David Howe Lawrence Papers, PC.5049


David Howe Lawrence Papers, PC.5049


David Howe Lawrence (1919-2003) had a keen interest in protecting North Carolina beaches from erosion and invented a permeable groin, which he believed could stop erosion. In 1981, he formed Shoreline Associates, Inc. to market this idea. These papers consist of correspondence, newspaper clippings, documents relating to the patent of the permeable groin and Shoreline Associates, photographs of erosion and measures to control erosion.

Descriptive Summary

David Howe Lawrence Papers
Call Number
Lawrence, David Howe
0.810 cubic feet
Outer Banks History Center

Restrictions on Access & Use

Access Restrictions

Available for research.

Use Restrictions

Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], PC.5049, David Howe Lawrence Papers, Outer Banks History Center, Manteo, N.C., U.S.A.

Collection Overview

The David Howe Lawrence Papers includes correspondence and documents relating to the patent of the permeable groin and Shoreline Associates. Also included is a folder of photographs that have images of Avalon Pier, beach cottages, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Kitty Hawk Coast Guard Station, jetties, the construction of his "Lawrence Grid Groin," measures to control erosion, and an image of Diane Baum St. Clair and David Stick. Additionally, the collection includes newspaper clippings on the subjects of erosion, Oregon Inlet, offshore oil drilling, and sand replinishment, as well as an oversize folder of Dare County tax maps, zoning maps, and maps of unincorporated areas in both Dare and Currituck Counties.

Arrangement Note

This collection is arranged topically with five series: Biographical Sketch, Correspondence, Business Papers, Newspaper Clippings, and Maps.

Biographical Note

David Howe Lawrence (1919-2003) was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He graduated from Belmount Abbey College, where he took many courses in engineering. After military service during World War II, Lawrence worked for his father, Harry C. Lawrence, in his business, East Coast Dredging, building highways, bridges, and drainage canals. They also designed and built a few beach homes. Lawrence returned to school from 1950-1954, and studied civil engineering. He married in 1950 and had three daughters. From 1954-1965, he was president of Cameron Village, Inc. in Raleigh, N.C. and in 1965-1967, he designed and built the Sea Scape development in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Lawrence returned to school (UNC Chapel Hill) to attend the North Carolina Realtors Institute when his interests turned to real estate, appraising and development design. By the 1980s Lawrence had developed a keen interest in protecting North Carolina beaches from erosion and invented a permeable groin, which he believed could stop erosion. In 1981 he formed Shoreline Associates, Inc., to market this idea.

Contents of the Collection

1. Biographical Sketch, undated

Biographical Sketch, undated
Box 1

2. Correspondence, 1950s-1990s

1950s-1970s, 1950s-1970s
Box 1

D. Lawrence Correspondence [4 folders], 1980-1990s
D. Lawrence Correspondence [4 folders], 1980-1990s
Box 1

3. Business Papers, 1979-1986 and undated

Sam Lamb, Corolla
Box 1
Shoreline Associates, Inc.,1982-1986
Box 1
Sea Ranch [also Old Station Photos]
Box 1
Permits for groins - Town of Kill Devil Hills
Box 1
Patent of Lawrence Variable Grid System, plus patents pertaining to groins, jetties, and protective beaches
Box 1
Special Committee on Storm Damage
Box 1
Roanoke Island Plats, Photos, Surveys, Kill Devil Hills Survey and Kinnakeet Shores Survey, 1979-1983
Box 1
Legislation Regarding Coastal Management
Box 1
Reports Regarding Coastal Management
Box 1
Governmental Publications Regarding Beach Erosion and Shoreline Protection
Box 1
Miscellaneous Research Notes and Ephemera
Box 1
Plats, Surveys, Drawings, and Maps (includes separated oversized materials)
Box 1

4. Newspaper Clippings, 1981 and undated

Artificial Seaweed
Box 2
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (Moving/Saving)
Box 2
Dredging, General
Box 2
Kill Devil Hills, Town Elections, 1981
Box 2
Erosion From Storms
Box 2
General Erosion
Box 2
Groins, Sandbags, Bulkheads
Box 2
Lighthouses and Other Subjects
Box 2
Oregon Inlet, Dredging
Box 2
Oregon Inlet, Erosion at Coast Guard Station
Box 2
Oregon Inlet, Bonner Bridge Erosion
Box 2
Oregon Inlet, Jetties
Box 2
Oil Drilling
Box 2
Sand Fences
Box 2
Sand Replenishment
Box 2
Box 2
Ship Sinking
Box 2

5. Dare and Currituck County Maps, 1956-1986

Dare and Currituck County Maps, 1956-1986
Oversize Folder 1

Subject Headings

  • Erosion
  • Groins (Shore protection)
  • Coast changes
  • Hatteras Island (N.C.)
  • Kill Devil Hills (N.C.)
  • Oregon Inlet (N.C.)
  • Roanoke Island (N.C.)
  • Acquisitions Information

    Donated by David Lawrence

    Processing Information

  • Processed by Sarah Downing prior to 2001.
  • Encoded by Kelly Grimm, August, 2009