A Presbyterian minister who served churches in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Boston and New York for nearly 45 years, Garrett Albertson understands commitment. When he retired from the ministry in 1998, he and his wife Donna looked to fulfill their dream of owning a bed-and-breakfast inn.
“We found Theodosia’s advertised on the Internet,” said Garrett. “Because I knew some Greek, I understood the name meant ‘gift of God.’ We decided to explore it, came down and visited, and wound up owning it.” The Albertsons also purchased a small home in Harbour Village.
As proprietor of the inn and an ordained minister, Garrett met a young couple who wanted to get married on Bald Head Island. After about a year of counseling and planning with them, Garrett married Marc and Shirley at Old Baldy Lighthouse in 2002.
Garrett reported that when it started to rain during the ceremony, some of the guests held umbrellas over the bride and groom. After the service, the newlyweds came back to Theodosia’s where Shirley changed out of her traditional Western wedding dress and into a traditional Chinese wedding dress.
“I believe that was the only time I officiated a wedding where the bride had two wedding dresses,” said Garrett. “It was a good thing, too, because the first one was wet!”
Garrett kept in touch with the Charlotte couple over the years and showed them property from time to time. In May of 2018, sixteen years after their wedding, the couple purchased a home in Flora’s Bluff. Their family had since grown to five, with the birth of three daughters.
“They had looked a long time and rented in various locations on the island,” said Garrett. “They love that part of the island best, so the home was a good fit.”
Around the same time as the wedding, a guest at the inn suggested that Garrett look into adding real estate to his resume. He earned his real estate license in 2001, and in 2003, the Albertsons sold Theodosia’s and moved to Southport, where they still live. Garrett is on staff part-time at Trinity Methodist Church there, and is active in the Bald Head Island Chapel, as well.
While they moved off the island, they never really left it, emphasized Garrett. He has been part of the Bald Head Island Limited Real Estate Sales team since 2007, so he’s on the island five to seven days a week. Donna runs a baking business that supplies desserts to Mojo’s on the Harbor and the Sandpiper Coffee Shop. “Plus, our grandchildren love it, so we are over here often with them,” he said.
Anyway you look at it, Garrett’s history with Bald Head Island reads like a love story, including the happily-ever-after ending.