Where did the Carova residents get groceries and fuel back in the day?
Whatever stores they got their supplies from are undoubtedly long gone. But they were in Virginia because it was closer than Kitty Hawk, and had a much larger selection. The locking of the gate in 1974 no doubt placed a hardship on the local people even if they did have limited access. The city of Virginia Beach now includes all the land that used to comprise Princess Anne county. As recently as when I was in high school, Virginia Beach was merely a little strip of ocean front in what is the boardwalk commercial district and a small residential area north of it today. Today VB is the largest city in the state.
Over 20 years ago, my wife and I were hanging out at Whalehead Club, eating a sandwich and having a drink, when an older gentleman just walked up and started talking to us.
Turns out he had once owned a number of lots in the area, bought them in 60s and 70's. Decided that he would sell them off as needed to finance his retirement. He ended retiring in the early 80's and told us about how quiet it was, there were a few people around but in the winter hardly anyone.
We asked him that same question. How do you get groceries?
He laughed at said basically it's a community event. He had a big Jeep Wagoneer or Suburban, and he put the rear seat down and threw 4 or 5 large coolers in the back. He told his neighbors he was heading north to Norfolk or sometimes to Elizabeth City to get Groceries, is there anything they want?
It would be an all day adventure, leaving before sunrise most days and filling the coolers and bags of groceries. He said he did that about once a month, and all the neighbors would do the same, so if you forget a bottle of ketchup, your neighbor could get it for you in a few days when they made their trip.
At the time we met him, his wife was bad shape and he was selling his home and moving to the west coast so he would be closer to Medical care he needed.