Updated May 22, 2010.

Interview with Louise Doxey Falconer

by Janet Grimstead Simons

April 24, 2010. Louise Doxey was born February 23, 1918, to Isaac and Mollie Sears Doxey on Mackay Island. Her Daddy was working for the John L. Roper Lumber Co, cutting timber. Thomas Dixon and his wife Harriett purchased the land from the Roper Lumber Co. in 1917. Louise was born in the dining room of a house on Mackay Island as the house was being renovated! She was named Louise after Harriett Dixon's daughter, Louise. Isaac and Mollie moved the family to Knotts Island when Louise was about four years old. The family lived on today’s South End Road and Doxey Lane. The Doxey family moved back to Mackay Island to work for Mr. Joseph Palmer Knapp when Louise was seven or eight years old. Louise had a brother Colin and sister Clara Doxey Irving. They lived there until Louise was about 12 years old and then moved back to Knotts Island, where she lived until she married Charlie Falconer in 1947. Louise Doxey Falconer says she has been back to Mackay Island as her brother Colin could not remember where their house was located. She found the old tree that Colin played under and showed him where their house was! Louise says everything was so torn up, she does not want to go back and see it again!

May 22, 2010. Her Mother (Mollie) was from Shawboro and Daddy (Issac) from Currituck—a place called Pugatory, near Sligo and Shawboro. They lived at Currituck before living on Mackay Island. Mollie was raised by an Aunt Anne. Ray Etheridge in Shawboro is another relative. Her mother “boarded” teachers at Knotts Island until the teacherage was built. Her Daddy Issac hired people to teach her sister Clara and brother Colin at home, until Colin was “boarded” at age 7 with Ellie Bowden. Louise remembers Pud White bringing a mother otter and her little ones to play on the porch at Munden’s store. Louise gleaned potatoes with Susie Litchfield, Mardell Williams Bonney, and several others in the Doxey fields. Thomas Dixon gave permission for “Square Dances” at his log cabin when Louise was a teenager. Some friends she remembers being there include Emma and “Skeeter” Halstead, Ruby Halstead, Minnie Taylor, and Mackay Island workers The Currituck Sound froze in 1918 when Louise was born at Mackay Island when Thomas Dixon still owned it. Her mother had ordered a layette from the Sears catalog. Linwood Bowden walked across the ice to pick it up. Her mother said Louise would not have had baby clothes to wear had he not done that! Louise remembers sitting on Mr. Knapp’s knee and “riding” the stair rails down the Knapp mansion. At the age of 8 (1926), she remembers a body being brought to the boat house at MacKay Island. It was said to be George Waterfield alleged to be the killer of Bertha Ansell and shooter of Willie Tatem. Louise said her mother always wished she had looked at the body as it was believed not to be George Waterfield. The tale was told that a grave plot had been dug up for a body. George Waterfield was supposedly “spotted” in Norfolk after this. (This tale is verified by Jimmy Waterfield, his nephew, on May 11, 2010.) George Waterfield’s mother was rumored to be a witch. Among tales of her at that time: she “put a spell” on someone at the cemetery once and the person was blinded. Knotts Island Methodist Church picnics were sometimes held at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. They watched people dance in outdoor Pavilions and played the “nickel slot machines” in a casino. Louise remembers Mardell Jones putting her money in one and so many coins came out, they filled up a stiff brim straw hat one man was wearing.