Outer Banks Blogs

1933

Ocracoke Island Journal - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 06:16
In 1985, Melinda Tolson and Steve Cobb, students at Cape Hatteras School, interviewed Capt. Ernal Foster (1910-1996). Capt. Foster was the Hatteras Island native who launched the Outer Banks offshore sport fishing industry in 1937. In that year he carried fishermen into the Gulf Stream in his 37' vessel, the Albatross. Today, the Albatross fleet continues to cater to sport fishermen in three boats. You can read more about the Albatross Fleet here: http://www.albatrossfleet.com/albatross-history.html.

In the 1985 interview, Capt. Foster tells about being stranded at the Green Island Club at Ocracoke, 3.1 miles southwest of Hatteras Inlet. The hunting club was located on a marshy island in Pamlico Sound, not far from shore.

The incident happened in 1933, when Foster was 23 years old. He and several friends were fishing in the Sound when the wind started to pick up and the water got rougher. Foster and his friends decided to seek shelter at Green Island, but the wind velocity kept increasing, and the tide rose rapidly.

In no time at all the tide rushed inside the building. When water reached their waists the men went upstairs. The hurricane winds eventually undermined one side of the house, causing the whole structure to tip over so that one side of the roof was down in the water. The men retreated to the roof, staying on the leeward side. They remained on the roof throughout the hurricane, and into the next day, until the water receded and the wind abated.

When the fishermen finally located a castaway boat (theirs was destroyed), and returned to Hatteras, they discovered widespread damage, but no injuries. Capt. Foster described his ordeal as the worst experience of his life.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm.  


Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Naval Stores

Ocracoke Island Journal - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 06:23
If you are like many modern landlubbers, you probably think "naval stores" are commercial establishments that sell anchors, rope, dinghies, life jackets, bottom paint, and anything else associated with sailboats and motorboats.

In fact, naval stores are products derived from pine sap. That's right, "naval stores" means turpentine, paint, varnish, various soaps & lubricants...even shoe polish and linoleum.

The term "naval stores" originated because resin-based products were essential for the construction and maintenance of sailing ships. Naval stores were used to caulk between hull planks, to weatherproof  various items, and to help preserve lines and ropes. Sailors, of course, were often called "old tars" because they were so often begommed with the stuff.

And pine sap came from pine trees; and pine trees grew in abundance in North Carolina.  In the mid-nineteenth century North Carolina produced more than 95% of all the naval stores (turpentine, tar, pitch, and rosin) in the United States. Most of that came from twelve tidewater counties. Many of the schooners from Ocracoke carried naval stores up and down the coast, to the West Indies and to Nova Scotia.

Like so many other human endeavors, over-exploitation of North Carolina's pine forests (at one time longleaf pine forests covered 130 million acres, from Virginia to Texas) led to ecological disaster and financial collapse. By the late 1800s the North Carolina naval stores industry had moved to South Carolina and Georgia...and later to the deep south and Texas.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Ocracoke and the American Revolution

Ocracoke Island Journal - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 05:05
Ellen Fulcher Cloud has collected a prodigious amount of information about the history of Ocracoke and Portsmouth islands. In her 2006 book, Portsmouth, the Way it Was, she writes this about Ocracoke pilots in 1777:

"Ocracoke Inlet was one of the most important inlets of the Revolution. The British soon became aware of this, and in 1777 Ocracoke Inlet...was threatened when the British unsuccessfully attempted a blockade. Vessels continued to slip in with supplies and privateers were sneaking out. However the British were successful in capturing some of our vessels. On April 14 the British ship LILY, captured the vessel POLLY, and a privateer on the same day recaptured the POLLY and disarmed the LILY. The Pilots at Ocraocke Inlet showed their determination to keep the inlet open for shipping. For three days a group of armed pilots manned five whale boats, proceeded out of the Inlet and captured both vessels and took them to New Bern."

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about the Unionist North Carolina State Government established at Hatteras in 1861. You can read all about it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news092114.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Cormorants

Ocracoke Island Journal - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 06:07
Not long ago I was on the early morning Swan Quarter ferry, passing the spoil island near the wreck of the dredge Lehigh.  A steady line of cormorants was on its way to the ocean. Thousands of black birds, flapping their wings just inches above the water, flew steadily along. As the ferry approached, the line broke, as some hurried on ahead, and others veered away to rejoin their line behind the ferry.

Double-crested cormorants winter near Ocracoke Inlet in the thousands...probably in the tens of thousands. Every morning they leave the low-lying sandy islands in the sound and head out into the ocean. By mid-afternoon they are returning in a seemingly endless line. If you enlarge the following photo you can see more than a dozen cormorants just off-shore as they are traveling in for the evening.














Sometimes cormorants fly higher, usually in a ragged V pattern.














Cormorants are coastal (not pelagic) birds that eat fish, and can often be seen diving for their prey. World wide, there are at least 40 species of cormorants, and (according to Wikipedia) some are known to be able to dive as deep as 145 feet!

I found this YouTube video of cormorants flying near Salvo, NC. It is described as a Cormorant Feeding Frenzy, but I'm sure they are just traveling out to their feeding grounds. But the video will give you an idea of their numbers and their habits. Enjoy.



Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Leonard Bryant

Ocracoke Island Journal - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 05:35
Below is a reprint of the obituary for Ocracoke Islander, Leonard Bryant (August 11, 1874-November 15, 1960), who died 54 years ago tomorrow:



















White Friends Hold Last Rites For Negro Man
Ocracoke -- Leonard Bryant, 82 [according to my sources, he was 86], a member of the only Negro family on Ocracoke, died last week.

Funeral services were conducted Nov. 16 in the Methodist Church, of which he had been a member and sexton for many years. Since there is no segregation in the church, he had taken communion with the white members during that time. All pallbearers at the funeral were white.

He was buried in the unsegregated community cemetery.

Bryant came to Ocracoke at the age of 19 to help the late George Credle run the old Ponder Hotel. He lived alone in a home adjacent to that of other members of his family; his wife, who has been ill, has been living with a daughter in Winston-Salem.

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Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Persimmons

Ocracoke Island Journal - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 06:05
Many years ago, one of the island teenagers offered me my first persimmon. It had not ripened, and my mouth immediately began to pucker! You can imagine the hilarity that evinced.

Persimmons contain very high levels of soluble tannins which make the unripened fruit quite unpalatable. The tannins can also combine with stomach acids to produce a "foodball" (called a phytobezoar), which can be medically dangerous. Needless to say, I never consumed enough of the unripe persimmon to present any problem.

Persimmon Tree at Ocracoke Methodist Church



















Persimmon trees are relatively common on the Outer Banks. The following recipe was printed in the Spring, 1974 issue of Sea Chest.

Persimmon Pudding

Collect persimmons after frost has hit them and they are soft. Cook as any fruit and push through a colander. One cup of fruit is needed for the pudding mix.

1 3/4 cups of sifted flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 egs
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Cream shortening and add sugar gradually. Beat eggs and add spice. Add flour and milk to sugar mixture, beating after each addition until smooth. Add the persimmon pulp.

Pour into a greased pan and bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for 35 to 45 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or a lemon sauce.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Songbirds for Supper

Ocracoke Island Journal - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 06:16
This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is about wildfowl hunting in 1910. At one time, wild birds were so plentiful on the Outer Banks that it seemed their numbers were inexhaustible. In the late 1800s market hunting with shotguns allowed the taking of dozens of geese and ducks, sometimes by mounting several guns on a boat or sinkbox. In one day hundreds of birds could be killed, then shipped to northern markets.

Of course, we now know that indiscriminate killing of wild birds leads to ecological disaster. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and the Federal Duck Stamp Act of 1934 put an end to market hunting and the wholesale slaughter of waterfowl.

Bird hunting is a long tradition on Ocracoke. Ducks and geese were the primary targets, but small songbirds such as robins were also hunted for food, even within living memory. As late as the 1970s island boys routinely shot small birds within the village.

As David Cecelski writes in his book, A Historian's Coast, "[h]unting coastal birds was an old custom in North Carolina. Long before market gunning, watermen's families savored wild bird dishes ranging from fried tern to stewed blue heron. In fact, few bird species eluded the cook pot."

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Lords Proprietors, John Lovick, & Ocracoke

Ocracoke Island Journal - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 05:24
In 1663, eight English noblemen received a charter from King Charles II to establish the colony of Carolina in the New World. These eight men were the "Lords Proprietors," and their job was to oversee the colony on behalf of the King.

The eight Lords Proprietors of the Province of Carolina were:
  • George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle (1608–1670) 
  • Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon (1609–1674) 
  • John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton (1602–1678) 
  • William Craven, 1st Earl of Craven (1608–1697) 
  • Sir George Carteret (c. 1610–1680) 
  • Sir William Berkeley (1605–1677) 
  • Sir John Colleton, 1st Baronet (1608–1666) 
  • Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury (1621–1683). 
On November 11, 1719 (295 years ago today) the Lords Proprietors granted the island of Occacock, containing 2,110 acres, to John Lovick, Secretary of the Colony of North Carolina and a Deputy of the Lords Proprietors.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm.


Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

More Music

Ocracoke Island Journal - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 05:44
A few days ago David, Amy & Lachlan, as well as several other friends, came over to my house, and brought food and musical instruments. Michael Stanwood, a frequent visitor to the island, was there. After supper he and David filled my living room with fiddle and autoharp music.















Michael plays guitar, autoharp, and several exotic instruments, including the didgeridoo. He is also an artist and storyteller. You can read more about Michael here: michaelstanwood.com.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Shark's Teeth

Ocracoke Island Journal - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 05:52
I posted this photo on our Facebook page two days ago, and it received 7,000 views, a record for us. It was so popular that I decided to post it here for those of our readers who are not on Facebook.


















I was walking along the beach several days ago, and stopped when I saw this tiny bundle of shark's teeth. I was surprised because I had never before found a shark's tooth on Ocracoke.  There were 75-100 small teeth, all connected and obviously from one animal.

I brought them home, and laid them outside, hoping ants would attack the cartilage and separate them for me.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Mattie

Ocracoke Island Journal - Thu, 11/06/2014 - 05:31
I was biking around the village last week when I noticed a group of artists working at their easels in front of the lighthouse. More "plein air" painters, I thought, and wondered what was going on.














So I stopped to take some pictures and ask a few questions. Immediately I spied my friend Anita from mainland Hyde County. Then I discovered there were three other islanders in the group of a dozen or so artists. They were being tutored by Mark Hierholzer, colorist and fine art oil painter from Swan Quarter.


















The group was part of a program of the Mattie Arts Center which was established in 2012 and housed in the old Hyde County court house in Swan Quarter. MATTIE is an acronym for Mattamuskeet Artisans, Teaching, Training, Instructing, and Educating.

Classes at Mattie are dedicated to creating a venue where artists can grow artistically in their craft, communicate creatively with one another, and be inspired by nature.

It certainly looked as if they were accomplishing their goals. I hope I have an opportunity to see some of their finished products.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Three Photos

Ocracoke Island Journal - Wed, 11/05/2014 - 05:44
Just a couple of photos taken crossing Pamlico Sound on the Wilma Lee (More information on yesterday's post)...
















...And work being done on the Simon & Emma O'neal house on Lighthouse Road:















Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Wilma Lee

Ocracoke Island Journal - Tue, 11/04/2014 - 06:13
On Tuesday, October 28, I accompanied Captain Rob, Tom, Chuck & Gary to Jarrett Bay Boat Yard in Beaufort, NC. We were going to pick up the Wilma Lee, now ready to bring back to Ocracoke after repairs were completed.

It was an impressive sight, seeing the Wilma Lee propped on jack stands where the work was done.


















Then the travel lift arrived. Heavy duty straps were attached under the Wilma Lee's hull, and she was lifted up and carried slowly, very slowly, to the water. 














Carefully, the skipjack was lowered into the basin and set free.














We crossed Pamlico Sound. Here is Rob at the helm, Chuck by his side, and the setting sun behind us. We arrived back at Silver Lake about 9:30.














With the addition of new sails, and fully rigged (not exactly sure when that will be), the Wilma Lee will again be ready for sunset cruises and educational programs. Stop down at the Community Square docks to take a look at her.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Pirates

Ocracoke Island Journal - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 05:46
What a fun weekend! Tricorn hats, flintlock pistols, swords and pewter tankards were to be seen everywhere throughout the village. There were cannons, naval battles, madrigals, bawdy songs, history lessons, scallywag school, sword fights and beer gardens. The 2014 Pirate Jamboree was a great success. A few photos:










































Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm

Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Shark

Ocracoke Island Journal - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 05:03
I am not sure why, but it is rare to find sharks' teeth on Ocracoke's beach. However, several days ago I found an entire mouthful of one shark's teeth!

This critter was lying on the beach, not too far above the high tide line. If you enlarge the picture you will see that he still has an impressive array of sharp teeth. I did not try to retrieve any of them.















I am not sure what species of shark this is. Perhaps one of our readers can enlighten me.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Sheperd's Pie & Banjo Music

Ocracoke Island Journal - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 04:43
It is not often that someone I don't know sets up Dutch ovens in my side yard, fills our plates with shepherd's pie & hot biscuits, and graces my living room with fast-paced banjo music!

In fact, it's only happened once...just this past Monday. As it turned out, fiddler Dave recently struck up a conversation with Jim Huskins and his wife Beverly because of their mutual love of music. Then Jim offered to feed our family and the Molasses Creek band members. I didn't meet Jim until he arrived carrying cast iron Dutch ovens. They were soon set up in my yard, heated with charcoal briquettes...and the cooking began.

Jim made the biscuits on my picnic table as the shepherd's pie cooked nearby.


















By 7 o'clock we were all gathered around my dining room table enjoying the fruits of Jim's labor.














But another treat was waiting for us. All of the musicians brought their instruments. After dessert (David had baked an Ocracoke fig cake, and Marcy brought home-made Halloween cookies) we repaired to the living room for an hour of lively music. 



























Towards 10 o'clock, Jim retrieved his hat, and he & Beverly helped us carry the utensils back to their "motor home," a converted 40' airport shuttle bus.














(You can take a look at Jim's bus building blog here: http://www.nomadicista.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2541. His travelogue about their trip is here: http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=28203.0).

Everything about Jim and Beverly's visit to my home was memorable...delicious food, wonderful conversation, and fantastic music! Sometimes the unexpected can be the most enjoyable.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Rehabilitation

Ocracoke Island Journal - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 04:37
There is good news to share this week. Several years ago the Ocracoke Preservation Society received a bequest from the David and Geraldine Beveridge estate designated to help preserve an island structure. The Society used the money to purchase the Simon and Emma O'Neal house on Lighthouse Road.

The house was subsequently sold, with conservation easements, to a private buyer. He has received approval for the rehabilitation of this house to historic preservation standards, and work began just last week.

This building is a typical turn-of-the-twentieth-century island house, and is located across the street from the Assembly of God church.














We are delighted that OPS saved this house, and we are looking forward to seeing it fully restored and returned to occupancy. Take a look at the progress being made when you walk, bike, or drive down Lighthouse Road.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Costumes

Ocracoke Island Journal - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 04:27
The annual Halloween Parade was held Friday afternoon at the School Circle. Below are a couple of photos. The first is Lachlan as Lizardman and Bones (Bones was just his normal piratical self).


















My favorite (he won the award for "Most Original Costume") was Austin, the little mouse in the trap.














Here are a few other images courtesy of Sally Beachy:




































Halloween is just a few days away. Make sure your costume is ready! If you are on the island be sure to stroll down Lighthouse Road to see the children (and adults) in costume...and maybe get a few treats.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

October Newsletter

Ocracoke Island Journal - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 05:02
Well, it's that time of the month again! We've recently published our latest Ocracoke Newsletter. This month's article is a reprint of a 1910 account of hunting for waterfowl at Ocracoke. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Weekends

Ocracoke Island Journal - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 04:28
As I mentioned yesterday, I will no longer be publishing posts on weekends. Look for more Ocracoke Island stories & history tomorrow.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about the Unionist North Carolina State Government established at Hatteras in 1861. You can read all about it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news092114.htm.  
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs
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