Ocracoke Island Journal

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An Occasional Journal of Daily Island Life.Philiphttp://www.blogger.com/profile/01572532603071469799noreply@blogger.comBlogger3290125
Updated: 1 day 11 hours ago

Law Comes to Ocracoke

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 05:38
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I thought our readers would enjoy this glimpse into Ocracoke Island history, from The Coastland Times, January 2, 1953:

"...For a period of 30 years Ocracoke has been known as the one place in North Carolina without any form of law. It received much publicity due to the fact that it did not have a jail, any law enforcement officers, and there are no license plates on the cars and no licenses for driving. The fact that the problems of civilization were slowly encroaching this island of legend became evident in 1950 following the construction of Scott's Highway [NC Highway 12]. The citizens were faced with the problems of speeders along the narrow highway which had been called the road which 'started from nowhere and ended at the same place.' In order to check the speeders and the Saturday night celebraters, Ansley O'Neal was appointed Deputy Sheriff. Additional problems appeared when it was discovered that following an arrest the defendant and all witnesses were forced to travel through four counties to get to Swan Quarter, the county seat of Hyde County. This trip, due to the boat and bus schedule, requires a period of four days. As the result, the deputy sheriff didn't have too much business. In order to offer a solution to the problem, Harvey Wahab, a retired Coast Guardsman, was appointed Justice of the Peace...." 
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Arrowheads

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 05:24
Every now and then someone finds evidence of Native American presence on Ocracoke. This 2 1/2" X 1 1/2" flint arrowhead was discovered in 1993.



















 In 2007 a neighbor found this Clovis Point on the edge of the surf.















I found this quartz arrowhead in January, 2013:














At this time we have no evidence of any permanent or semi-permanent Indian villages on Ocracoke Island. Coastal Indians seem to have made only brief visits to the island to fish, gather clams & oysters, and collect other seafood.

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Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

A Tale of Blackbeard

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 06:01
Latest news from Ocracoke Alive!

The audition parts from A Tale of Blackbeard script have been posted on the home page of Ocracoke Alive at http://www.ocracokealive.org.

The auditions are from 3-5 PM on Saturday, Feb 22 at the Ocracoke Community Center.  Directors Desiree Ricker and Charles Temple are requesting that everyone arrive at 3 PM for group movement and singing. 

The cast is listed below.  We are also looking for other volunteers in addition to the performers. Please contact Ocracoke Alive at info@ocracokealive.org if you have any questions.

CAST:

BLACKBEARD – Captain of the Adventure
WILLIAM HOWARD – Blackbeard’s quartermaster
EZEKIEL JONES – ship’s cook
RICHARD EVANS – a young pirate
HELMSMAN
SAILORS – three or four required
CABIN BOY
OLIVER FARTHINGHAM – watchman of Ocracoke village
VICTORIA FARTHINGHAM – Oliver’s wife
ELIZABETH FARTHINGHAM – Oliver’s older daughter
KATHERINE FARTHINGHAM – Oliver’s younger daughter
MISS EUPHEMIA – Ocracoke boardinghouse proprietress
MARJORIE O’NEAL – boardinghouse cook
RACHEL, ABBY, SUZANNAH, ELLEN - boardinghouse girls
SCULLERY MAID
N.B. Additional VILLAGE GIRLS (non-speaking roles) may be cast; likewise, the number of SAILORS may be increased.

If you can't be in the performance, we'll be looking for you in the audience this spring and summer!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Howard Street Snow Photos...

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 08:10
...courtesy of Sundae Horn of the Ocracoke Current (click here for more photos).








Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Aliph, Connie, & Philip

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 06:01
I know I have published this photo before, but since it is one of my favorites, I am sharing it again.



















I was about six years old, sitting with my mother on my grandmama Aliph's porch. Notice how close to the ground the house sits. My father told me the sea tide washed through the downstairs windows during the great September storm of 1933. But the house still stands (now raised several feet!).

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Snow at Hatteras Inlet

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 14:35
Two more snow photos (thanks to David Tweedie), taken as he was stranded on Hatteras earlier today. The ferries were not running because the snowstorm has reduced visibility.



Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

More Snow

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 14:10
Here we go again! More snow...even on Ocracoke. This is the second snowfall for us this season.

Courtesy, Ocracoke Preservation Society














I haven't been able to get out and take photos, so I borrowed this one from the Ocracoke Preservation Society. Many more pictures of the island under a covering of snow are available on various Facebook pages.


Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Eliza & Job Wahab

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 05:51
Eliza Bradley Howard Wahab (1808-1870) and her husband Job Wahab (1802-1860) had 15 children. Several of their children died young; many of the others eventually moved to the mainland. Eliza, Job, and several of their children are buried in the large George Howard cemetery near the British Cemetery.

Eliza Bradley Howard Wahab
Job Wahab


































I know many of our readers have seen Eliza & Job's tombstones which are close to the paved road, near their three sons, Jonathan, Job, & Warren. Now, thanks to the photographs above, perhaps you will have a mental image the next time you visit their cemetery.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

The Spanish Casino

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 05:57
Today's post takes us back more than three quarters of a century for a glimpse into island life just prior to WWII. 

In 1935 Stanley Wahab built an inexpensive replica of a Spanish style building on the island, near where the Back Porch Restaurant sits today. Made of plywood strewn with gravel while the earth-colored paint was still wet, the 400 square foot Spanish Casino mimicked an adobe hacienda. The flat roofed structure had extended and crenelated exterior walls with gently curving main sections. Windows were topped with decorative trim, and crosses within circles painted near the roof line suggested a southwestern theme. An open porch on the ocean-facing side was supported by peeled cedar posts, adding to the Spanish motif.












The interior was one large room with a raised platform on the western wall to accommodate a piano and musicians. Benches were placed along the walls, leaving a sizable dance floor in the middle.Island natives, Edgar and Walter Howard, brothers who had moved to New York City to play vaudeville in the 1920s and 1930s, came home periodically to entertain their fellow islanders. The popular music of the day included cowboy and western songs and ballads. Once in a while Edgar's banjo and Walter's guitar accompanied nationally popular entertainers who followed the Howard brothers to Ocracoke. At times, other island musicians played at the Spanish Casino. When live music was unavailable a jukebox served nightly to provide tunes for round dances, jitterbug, and traditional island square dances. 

Although the Spanish Casino is long gone music continues to be an important part of twenty-first century island life.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.  
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Three Island Women Remembered

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 05:34
In July of 2010 I published a post about the Captain William & Eliza Thomas house, an iconic two story, cross gable house on the south side of Silver Lake Harbor.

Photo by Lou Ann Homan












Capt. Thomas died in 1930. Eliza Thomas died in 1946. The following year Ms. Susan Barksdale purchased the property. Susan, a painter and professor of art at the University of North Carolina, began visiting Ocracoke before WWII. After she bought the Thomas house she began spending summers on the island with family and friends. Susan Barksdale appreciated island culture and traditions, and made many friends on the island. Susan died January 22 at the age of 96. You can read her obituary here.

Two days after Susan Barksdale died, Ocracoke resident Eugenia "Jean" Fletcher died. Long time visitors to Ocracoke may remember Jean. For seven years she operated Eugenia's Bed and Breakfast. Jean's obituary is available here.

On January 10 [2013] Rosemary Wetherill, a spunky island resident with a touch of gutsy irreverence, also died. Rosemary was an active participant in Ocracoke community life. She volunteered regularly at the Preservation Museum and the Ocracoke Library, and was a major contributor to the Ocracoke Needle and Thread Club. You can read Rosemary's obituary here.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 06:00
The following paragraph is from the history page of HatterasGuide.com:

"In 1773 a teenager named Alexander Hamilton was a passenger on a ship that nearly sank off Cape Hatteras, and he experienced first hand the danger of the cape’s dreaded Diamond Shoals. Seventeen years later, when Hamilton was the second-ranking member of George Washington’s cabinet, he still heard terrifying tales of shipwrecks at Cape Hatteras. In 1789 Hamilton, who is reputedly the one who coined the moniker “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” urged Congress to investigate the possibility of establishing a lighthouse on the Hatteras Sand Banks. The lighthouse wasn’t authorized until 1794, and it wasn’t constructed until 1802. Mariners were not impressed with the lighthouse, which they said was not sufficiently bright or reliable."

In 1868 Congress appropriated funds to construct a new lighthouse at Cape Hatteras. The new beacon, with the iconic black & white spiral design, was first lighted in 1871.

Image by Henry Hartley


















In 1872 the original lighthouse was demolished.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

James & Zilphia

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 06:19
On Sunday morning (Jan. 26, 2014) I published a photo of my great-grandfather on our Village Craftsmen Facebook page. Capt. James W. Howard was the first keeper of the Cedar Hammock Life Saving Station. The station was located on the north end of Ocracoke Island, at Hatteras Inlet. He served from 1883-1903. This is a picture of Capt. Jim and his wife, Zilphia, taken about 1895. Zilphia bore twelve children, eight of whom died in infancy.


















One of the most dramatic shipwrecks on Ocracoke, occurred on Christmas Eve, 1899. You can read the story of the wreck of the British steamship, Ariosto, here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news122007.htm.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Cross

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 06:01
Yesterday I posted information about the sinking of the Caribsea in 1942. Here is a photo of the cross which stands on the altar of the Ocracoke United Methodist Church.









This wooden cross was fashioned by my grandfather, Homer Howard, from wreckage of the Caribsea.

You can read a history of the Ocracoke United Methodist Church here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102603.htm.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Caribsea

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 05:45
On March 11, 1942 the steam powered freighter, Caribsea, was struck by two torpedoes from a German U-boat off the coast of North Carolina. Ocracoke Native James Baughm Gaskill, one of the crew members, was killed in the attack. The ship's nameplate now hangs in the NPS Visitors Center.






From Village Craftsmen's History of the Ocracoke United Methodist Church:

"A hand-made wooden cross rests on the altar in the sanctuary of Ocracoke's united church building. The cross was constructed by Homer Howard, and painted gold by his wife, Aliph. The cross was made out of salvage from the ship on which island native, James Baughm Gaskill, served and lost his life. Jim Baughm's ship, the "Caribsea," was torpedoed and sunk offshore by a German U-boat on March 11, 1942, little more than a year before the new church was dedicated. Shortly after the sinking, Christopher Farrow, James Baughm's cousin, found his framed license cast up on the ocean beach. Later, the ship's nameplate and other debris washed up at his family's dock, at the old Pamlico Inn. The cross stands today as a memorial to James Baughm Gaskill, 3rd mate in the USS Maritime service."

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

The Anna R. Heidritter

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 05:48
In May of 1942 one of the last great coastal schooners, the four masted Anna R. Heidritter, wrecked on Ocracoke beach. Captain Bennett Coleman was the youngest of the eight crewmen. He was 63 years old!

The Anna R. Heidritter in the Breakers at Ocracoke












You can read more about the Heidritter here: http://northcarolinashipwrecks.blogspot.com/2012/05/schooner-anna-r-heidritter-3-march-1942.html.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

The Gulf Stream

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 05:30
Ben Dixon MacNeill, in his 1958 book The Hatterasman, remarks that the volume of the Gulf Stream (he calls it "the Great River"), "is equal to that of 1,000 Mississippi Rivers."

I know the Gulf Stream is a colossal body of moving water that originates at the southern tip of Florida and flows along the eastern seaboard. The Gulf Stream influences our weather here on the Outer Banks, not only regarding storms and hurricanes, but more generally. The warm waters of this "Great River" help moderate Ocracoke's temperatures. And they provide great off-shore fishing!

The Blue Waters of the Gulf Stream Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4
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I wasn't sure how accurate MacNeill's assessment of the size of the Gulf Stream was, so I did a bit of research. According to The Gulf Stream as a Graded River by R.M. Prall of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts (http://aslo.org/lo/toc/vol_11/issue_1/0060.pdf), "The gulf Stream carries a volume of water north through the Straits of Florida that is more than 70 times the combined flow of all the land rivers of the world"

I can't comprehend such large numbers (1,000 Mississippi Rivers, or 70 times the combined flow of all the land rivers), but I know it is huge...and totally awesome. What a remarkable planet we inhabit!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Slavery

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 06:12
In September, 2011 our monthly Ocracoke Newsletter related the story of Slavery on Ocracoke.

The article points out that "[a]s on other islands of the Outer Banks and in coastal areas of the mainland, the institution of slavery on Ocracoke Island was somewhat different from slavery on large southern plantations."

David Cecelski writes authoritatively about this theme in his 2001 book The Waterman's Song, Slavery and Freedom in Maritime North Carolina. Cecelski's book is divided into two major sections, "Working on the Water" and "The Struggle for Freedom."

In his second section the author writes, "Coastal ports like Bath, Ocracoke, and even New Bern may have outwardly resembled backwater outposts on minor trade routes, but a tour of those harbor districts would have belied any notion of provincialism. There a visitor would have met black sailors from many nations, swapping the latest scuttlebutt from Boston, San Juan, and Port-au-Prince in a half dozen languages.... [B]lack sailors...kept coastal slaves informed about the political climate beyond the South and offered practical details about coastal geography, sea traffic, and sympathetic captains."

David Cecelski's book is an invaluable resource for understanding the complex issue of slavery in coastal North Carolina.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

One Million

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 05:24
Around noon yesterday our Ocracoke Journal surpassed 1,000,000 page views! Since 2004 we've been sharing news, stories, photos, poems, recipes, and other information about Ocracoke Island. Ironically, the post that garnered the most page views (Nookd with more than 68,000) wasn't even about Ocracoke. The next most popular posts were about island weather -- usually snow or hurricanes.

Nevertheless, we hope our readers enjoy the stories about island life, the brief historical accounts, and our vintage photographs.

Uncle Stanley, Philip, Uncle Marvin & Diabando, ca. 1950














We definitely enjoy sharing Ocracoke with our readers, so come back often.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Rose Emelye

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 05:39
It is the rare visitor to Ocracoke who hasn't heard the story of Blackbeard's final hours as he battled Lt. Robert Maynard just off shore and lost his head to the victorious Royal Naval officer. Books, pamphlets, articles, poems, and movies have recounted the story, some as true as possible to the actual events, others much more fanciful.



















New historical information has recently been uncovered in dusty archives in Great Britain, the Bahamas, and elsewhere. According to researcher Colin Woodard in his recent article, "The Last Days of Blackbeard," in the Smithsonian magazine, "Blackbeard, the notorious pirate, had captured two vessels [the Rose Emelye and the La Toison d’Or] more than twice the size of his own—a feat described here for the first time. He could not have known that these would be the last prizes of his career and that in just three months he and most of his crew would be dead."

You can read Woodard's excellent article here:
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/last-days-blackbeard-180949440/#ixzz2rpRu3100
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Snow!

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 13:00
Maybe not a blizzard like in much of the rest of the country...and maybe not the 8 inches predicted (probably 2 inches), but snow on Ocracoke is still a curiosity. Enjoy these photos by Sundae Horn. She will have more posted on the Ocracoke Current later today.

Ocracoke United Methodist Church
The Bragg-Howard House
Howard Street
Ocracoke Lighthouse

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012114.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs