R. Stanley Wahab and Family Papers, PC.5114


R. Stanley Wahab and Family Papers, PC.5114


Robert Stanley Wahab, Sr. (1888-1967) was an Ocracoke Island native and businessman who ran a hotel and resort known as Wahab Village. The resort included a campground, hunting and fishing club, rental cottages, and a dinner and dancing club, the "Spanish Casino." Wahab also helped bring electrical and ice plants, telephone service, and improvements to roads and the ferry service to Ocracoke. This collection consists of family history files and photographs, including a large general ledger of R. Stanley Wahab's business and personal affairs, a brochure from Wahab Village, and a rare image of the Diamond Shoals Lightship.

Descriptive Summary

Collection on R. Stanley Wahab and Family
Call Number
Wahab, Robert Stanley, 1888-1967
1908-2005 and undated
0.510 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 the 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 these materials.

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], PC.5114, Collection on R. Stanley Wahab and Family, Outer Banks History Center, Manteo, NC, U.S.A.

Collection Overview

The Collection on R. Stanley Wahab and Family, 1908-2005 and undated, consists of family history files and photographs created by the Wahab Family and Jean Edwards Carr, the donor of the collection.

The Family History Files series contains genealogical information and family papers. Included is a large general ledger of R. Stanley Wahab's business and personal affairs, which appears to have been maintained well after his death. The ledger is organized into the following sections: Journal, 1950-1990; Assets, 1950-1994; Notes Received, 1959-1994; Stocks, 1943-1987; Real Estate, 1949-1975 (Cottages and Hotels); Furniture and Fixtures, 1931-1980; Liabilities, 1949-1993; Profit and Loss, 1955-1988, 1990-1992; R.S. Wahab Capital Account,1951-1993; Income, 1952-1994 (Sale of Lots: Wahab Village, Parker's Hills, Beachside, Silver Lake, Beachland, Portsmouth, Frisco/Pamlico Sound Shore, Kennekeet (sic)/Roanoke Island); Expenses, 1948-1994). Also included is a promotional brochure for the Wahab Village resort promoting cottages, a campground, a hunting and fishing club, and boating, circa mid-1930s.

The photographs in this collection primarily depict scenes portraits of individuals, including numerous photos of Stanley Wahab, and scenes around Ocracoke Island during and shortly after World War II. Some of the photographs depict images of waterfowl hunting and Wahab's air taxi service, which he operated on the island for a short time. Also included is a rare image of the Diamond Shoals Lightship.

Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged into two series: Family History Documents and Photographs. Folders are arranged alphabetically within series.


Robert Stanley Wahab was born 3 February 1888 on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, to Hatton and Martha Howard Wahab. He spent his youth on Ocracoke Island, and his father served in the U.S. Lifesaving Service at the Cedar Hammocks station. In 1904, Wahab went to sea on the menhaden schooner "Fanny Sprague" followed by a tour as a seaman on Dredge Number Three of the Norfolk Dredging Co. in 1905. Wahab then joined the crew of a luxury yacht owned by industrialist T. Coleman du Pont, which was sailing from Florida to Delaware.

At du Pont's urging, Wahab attended the Goldey Business College in Wilmington, Delaware. This training opened the door for a succession of jobs in businesses specializing in provisions. In 1910, he returned to Ocracoke and married Fanny McWilliams the following year. Following his wife's death, Wahab taught mathematics at Norfolk's Maury High School and served as principal of the public school in Ocracoke and at the lake Landing School in Hyde County. After unsuccessfully running for public office, Wahab left Ocracoke and completed more college coursework in accounting and law. He also met and married Lucille Grandy of Norfolk, Virginia. Together, they had two sons, Robert S. and Wilson H., and a daughter, Lillian E.

From 1920 to 1924, Wahab served as comptroller for a retail chain based in Baltimore, Maryland. His second wife died in 1924. In 1927, he and an associate formed the company Retail Store Services, a furniture buying cooperative for high-end furniture stores that have limited buying power alone. In 1947, due partly to declining eyesight, Wahab sold his interest in the company he founded and returned to Ocracoke. Throughout his life, Wahab had continued to keep ties to Ocracoke Village and engaged in a number of business ventures there. In 1936, he built the Wahab Village Hotel, the island's first modern hostelry. The Wahab Village Hotel expanded to become a resort, including a campground, hunting and fishing club, rental cottages, and a dinner and dancing club, the "Spanish Casino." Wahab was also responsible for bringing modern amenities to Ocracoke. He was instrumental in the building of the first electrical and ice plants, helped to finance telephone service, and saw to the improvement of roads and the ferry service.

Wahab married Myra Edwards of Belhaven and they lived out the remainder of his life in the Wahab family home. He died 20 November 1967 at the age of 79 and is buried in the Howard-Wahab Family Cemetery in Ocracoke.

Contents of the Collection

1. Family History Documents, 1908-2005 and undated

Brochure for Wahab Village, circa 1930s
Oversize Folder 1
Genealogical Chart and Notes, 2005 and undated
Box 1
General Ledger of R. Stanley Wahab, 1931-1994
Box 2
The Howard Family of Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, undated
Box 1
Letter from Mrs. David Batterson, Caretaker, to Myra Wahab, 18 April 1956
Box 1
Letter from R. Stanley Wahab, Jr., to R. Stanley Wahab, 23 June 1956
Box 1
Postcard from W. O'Neal, Rodanthe, North Carolina, 17 November 1908
Box 1

2. Photographs, circa 1900s-1989

Building Exteriors and Interiors, circa 1940s-1989
Box 1
Diamond Shoals Lightship and Other Vessels, circa 1940s-1950s
Box 1
Ocracoke Village Scenes, Aerials, and Landscapes, circa 1930s-1960
Box 1
People, circa 1900s-1950s
Box 1
R. Stanley Wahab, circa 1930s-1960s
Box 1

Subject Headings

  • Wahab family
  • Diamond Shoals Lightship
  • Wahab Village (Ocracoke, N.C.)
  • Ocracoke (N.C.)--History--20th century
  • Acquisitions Information

    Donated by Jean Carr, February 2006.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Samantha Crisp, July 2021.