Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ione

While crossing Hatteras Inlet you may have noticed several pilings on the north end of Ocracoke Island. These are all that remain of the US Coast Guard Station that once stood there. Because of erosion and encroaching surf, the station was abandoned in the early 1950s.

Hatteras Inlet USCG Station, 1953













On September 9, 1955 Hurricane Ione dealt the fatal blow to the station. Most of the building collapsed into the raging surf. Eventually everything washed away except the few pilings that are visible today.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

OPS Auction, Race, Homecoming & Dedication

There are several events taking place on Ocracoke this coming weekend. 

On Friday, April 25, the Ocracoke Preservation Society will hold its first-ever auction of various items collected over the years. Items to be auctioned will include duplicates of books, postcards, "State" magazines, and other donations earmarked for fund-raising opportunities...as well as many miscellaneous items. The auction begins at 3 pm. Ocracoke student artwork will also be for sale.

On the following day, Saturday, April 26, the Ocracoke Community Radio WOVV, Ocracoke School Athletic Boosters Club and the Ocracoke Community Park will sponsor the Third Annual Ocracoke Island 10k/5k and 1 Mile Family Fun Run.

Also on Saturday morning, island enthusiasts will gather at the docks to cross the inlet for the bi-annual Portsmouth Island Homecoming. Historic houses and other buildings, including the Life Saving Station, the Post Office and the Schoolhouse, will be open for viewing. Other events are planned, including a pot luck dinner on the grounds.

On Sunday, April 27, at 2:00 pm, the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department will dedicate our new Fire Station. Although there are still a few minor things to do before the new station is completed, members of the fire department invite you to join them for the official dedication.

Ocracoke Fire Station, 2014











Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Devil on the Deck

Most of our readers are probably familiar with numerous stories about Blackbeard -- the braided, ribbon-bedecked beard; the lighted fuses under his hat; his final battle (and beheading) at Ocracoke in 1718; etc. -- but I wonder if many of our readers know this story, as told by Capt. Charles Johnson in 1724:

"Those of his crew who were taken alive [after the final battle], told a story which may appear a little incredible, however we think it will not be fair to omit it since we had it from their own mouths. Once upon a cruize [sic], they found out that they had a man on board more than their crew, such a one was seen several days amongst them, sometimes below, and sometimes upon deck, yet no man in the ship could give an account of who he was, or from whence he came, but that he disappeared a little before they were cast away in their great ship; but, it seems, they verily believed it was the Devil."

Blackbeard's Flag















Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of traveling to the island on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm.

Monday, April 21, 2014

From Philadelphia to Ocracoke, 1951

Last summer, at the Wednesday night Ocracoke Opry, I often told the story of crossing Hatteras Inlet on Frazier Peele's ferry in 1951. I recently wrote the story and published it on our website. It is this month's Ocracoke Newsletter. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042114.htm.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter

Happy Easter to all of our friends on the island...and off!

(We hope your weather is more spring-like than here. We've had rain, wind, and chilly weather for several days...but the rain should be tapering off tomorrow, with clear skies and sunshine by mid-week.)

Enjoy this season of renewal and rejuvenation!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Banker Ponies

In September, 2013 I wrote about Beeswax, "one of the best polo ponies in America," who was brought to Ocracoke to interbreed with the local horses. There are, of course, many other stories about our banker ponies -- including their origins, use by the US Life Saving Service, and mounts for the mid-1950s Boy Scout Troop.

Jean Day, in her book Banker Ponies, an Endangered Species, relates this amusing story:

"In 1939 there were 50 to 100 ponies on Ocracoke, about half of them wild, the others broken for riding.

"Big Ike O'Neal of Ocracoke sold some of his horses, including one he called 'Old Jerry' to someone on Portsmouth Island. Imagine Big Ike's surprise when two days later, he saw Old Jerry on a high sand dune at Ocracoke munching sea oats. To do this, Jerry had swum a mile and a half across the inlet where tidal current fought the ocean swell.

"He just wanted to go home."

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a reprint of a 1948 article about the Mail Boat Aleta, "Boat Hauls Mail, More." You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news032114.htm.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Value of a Pirate

How much did Alexander Spotswood, Governor of Virginia, offer as bounty for the capture of the lowliest member of Blackbeard's crew?

A buck an ear!

Seriously, the following rewards were offered by Governor Spotswood in November, 1718 to "every Person or Persons" who "shall take any Pyrate, or Pyrates, on the Sea or Land, or in case of Resistance, shall kill any such Pyrate, or Pyrates between the Degrees of thirty four, and thirty nine, of Northern Latitude, & within one hundred Leagues of the Continent of Virginia, or within the Provinces of Virginia or North Carolina":
  • For every private Man taken on Board a Pyrate ship, Sloop, or Vessel....£10
  • For every "inferior officer"....£15
  • For every Lieutenant, Master, or Quartermaster, Boatswain, or Carpenter....£20
  • For every Commander of a Pyrate Ship, Sloop, or Vessel [except, see next]....£40
  • For Edward Teach, commonly called Captain Teach, or Blackbeard....£100
This was pursuant to a Proclamation "Given at our Council Chamber at Williamsburgh, this 24th Day of November, 1718, in the fifth Year of his Majesty's Reign. GOD SAVE THE KING. A. Spotswood"

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a reprint of a 1948 article about the Mail Boat Aleta, "Boat Hauls Mail, More." You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news032114.htm.