The notebooks became such an important part of the beach that when the Nykanens decided it was time to pass the torch and stop maintaining the box, the volumes of notes and the notorious mailbox were sent to the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History.
Madeline Flagler, from the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History enjoys speaking with visitors who come to see the notebooks. Many share their memories with her. One guest told how she'd written a note each summer she visited Wrightsville Beach as a child. There are also stories of UNC Wilmington students leaving notes as part of a college tradition. And naturally, there are stories of the many love letters left over the years.
As Flagler says, "the mailbox on the beach became a piece of current history and symbolic of the spirit of Wrightsville Beach."
Though the Nykanens no longer maintain their mailbox on the beach, beach goers can still leave a note. Today, there are two mailboxes on the north end of Wrightsville Beach maintained by student ambassadors from UNC Wilmington preserving the tradition and the love story of this cherished time capsule overlooking the Atlantic.
And yes, they still encourage everyone to "leave a note."