Ocracoke Island Journal

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An Occasional Journal of Daily Island Life.Philiphttp://www.blogger.com/profile/01572532603071469799noreply@blogger.comBlogger3690125
Updated: 5 hours 4 min ago

End of an Era

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 04:35
Many visitors to Village Craftsmen will remember the red gypsy wagon. For a while it was displayed next to the shop. In more recent years it was parked behind the Village Craftsmen, but visible from Howard Street. I built it about 35 years ago, and it was used for various artistic and creative endeavors, as well as temporary housing for family & friends.

The gypsy wagon sported a number of decorative features, including s Dutch door, brass lanterns, etched glass windows, and painted-yellow curlicues. The interior was compact, but comfortable, and was decorated with silk curtains and tassels.















Unfortunately, the ravages of time, water damage, and termites resulted in so much rotted wood and a completely rusted frame, that the gypsy wagon was no longer useable, so I decided to dismantle it. To save the gypsy wagon would have entailed more work than building it in the first place. And I decided it was better to have it removed than to watch it slowly disintegrate. As a friend once remarked, nothing lasts forever.














Nevertheless, many islanders and visitors will have fond memories of the gypsy wagon, a unique contribution to the sometimes unusual experience of life on Ocracoke Island.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article by island resident, Crystal Canterbury, about her very first visit to Portsmouth Village, on the last day of 2014. You can read Part I here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042115.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Passenger Ferries

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 04:35
According to the NCDOT Ferry Division, the Provincetown III, a catamaran-style passenger ferry will visit the Outer Banks today and tomorrow, May 4-5, The Ferry Division says it could be a glimpse into the future of a new type of ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke. During that visit, NCDOT Ferry Division officials will be offering members of the public a chance to tour the ship for themselves and provide valuable feedback as they study the idea of passenger service between the two villages.













The ship will conduct sea trials today and tomorrow, and will be available for inspection today on Hatteras. Tomorrow the ship will conduct further sea trials, then dock at Silver Lake Harbor in Ocracoke.

Members of the public will be allowed to tour the ship between 4-7 p.m., while the Ferry Division conducts an open house meeting between 5 and 7 p.m. at the Ocracoke School gymnasium.

"This is the public's ferry system, and establishment of passenger ferry service would be a significant change to that system," said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. "We hope that people will turn out to take a look at the ship and give us any feedback they have on any aspect of this idea."

NCDOT has hired the consulting firm Volkert to conduct a feasibility study on passenger ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands as an additional alternative (not a replacement) to the car ferries now running the route. The study is scheduled to be completed by December, 2015.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article by island resident, Crystal Canterbury, about her very first visit to Portsmouth Village, on the last day of 2014. You can read Part I here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042115.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Ocracoke Night Life

Fri, 05/01/2015 - 04:42
If you are planning a vacation to Ocracoke this season, you have several opportunities to enjoy island night life. Mark your calendars now. On Wednesday evenings at 8 pm, beginning in June, there is always the delightful Ocracoke Opry at Deepwater Theater featuring local musicians (including our high-energy Molasses Creek band and other performers) and storytellers.

Another opportunity this year is a National Park Service program on "the night sky and naturally glowing marine life."

Milky Way by Craig Roberts












This NPS program is scheduled for every Wednesday from 05/27/2015 to 09/02/2015, at Ocracoke's Lifeguard Beach from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article by island resident, Crystal Canterbury, about her very first visit to Portsmouth Village, on the last day of 2014. You can read Part I here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042115.htm

Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Simon & Emma O'Neal House

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 05:15
Yesterday a reader asked for an update on the Simon & Emma O'Neal House. You may remember this is the traditional island turn-of-the-20th-century house that Ocracoke Preservation Society purchased, and then re-sold with conservation easements. It is located across the street from the Assembly of God church. It is being rehabilitated to NC State Historic Standards.

Several weeks ago, Amy, Ed Norvell, & I had an opportunity to meet one of the new owners. He and his wife gave us a tour of the house. Workers were still re-framing interior walls, running electric wires, adding plumbing, and making other repairs, but much of the exterior work had already been completed.

Yesterday, I rode my bike down to the house and took a photo of the house from the street. It looks beautiful.















This is what the house looked like six months ago:















And here are some of the interior views that I took several weeks ago:



















Congratulations to Will Purvis, Jamie McGaskill, their families, and their workers for the fine job of rehabilitating this wonderful old house! We are looking forward to seeing the work completed sometime in the near future.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article by island resident, Crystal Canterbury, about her very first visit to Portsmouth Village, on the last day of 2014. You can read Part I here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042115.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Lighthouse Photo

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 05:07
My Howard Street neighbors, Kathy & Bob Phillips, recently shared a number of vintage Ocracoke Island photos they obtained from the North Carolina State Archives. This one, of the Ocracoke Lighthouse, is a stark, almost haunting image. And, I don't remember having seen it before.














I didn't know where this photo was taken, or whose house was in the foreground. But, of course, Cousin Blanche recognized the house right away. The house belonged to Ruth Bragg. Sam Jones' "Homeplace" on the southwest shore of Silver Lake is on that location today.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article by island resident, Crystal Canterbury, about her very first visit to Portsmouth Village, on the last day of 2014. You can read Part I here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042115.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Globe & the Hattie Creef

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 04:42
Island native, Blanche Howard Jolliff (born 1919), remembers several fish houses on the western side of Cockle Creek (Silver Lake Harbor) when she was a child. One of them was operated by the Globe Fish Company, based in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

According to a 1915 book by Clarence E. Weaver, Elizabeth City: Rich in Natural Beauty, Unsurpassed in Location, Unlimited in Resources, Manufacturing, Lumbering, Trucking and Fishing Center, Globe Fish Company was “engaged very extensively in the wholesale handling of [delicious sea foods of all kinds].”

Globe Fish Company was organized in May, 1911, and grew rapidly. By 1915 Globe was operating the largest wholesale fish line in eastern North Carolina, shipping fish as far south as Florida, and to various northern and western cities. Globe operated several large boats, among them the Guide, the Pampano, the White Wing, the Robena, and the Hattie Creef*.

Their boats sailed regularly to Ocracoke, bringing ice to the island, and transporting fish to facilities in Elizabeth City. Globe Fish Company was owned by the Daniels family. In 1978 Royden and Buck Daniels retired and closed their business. Jennette Fruit & Produce Company, a nearby company in Elizabeth City’s historic mercantile district, purchased the Globe Fish Company property.

*The Hattie Creef was a 55-foot Carolina sharpie built in 1888 by Roanoke Island native, George Washington Creef, as an oyster dredge boat. Built from lumber salvaged from a shipwreck, and named for his daughter, the Hattie Creef was later used as a passenger boat, a mail boat, a freight boat, and a tug boat. In 1900 Orville and Wilbur Wright booked their first passage to Kitty Hawk aboard the Hattie Creef. The fare was $1.25 each. The Wright brothers were regular commuters on the Hattie Creef for a number of years.

There is more information about the Hattie Creef, and photos, here: http://www.jennettebrothers.com/hattiecreef.aspx.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article by island resident, Crystal Canterbury, about her very first visit to Portsmouth Village, on the last day of 2014. You can read Part I here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042115.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Ocracoke Community Park

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 04:41
Last Saturday, at 12:30 pm, the Ocracoke Community Park celebrated its Grand Opening. The Park is a first-class facility...a community dream that came together because of many committed and dedicated individuals and organizations. It is amazing what the Ocracoke community has accomplished.

Here are a few photos I took on Saturday. I could have taken more, but I was so thoroughly enjoying the Blue Claws play baseball (they won!) that I forgot I had my camera with me.

















You can read more about the Ocracoke Youth Center and The Community Park on their web site:  http://ocracokecommunitypark.org/. Still more needs to be done. You can help by following the link to make a donation.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article by island resident, Crystal Canterbury, about her very first visit to Portsmouth Village, on the last day of 2014. You can read Part I here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042115.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Roy, A Memorable Island Character

Fri, 04/24/2015 - 04:17
Many of our readers will remember Ocracoke Islander, Roy Parsons (1921-2007). Roy was a musician & storyteller, and for a decade he was a regular at the Wednesday evening Ocracoke Opry at Deepwater Theater. He was funny, quirky, and loved to be on stage.

Bob & Kathy Phillips brought me this photo of Roy, probably taken in the early 1950s. If you enlarge the picture you can see his name on the neck of his guitar:  R O Y P A R S O N S.

Photo from NC State Archives
















Until the end of his life, Roy enjoyed music, and loved sharing his songs and stories with family, friends, and new acquaintances.

Photo Courtesy Island Free Press













Roy's wife, Elizabeth, continues to operate her small gift shop (Pamlico Gifts) on Lighthouse Road. Be sure to stop by when you are on the island.

And, in case you missed it, The Island Free Press published the eulogy that Gary Mitchell delivered at Roy's funeral in 2007. It is on-line at http://www.islandfreepress.org/Archives/2007.09.17-RememberingOcracokesRoyParsons.html.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article by island resident, Crystal Canterbury, about her very first visit to Portsmouth Village, on the last day of 2014. You can read Part I here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042115.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Native Seafood

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 04:17
I purchased three fillets of flounder a few days ago at Native Seafood on NC Hwy 12 (adjacent to the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department). Native Seafood is owned by island fisherman, Farris O'Neal, and his wife Chrissy.

Photo Courtesy Connie Leinbach @ Ocracoke Observer












Their retail establishment is spacious, with a generous supply of fresh seafood...shrimp, fish, scallops, clams, and crab.

Robert & Farris













Take a look at their web page, http://nativeseafoodocracoke.com/, and stop in whenever you are on the island. By the way, Farris caught the flounder himself. It was fresh off the boat, and delicious!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article by island resident, Crystal Canterbury, about her very first visit to Portsmouth Village, on the last day of 2014. You can read Part I here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042115.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Southeast Wind

Wed, 04/22/2015 - 04:56
We have recently had strong winds blowing from the southeast. Unfortunately, the wind and high tide brought a noticeable amount of debris onto our beach from the Gulf Stream. It was distressing to see plastic bottles, shoes, and burlap bags at the tide line. But I trust residents and visitors will pick up most of the trash soon. In the meanwhile, there were a few photo opportunities.

Among other things, there were coconuts:















Mollusk-encrusted containers:















Bamboo clusters:















More jellyfish:















And this picturesque assortment of hawsers and other ropes:















I was out on the beach yesterday with a trash bag, and will be out again to pick up more debris. Actually, much of it was already gone. If you see any of this flotsam or jetsam please pick it up. We seldom see this much junk on Ocracoke's beach. Let's all help keep our beach litter-free!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article by island resident, Crystal Canterbury, about her very first visit to Portsmouth Village, on the last day of 2014. You can read Part I here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042115.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

March Newsletter

Tue, 04/21/2015 - 05:06
We have just published our latest Ocracoke Newsletter, an article by island resident, Crystal Canterbury, about her very first visit to Portsmouth Village, on the last day of 2014. Crystal was so excited to make the trip, and her enthusiasm is evident in her writing. This article is Part I of her experiences on Portsmouth, and includes nine of Crystal's beautiful photographs.

Photo by Crystal Canterbury














You can read Part I of Crystal's article here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042115.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Saw

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 04:59
Last Thursday I posted this picture of a two-man cross cut saw, and asked readers to guess what it was used for on Ocracoke Island.








The very first comment by "NJ Reader" got it right. It was used to cut ice. For many years ice was brought to the island in large blocks on the mailboat and on several different freight boats. Those blocks of ice were cut into manageable sizes for use in home ice boxes, in fish houses, and on fishing trawlers. Ocracoke was wired for electricity in 1938, and immediately established an ice plant (where Kitty Hawk Kites is located today).

It took islanders a little while to abandon ice boxes, and to embrace electric refrigerators, but it has now been many decades since anyone on the island has used ice for home refrigeration.  Flake ice is now made at the fish house for use by local fishermen.

The ice saw has not been used for decades. It is now part of the collection at the Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum thanks to a generous donation by a part-time resident.

Our latest monthly Newsletter is the story of the Ocracoke Orgy. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news032115.htm.

Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Blue Bottle

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 05:10
I stumbled across this "blue bottle" jellyfish a few days ago.















You may know it by its more common name, the Portuguese Man O' War.

This jellyfish is in the Class Hydrozoa, and the Order Siphonophora. It is actually a colony of individuals called zooids, which are incapable of living independently. It fills an air sac with gas, allowing it to float on the surface of the ocean. Tentacles dangle below the surface, with stinging cells that "contain one of the most powerful poisons known in marine animals and can inflict severe burns and blisters even when the animal is dead on the beach." (National Audubon Society Field Guide To Seashore Creatures)

Don't let the beautiful, blue color fool you. This critter is best left alone!

Our latest monthly Newsletter is the story of the Ocracoke Orgy. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news032115.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Fred Cannon

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 04:37
If you have visited Portsmouth Village you may have noticed a bronze memorial plaque in the Methodist Church dedicated to Fred Cannon.

Fred was a fisherman/crabber who cherished the primitive and solitary life on Portsmouth island in the 1960s. He lived without indoor plumbing or electricity.

The September 1969 issue of National Geographic published an article, "Lonely Cape Hatteras, Besieged by the Sea," that had this to say about Fred Cannon:

"Few outsiders visit Portsmouth, and that suited at least one of the five residents just fine. Fred Cannon, who lived alone at one end of the island, told me: 'I haven't had a tie on since I cane out of the service in 1946. Ain't that wonderful?'

"For Fred Cannon, only death could take him from the island's solitude which he cherished. In April of this year [1969], his 16-foot skiff was found swamped in Pamlico Sound. His personal belongings washed up on the beach. An investigation by the Coast Guard concluded that he fell overboard and perished."

Fred Cannon, just one of many eccentric Outer Bankers, who lived life his own way. 

Our latest monthly Newsletter is the story of the Ocracoke Orgy. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news032115.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

The Ocracoke Coloring Book

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 04:46
Kitty Mitchell published The Ocracoke Coloring Book in 1976. It was chock full of eccentric characters and snippets of what island life was like four decades ago. Surprisingly, much has remained the same.

Ocracoke Preservation Society decided to reprint The Ocracoke Coloring Book, and it is now available in their gift shop.














There will be a few of our readers who remember Kitty's book, and many more who will enjoy a glimpse into the past by way of this reprint of Kitty's quirky, whimsical drawings and island scenes. The Ocracoke Current has published more about the new venture here: http://www.ocracokecurrent.com/110303.

Our latest monthly Newsletter is the story of the Ocracoke Orgy. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news032115.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Taxes

Mon, 04/13/2015 - 04:23
As April 15 nears we think of income taxes.

Speaking of taxes, below is information about Ocracoke Island unpaid property taxes (for the years 1834, 1835, & 1836) that  I found in the Feb. 28, 1838 issue of The Weekly Standard (Raleigh, NC).

1 acre of land owned by Nathan Spencer..............tax owed,   $7.38
50 acres of land owned by John Williams............tax owed,   $4.47
50 acres of land owned by Benjamin Williams....tax owed, $10.20
60 acres of land owned by Abner Howard............tax owed,   $9.43
250 acres of land owned by George Williams.....tax owed, $20.54

Oh, how times have changed!

Our latest monthly Newsletter is the story of the Ocracoke Orgy. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news032115.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

The Cross of Lorraine Division: The Story of the 79th

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 05:06
The following is from a small booklet covering the history of the WWII 79th Infantry Division of the US Army --

On October 25, 1944 the G-2 report of the Nazi 361st Volksgrenadier Div. addressed the following warning note to its subordinate units:

"The 79th Division is said to have fought particularly well in Normandy, and is considered as one of the best attack divisions in the U.S. Army."

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Ocracoke Island native, Major General Ira Thomas Wyche was the Commanding General of the 79th. General Wyche, son of Rev. L. O. Wyche and Lorena Howard, was born on Ocracoke Island in 1887.

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The booklet explains that This was the division ...first to enter Cherbourg...first across the Seine...the division that swept through France like an avenging flame...the division with a combat itinerary like a railroad time table...the division that by sheer guts and a fighting devotion to duty had ousted a desperate foe from the hell that was Foret de Parroy...this was the famed Fighting 79th -- the Cross of Lorraine Division -- back at the task it had thought completed 26 years ago.

You can read the entire booklet here: http://www.lonesentry.com/gi_stories_booklets/79thinfantry/index.html.

And you can read more about General Wyche here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news092110.htm.

Our latest monthly Newsletter is the story of the Ocracoke Orgy. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news032115.htm.
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs

Words of Wisdom

Thu, 04/09/2015 - 04:32
 Today, just a few short quotations from native islanders:

"People come here because they like Ocracoke...but then they start trying to change it." Elizabeth Howard

"I've got a mind to go to church today." Then on reflection, "But I've two minds to go fishin'." Wallace Spencer

"On Ocracoke we don't care what you do; we just want to know about it." John Ivey Wells

Take away whatever you want from these gems by some of our island sages!

Our latest monthly Newsletter is the story of the Ocracoke Orgy. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news032115.htm
Categories: Outer Banks Blogs