Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Water, Water Everywhere

As you might imagine, people living on an island miles from the mainland have endured more than an average number of accidental drownings.

According to a newspaper account of July 26, 1885 Ocracoke native, Benjamin Joseph Garrish, Sr., "had a fit and fell overboard and was drowned, in about 18 inches of water, last week."

Benjamin and his wife Mary Jane already had five children. Less than two weeks after Benjamin's death Mary delivered their sixth child. He was named Benjamin Joseph Garrish, Jr.

Benjamin, Jr. served for many years in the U.S. Life Saving Service, often risking his life to save others from a watery grave. His son Monford (Monk) served in the US Coast Guard (the successor to the USLSS) during WWII in the South Pacific and at Ocracoke. 

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article about the Ocracoke Crab Festival which was held each May from 1984 to 1989. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072114.htm.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Washington Collegiate Institute

Ocracoke School's first graduating class was in 1931 when Russell Williams, Mable Fulcher, and Lucy Garrish finished the eleventh grade (the highest grade available at the time). Prior to that year a number of Ocracoke teenagers left the island after the eighth grade to attend the Washington Collegiate Institute in Washington, NC.

























In the school year 1929-1930 Salina Ballance, Lela Howard, and Virginia Howard were enrolled as seniors. Elsie Ballance and Lucille O'Neal were sophomores.
































Salina Ballance is in the second row, second from the right; Lela Howard is in the third row, fourth from the right; and Virginia Howard is in the back row, third from the right.

Founded by the Board of Education of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Institute opened its door to students on October 1, 1913.

All students paid $5.00 at the beginning of each semester. Day students paid an additional $6.00 per month, and boarding students paid $25.00 per month. An extra fee of $5.00 covered literary, athletic, and laboratory expenses.


















The application process was simple:


















The Great Depression had a serious impact on the Washington Collegiate Institute, from which it was unable to recover. The Institute closed its doors in the early 1930s, but by then Ocracoke School was offering higher secondary education.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article about the Ocracoke Crab Festival which was held each May from 1984 to 1989. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072114.htm.  

Monday, August 18, 2014

It's Who You Know...

Eduardo's Taco Stand is a popular destination for folks seeking delicious and authentic Mexican take-out food.

Several days ago I went there to order two servings of Quesadillas, some Tacos, and a Chorizo. Imagine my surprise when Eduardo presented the order to me. As an added bonus he handed me this ceramic plate, artistically arranged with chips and guacamole.














"Just bring the plate back when it's convenient," Eduardo said with a broad smile.

I suppose you might receive this kind of service somewhere else, but it sure is nice to live in a small community where people know you...and do extra special nice things for you. Thank you Eduardo!

Be sure to stop by Eduardo's and place your order.You won't be disappointed!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article about the Ocracoke Crab Festival which was held each May from 1984 to 1989. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072114.htm

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Free Lots

This post is in reply to a reader's comment two days ago, questioning the 1885 offer to give away Ocracoke Island building lots.

I don't have any more information about the 1885 offer, but I did run across this notice in the December 10, 1895 issue of the Washington NC. Progress:

"Mr. George Credle is making arrangements to rebuild the pier and cisterns at the Ocracoke Hotel. He expects to put it in good condition and run it in good style. He will lay off lots and let people have them free to erect summer houses upon, who wish to do so and board at the Hotel."

I am not aware of anyone taking advantage of this offer.

Two years later, J.W. McWilliams of Ocracoke ran this notice in the Washington Progress:

"For Sale. Several building lots located on the most desirable part of Ocracoke Island. Parties wishing Summer Homes will find it to their interest to correspond with me. The lots will be sold at one half their vale."

I do not know what the asking price for a lot was in 1897, but a half century later island houses were selling for as little as $500.00.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article about the Ocracoke Crab Festival which was held each May from 1984 to 1989. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072114.htm.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Remembering

In March of this year, my childhood buddy, Wayne Teeter, died unexpectedly. We were nearly the same age. Wayne was born exactly two weeks after me in 1944. He would have been 70 years old today.

Last month I came across the following photo and blurb in a 1974 issue of the Carolina Beachcomber. I publish it today, on Wayne's birthday, as a tribute to an Ocracoke Island legend.


















"Wayne Teeter, owner of Pony Island Restaurant, also has an interest in horses and is pictured here with a week old colt, 'Creation's Crazy Horse.' He was sired by a beautiful and spirited stallion, 'Creation's Glamour' from a family of five world's harness champions. Rudy Waller owns the mare, Honey, and was on hand to show off the beautiful animals to the Beachcomber photographer. (Photo by Lucy S. Morris)"

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article about the Ocracoke Crab Festival which was held each May from 1984 to 1989. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072114.htm.  

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Prescient Pastor

An earlier post included a quotation by the Reverend Jno.[John] F. Butt about Ocracoke. In that same 1885 article he goes on to say,

"With a short walk you can find Ocean bathing, and wonderful to say, you can get good board there for four and five dollars a week, considerable cheaper than two and a half and three dollars per day. Some capitalist might make a profitable thing to go there and fit up for a summer resort, where it is real pleasant and healthy. They offer to give any one a lot of an acre or two who will go there and build on it."

Needless to say, "some capitalists" did discover Ocracoke. In the same year this article was written entrepreneurs from Washington, North Carolina, recognizing the potential for profit on Ocracoke Island, built a large Victorian hotel where the decommissioned Coast Guard Station stands today. 

The Ponzer Hotel, 1885-1900












Look for more information about the hotel, and steamship traffic to Ocracoke, in an upcoming monthly Newsletter. 

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article about the Ocracoke Crab Festival which was held each May from 1984 to 1989. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072114.htm

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Opry

If you are on the island any Wednesday throughout the season be sure to come out to Deepwater Theater for an evening's entertainment at the Ocracoke Opry!

The two-hour show (that includes an intermission) features local musicians, singers, and storytellers. The program varies from week to week, but you will always delight to the music of Molasses Creek.

Photo by Sue Brocklebank
















In addition, the show usually includes performances by "Ray Gun Ruby" (April, Kenny & Lou), Marcy, and Sundae. John Golden is often present with traditional and original songs of the sea. And this summer Kim France has been in the show entertaining audiences with her upright bass and melodious voice. A bit of jazz...and a couple of songs from the local musical, A Tale of Blackbeard, round at the evening.

I am always happy to share a story about Ocracoke...and I love joining in the finale with my dancing man (custom made for me by John Golden).

Photo by Sue Brocklebank



















The dancing man is always a big hit, especially when he "takes the stage." As a friend often remarks, I get more attention for less talent than anyone he knows!

So, come on out to the theater on School Road Wednesday evenings. Shows start at 8 pm. For more information click here: http://www.molassescreek.com/deepwater-theater.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article about the Ocracoke Crab Festival which was held each May from 1984 to 1989. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072114.htm