Outer Banks Blogs

Pamlico Sound

Ocracoke Island Journal - Mon, 03/07/2016 - 05:40
Pamlico Sound is a beautiful body of water in all seasons of the year. It is perfect for fishing, clamming, swimming, sailing, or, if it is very cold, simply enjoying from a vantage point along the marsh.















Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Beatrice Wells, child evangelist, who preached at Ocracoke in the late 1930s/early 1940s. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

USLSS Beach Drill

Ocracoke Island Journal - Fri, 03/04/2016 - 06:40
Yesterday I published a photo of members of the United States Life Saving Service practicing a "breeches buoy" rescue operation on land. Below is another photo from the Outer Banks History Center. This one shows life savers practicing on the beach with their surf boat.












On the extreme left is the 1,000 pound "beach cart" loaded with all of the equipment that the life savers pulled along the surf. In the foreground is a portion of the "faking box" (with rows of wooden pins around which the shot line was woven in a zig-zag pattern to prevent tangling when emptied beside the Lyle Gun).

Rescues were rarely performed when the surf was as calm as in this photo, or the temperature as mild.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Beatrice Wells, child evangelist, who preached at Ocracoke in the late 1930s/early 1940s. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

USLSS Drill

Ocracoke Island Journal - Thu, 03/03/2016 - 08:39
The following undated photo is courtesy of the Outer Banks History Center. It shows members of the United States Life Saving Service practicing their drill for the rescue of sailors aboard shipwrecked vessels.














If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can see the bronze Lyle Gun just below the two life savers in the center of the picture. The Lyle Gun, a small cannon, shot a projectile, hemp line, and instructions to the stricken ship. In a series of maneuvers, sailors on the ship tied a hawser and whip line to a mast, and the other end was secured on the beach. Crew members and passengers could then be transferred to shore by means of a "traveling block" and canvas "breeches buoy" (hanging from a line attached to the stand and ladder on the right of the photo).

This photo was probably taken in the late 19th century near Nags Head or on Hatteras Island. Most rescues were performed in gale force winds and rough seas, often in cold winter months. Some required the life savers to risk their own lives in open surf boats.

Chapter eight of my book, Howard Street Hauntings and Other Ocracoke Stories, has a detailed description of the live-saving operation.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Beatrice Wells, child evangelist, who preached at Ocracoke in the late 1930s/early 1940s. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Music Across the Sound

Ocracoke Island Journal - Wed, 03/02/2016 - 06:38
If you will be in mainland Hyde County or close by in eastern North Carolina this Saturday, March 5, be sure to come out for another "Music Across the Sound" event at Mattamuskeet School. This event starts at 7:30 p.m., and is free to the public.


















Click on the poster to view a larger image, and for more information about participants and sponsors. 

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Beatrice Wells, child evangelist, who preached at Ocracoke in the late 1930s/early 1940s. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Lighthouse Recipe

Ocracoke Island Journal - Tue, 03/01/2016 - 05:54
Did you know that the U.S. Lighthouse Board specified a whitewash recipe for keeping the Ocracoke tower protected and presentable?


















This is the recipe:

One half bushel of unslaked lime with boiling water
One peck of salt
One half pound of powdered Spanish whiting [several Internet sites mistakenly describe this as "fish"; actually, Spanish Mackerel and Whiting are fish, but Spanish whiting is chalk, or calcium carbonate!]
Three pounds of rice in boiling water
One pound of clear glue

The mixture was to be applied as hot as possible.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Beatrice Wells, child evangelist, who preached at Ocracoke in the late 1930s/early 1940s. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Aunt Winnie

Ocracoke Island Journal - Mon, 02/29/2016 - 05:40
By the end of the Civil War in 1865 all of Ocracoke’s former slaves had fled the island. Interestingly, two former slaves, Winnie Blount (“Aunt Winnie”) and her husband Harkus (Hercules) Blount, moved to Ocracoke from Bount’s Creek, NC, with a Williams family in 1866/1867. Harkus was a boat builder and carpenter; Aunt Winnie (ca. 1825 – 1925), worked as a domestic. The Blounts were the only post-Civil War black family to call Ocracoke home for more than one hundred years.

Aunt Winnie


















Aunt Winnie's granddaughter, Muzel Bryant (1904-2008), was the last of the family to live on Ocracoke. Muzel died just shy of her 104th birthday.

Click here for more information about slavery on Ocracoke Island.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Beatrice Wells, child evangelist, who preached at Ocracoke in the late 1930s/early 1940s. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

They're Cute...

Ocracoke Island Journal - Fri, 02/26/2016 - 05:25
...but please don't feed them!

As you drive around Silver Lake harbor you may notice a number of Canada geese and mallard ducks.

Photo Courtesy Ocracoke Current












The ducks look cute, especially the little ones following after their mothers, but geese and mallards are migratory waterfowl that are protected species. Feeding them interferes with their migratory habits, and contributes to an unsanitary situation in Ocracoke village. A large resident population of these birds is creating a nuisance for residents and visitors.

So, please do not feed the ducks in Ocracoke village. We will all be happier.

You can read more about ducks in the Ocracoke Current and in the Ocracoke Observer.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Beatrice Wells, child evangelist, who preached at Ocracoke in the late 1930s/early 1940s. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

H M Krentz

Ocracoke Island Journal - Thu, 02/25/2016 - 06:10
Several years ago I had an opportunity to join Capt. Ed Farley and his crew on the working skipjack H. M. Krentz, as they dredged for oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. Here are just two of the photos I took. In this first picture, two of the crew are culling oysters that have just been dredged up.














This next photo shows piles of oysters on both sides of the deck.














The H. M. Krentz is a vessel similar to the Wilma Lee that is berthed at the Community Store dock. In the summer months, the Wilma Lee is available for sunset cruises in Pamlico Sound.













Like the Wilma Lee, nowadays from April to October Capt. Ed and the H. M. Krentz are available for relaxing sailing charters departing from the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Maryland. You can read more about the H. M. Krentz here: http://oystercatcher.com/.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Beatrice Wells, child evangelist, who preached at Ocracoke in the late 1930s/early 1940s. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Miss Sue & Miss Lyzee

Ocracoke Island Journal - Wed, 02/24/2016 - 05:11
Nowadays one can bike, walk, or drive from one side of Ocracoke's Silver Lake harbor to the other in just a few minutes. It wasn't always so.

Miss Sue (Susan Gaskill Scarborough, 1878-1954) and Miss Lyzee (Eliza Gaskill Thomas, 1866-1946) were sisters. Miss Sue and her husband, Charlie Scarborough, lived "Around Creek" (on the north side of Cockle Creek/Silver Lake):

Photo Courtesy of OPS












Miss Lyzee and her husband, Capt. Bill Thomas, lived "Down Point" (on the south side of Cockle Creek/Silver Lake):

Photo by L.A. Homan












In the sisters' day, two narrow streams (or "guts" as islanders called them) flowed from the harbor toward the bald beach. These streams (the big gut, and the little gut) effectively divided Ocracoke village into two main sections (Down Point, the area that included the lighthouse; and Around Creek, the area that included the Community Store). Eventually simple foot bridges were built across the guts in several places.

Howard Family Collection











However, the journey by foot (through soft sand and across the rickety bridges) from one side of Cockle Creek/Silver Lake harbor to the other side was not taken lightly. Miss Sue and Miss Lysee had a clear view of each other's houses across the harbor, but when Miss Sue took a notion to visit Lyzee she intended it to be a proper visit, and that meant packing her valise for the journey. After walking for more than an hour she wasn't about to turn right around and return home. She always stayed several days with her sister before walking back to the "Creek" side.

How times have changed!

Thanks to Miss Sue's great-grandson, Al Scarborough, for this story [correction: Al called to tell me he is Miss Sue's grandson, not great-grandson].

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Beatrice Wells, child evangelist, who preached at Ocracoke in the late 1930s/early 1940s. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Johnny Moore

Ocracoke Island Journal - Tue, 02/23/2016 - 05:29
Outer Banks native, Johnny Moore, was a teenager in 1903. He was one of only five people who witnessed the Wright Brothers’ first flight on Dec. 17 of that year. According to legend, Moore raced down the beach shouting, “They done it, they done it, damned if they ain’t flew!” By 1948 he was the only surviving witness to that historic event.

Moore, a commercial fisherman, continued to live on Little Colington Island, just west of Kill Devil Hills, until his death in 1952. According to his granddaughter, Karen Brickhouse (see link below), “Grandaddy would go out there and talk to [the Wright Brothers]. He would give them fish and the Wright Brothers would give him eggs in return. He always liked them and got to know them real well."

Today, life-size bronze sculptures of Johnny Moore and the other witnesses are displayed at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills.

To read more about Johnny Moore, follow these links: 

http://www.thewashingtondailynews.com/2014/03/27/life-is-full-of-significant-moments/

http://wrightstories.com/johnny-moore-witnesses-history/

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Beatrice Wells, child evangelist, who preached at Ocracoke in the late 1930s/early 1940s. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

February Newsletter

Ocracoke Island Journal - Mon, 02/22/2016 - 06:11
We have just published our latest Ocracoke Newsletter, the story of Beatrice Wells, child evangelist, who preached at Ocracoke in the late 1930s/early 1940s.


















You can read the story of Beatrice Wells here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

House Timbers from the Sea

Ocracoke Island Journal - Fri, 02/19/2016 - 06:00
Thurston Gaskill (1902-2000) was a much loved Ocracoke native and hunting & fishing guide. In an interview in David Shears' 1989 book, Ocracoke Its History and People, Thurston talks about working on the water for six decades. He also explains how islanders procured much of the lumber for their houses.

"All the framing on this house," he says, referring to his home, now the Thurston House Inn, "came from the sailing vessel George Truitt, wrecked in 1928 in Ocracoke Inlet. It was picked up by me. When the ship came ashore there was thousands of pieces of timber of various sizes washed up on the beach. Well, everybody in them days, you went down there to salvage what you could. You'd pile up your pile of lumber there and put your initials on it. Then later a sale would be held. Each pile of lumber would be auctioned. The man that actually collected it had a big advantage because he got -- I think -- a fifty per cent rebate. So I got enough lumber to build maybe two or three houses."

The George W. Truitt, Jr. was a 700-ton, four-masted schooner carrying 645,000 feet of lumber from South Carolina to New York City when she went ashore February 20, 1928, in a 40-mile-an-hour gale. According to the official shipwreck report, the ship's captain and crew "were saved by the heroic efforts of the coast guardsmen from the Ocracoke, Hatteras Inlet and Creed' Hill stations of the U.S. Coast Guard."

1910 Oil Painting of the George W. Truitt, Jr.
by Antonio Jacobsen














Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.


Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Gallery of Lighthouse Photos

Ocracoke Island Journal - Thu, 02/18/2016 - 05:46
My grandson, Eakin Howard, took these photos of the Ocracoke lighthouse a couple of years ago. Enjoy!







Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Pitcher & Bowl

Ocracoke Island Journal - Wed, 02/17/2016 - 06:10
How many of our readers remember the days before indoor plumbing? When I was a child my grandparents' house (where I now live) did not have a bathroom. There was a pitcher & bowl set in every bedroom. There were also chamber pots in the bedrooms, and a privy outdoors. 


















I have terrific memories of spending summers on Ocracoke more than a half century ago, but I wonder how many of us really want to return to "the good old days."

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Treasures from the Sea

Ocracoke Island Journal - Tue, 02/16/2016 - 06:09
Late last month, as I was walking along the beach, I found several beautiful seashells along the high tide line. There was a small moon snail (on the right in the photo below), a colorful scallop (bottom), and a slightly faded but unbroken scotch bonnet (top, left).














The scotch bonnet is the official state seashell of North Carolina, and always a fun shell to find.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Answers

Ocracoke Island Journal - Mon, 02/15/2016 - 05:38
I recently published several posts asking if readers could identify various Ocracoke people, places, and events from years past. Following are the answers to those queries, with links to more information.

This is my father, Lawton Howard (1911-2002), after a successful waterfowl hunt in the 1960s:


















Next is a mid-twentieth century photo (from the Paul & Mary Ruth Dixon collection) of the remains of the five-masted schooner Carrol A. Deering, that wrecked in 1921. The capstan (partially obscured by the young lady on the right) is the distinctive feature that identifies the wreckage.


















And finally, this photo was taken at the 4th of July pony penning sometime in the mid-1950s. This event took place where Ride the Wind Surf Shop and the Ocracoke Island Trading Company are located today. Capt. Marvin Howard, scoutmaster of the nation's only mounted boy scout troop, is astride the pony. His house is in the background, on the left. In the middle is the Homer & Aliph Howard house (where I live today), and on the right is the Herman & Flossie Spencer house (since moved, and now the Ocracoke Pizza Company).













Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Dolphins

Ocracoke Island Journal - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 05:30
Dolphins are always a delight to see. I have often seen them while sailing in Pamlico Sound (sometimes so close I could have leaned over the side of the boat and touched them), or while riding the ferries. Dolphins are most often sighted in the winter months, just beyond the breakers.













At one time, dolphins and whales were hunted in coastal North Carolina. In case you missed it, we published an article about whale and porpoise fishing on the Outer Banks in August, 2015. Click on this link to go to it: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news082115.htm.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Summer Event, Mid-1950s

Ocracoke Island Journal - Thu, 02/11/2016 - 06:09
Here is another Ocracoke photo from the Charlie Jones/Mary Ruth Dickson collection. Take a close look, and answer the four question below if you can.













l. What is the event?
2. Where was the photo taken?
3. Who is astride the pony?
4. What are the three prominent houses in the background?

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Shipwreck

Ocracoke Island Journal - Wed, 02/10/2016 - 06:08
Almost 2,000 sailing vessels have wrecked off the coast of the Outer Banks. Still today, ship timbers are occasionally uncovered on the beach, especially after a storm or hurricane. This photo (from the Charlie Jones/Mary Ruth Dickson Collection) was taken sometime in the mid-1950s.


















Can any of our readers identify this ship, and tell us in what year it wrecked? If you can, please explain how you know. 

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Lighthouse Steps

Ocracoke Island Journal - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 05:50
Last summer Lou Ann discovered that Brook Ashley had the only photograph I am aware of that shows the original wooden stairs in the Ocracoke Lighthouse.

Compliments of Brook Ashley

















Pictured on the stairs is Dare Wright (1914-2001), model, photographer, and author of popular mid-twentieth century children's books, including The Lonely Doll, and Holiday for Edith and the Bears (set on Ocracoke Island).

According to a 1975 clipping from the Coastland Times, "The wooden stairs inside the Ocracoke Island lighthouse were replaced [in 1950] with a steel spiral stairway at a cost of about $3,000." Indications of the original stairs are still visible on the inner wall of the lighthouse.

Photo by Philip Howard












For more information about Dare Wright and her books, including Ocracoke in the Fifties (edited by Brook Ashley and John Ogilvie), visit http://www.darewright.com.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs
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