On a secluded stretch of beach far from the nearest public access point and nestled between sand dunes is an unlikely sight – a mailbox…with a bench next to it. The bench is where you sit to pen your innermost thoughts in one of the journals provided; the mailbox is where you place the journal when you are done. More than just a receptacle for pieces of paper, the Kindred Spirit Mailbox on Bird Island holds the wishes, thoughts, prayers and dreams of those who walk the 30 minutes to share and bare their soul and draw comfort from the act of doing so while enjoying the soothing sounds and sights of undeveloped beach, ocean and horizon.

Kindred Spirit Mailbox on Sunset Beach

For nearly 40 years the origins of the Kindred Spirit Mailbox remained a mystery. Then in the mid-2010's, Frank Nesmith of Sunset Beach came forward to provide some answers to the mystery. Frank Nesmith and his former lady friend Claudia Sailor erected the mailbox on Bird Island - having moved it from where they originally placed it at the eastern end of Sunset Beach. When it was moved to Bird Island, the island was separated from Sunset Beach by an inlet and the journey to the mailbox had to be made by boat or by wading across the inlet at low tide. Since then the inlet has filled in and the mailbox can now be accessed by foot or bicycle. 

The mystery of the mailbox has drawn tens of thousands of visitors over the years - visitors who shared their thoughts, wishes, and sometimes regrets to the Kindred Spirit. Even though the mystery of the mailbox may have been solved, the magic and lure of sending a message to the Kindred Spirit has not faded and each year thousands still make the journey.

Even author Nicholas Sparks has been inspired by the mailbox. The Kindred Spirit Mailbox was the inspiration behind Nicholas Sparks' 2018 novel Every Breath. Sunset Beach and the mailbox feature heavily in the novel.

The serene walk from the last public access on Sunset Beach to Bird Island and the Kindred Spirit Mailbox will be sure to give you time to reconnect with self and spirit. Are you willing to share your deepest thoughts?

Insider Tips

The trip to Kindred Spirit is a little over two miles roundtrip from the 40th Street public beach access on the west end of Sunset Beach or about 4.5 miles roundtrip from the Sunset Beach Pier. Save more time for writing and reading and rent a bike on Sunset Beach for the journey.

Whether walking or riding a bike, the trek is easier when made at or near low tide on the sand below the tide line.

Bird Island is the only remaining undeveloped barrier island system in Brunswick County and is one of the few protected natural island areas in the mid-Atlantic region. During the summer, guided educational walks to Bird Island are hosted by the Bird Island Preservation Society Stewards.  Walks begin at the 40th Street walkover and the beach at 8:30 am every Wednesday from June through August and last about 1.5 to 2 hours.

Learn more about NC's Brunswick Islands, home of Bird Island and the Kindred Spirit Mailbox at www.ncbrunswick.com.