows, built-in bookcases, a window seat and a large brick fireplace. The dining room has oak paneling and a herringbone patterned brick floor, which continues into the billiard room.
All four bedrooms upstairs all have stunning views of the Currituck Sound and each has a private bathroom en suite. The lodge has original artwork created by the foremost waterfowl artists of the period. Two desks and two copy tables came from the offices of the New York Herald-Tribune.
Additionally the estate property includes a striking U-shaped structure known as the “farm building” that housed servants and vehicles as well as farm animals and machinery. The first floor has a five-bay garage, workshops, granary and bird rooms. The second floor has 11 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a kitchen, and living spaces. Although it is wood-clad, the main structure is built of brick.
New York Tribune and New York Herald Tribune publishers Ogden Mills and Helen Rogers Reid built the original lodge and barn for retreats and waterfowl hunting in 1920.. Reid’s son, Ogden Rogers Reid and his wife Mary Louise Reid rebuilt an exact replica of the lodge in 1959-60 due to a Christmas Eve fire in 1958 which destroyed the home. The original 1920’s farm building was undamaged in the fire and remains on the property.
The Reid’s hosted Herbert Hoover, Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower and other political figures at Flyway. Ogden Reid served as US Ambassador to Israel from 1959-61 and as a US Congressman from New York from 1963-1973. The Reid’s were friends of publisher and philanthropist Joseph P. Knapp. Knapp owned the 7000 acre Mackay Island & Knapp Hunting Lodge next to Flyway. Reid and Knapp discussed waterfowl conservation by the fireplace in the living room at Flyway. Knapp went on to found what became Ducks Unlimited in 1937 with Robert Winthrop and E. H. Lowin 1937.
The lodge is at the end of a ¼ mile mature oak lined drive. The grounds include a boat basin with pier and a tennis court. Mature plantings of sequoias, azaleas, camellias, crepe myrtles and other flowering shrubs surround the house. Ornamental and fruit trees dot the property. The land backs up to the Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge. Many species of birds visit the Flyway, including bald eagles!
The property includes Faraby Island, just offshore, with permitted waterfowl hunting point blinds. There is also easy access to other public and private blinds in Currituck Sound and Back Bay. One-half mile south of the North Carolina-Virginia line, The Flyway is convenient to all that the Outer Banks has to offer, as well as the shopping, dining and oceanfront activities of Virginia Beach.