Friday, February 27, 2015

In the Country of Ocracoke

In 1994 an island resident compiled a list of 20 observations she thought important to share with island visitors. It was titled "In the Country of Ocracoke." Here is number 3:

"If you're riding along in your car (slowly, please) and you see a car, or more probably a pickup truck, stopped in the lane in front of you and the driver is leisurely conversing with the occupant of a vehicle, most probably another pickup truck, headed toward you in the other lane, please do not honk your horn. Do not lose your patience, or you'll be sent home. Take a deep breath, reach over in the back seat to the cooler of beer you keep there and pop one until traffic clears."

Not much has changed in the last 20 years...except that it's no longer a good idea to "pop one until traffic clears." Our local deputies (and the occasional state trooper on the island) frown on drinking and driving.  

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is research into the origin of the Ocracoke Island Wahab family. You can read the article here:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dale Sanderson

In 1663 & 1665, King Charles II, newly restored to the English throne, appointed eight Lords Proprietors to govern the territory of Carolina (at that time, all of the land between 31° and 36° north latitude, and extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific). In 1719 John Lovick acquired "Occacok" Island as a grant from the Proprietors.

Sometime before 1733 Ocracoke came into the possession of Richard Sanderson, an English sea captain. At Sanderson's death in 1733 the island passed to his son, Richard Sanderson, Jr., who sold it to William Howard, Sr. for £105, in 1759.

256 years later, this man, Dale Sanderson, turned up at my door, offering to buy the island back:

Dale (Sandy) Sanderson
Dale Sanderson is a direct descendant of Richard Sanderson, who sold Ocracoke to William Howard. Dale and his brother only recently discovered their connection to Ocracoke. They live in Colorado, where their family had migrated, after passing through Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas.

Dale was on a journey tracing his family roots. We had a delightful time sharing family history, and touring Ocracoke. 

Capt. Rob Temple stopped by to interview Dale, who goes by the nickname, Sandy. You can read Rob's delightful article in the Ocracoke Current:

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is research into the origin of the Ocracoke Island Wahab family. You can read the article here:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Yesterday's Snow

I thought our readers (especially those not on Facebook) would enjoy a few photos from yesterday.

Ocracoke Lighthouse

Springer's Point

Another Lighthouse View

Snow-covered Dunes

Snow on the Beach
Dale Sanderson on Howard Street

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is research into the origin of the Ocracoke Island Wahab family. You can read the article here:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pony Cart

I recently came across this vintage photo. It shows a typical mode of Ocracoke Island transportation before the advent of automobiles and paved roads.

Most people walked where they needed to go. Some went by horseback. But the two-wheeled pony cart proved to be a convenient way to travel, especially if there was a load to haul, a distance to go, or passengers to carry.

I am not sure who the people in this photo are, but this image, the best picture of an island pony cart that I am aware of, is part of the Ocracoke Preservation Society, Mary Ruth Dixon Collection. Many thanks to OPS and Mary Ruth for permission to share the picture.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is research into the origin of the Ocracoke Island Wahab family. You can read the article here:

Monday, February 23, 2015

Island Inn Slaves

Here is another photo that Chester Lynn shared with me from years ago -- a scene from one of the July 4th Parades.

Pictured above, on their float, "Island Inn Slaves," are Grace Gaskill, Lydia Frieda Spencer, Betsy Anna Midgette, and Chester Lynn (the Island Inn restaurant manager). Chester now owns and operates Annabelle's Florist & Antique Shop on the Back Road. Stop by and pay him a visit (tell him you saw his photo on the Ocracoke Journal).

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is research into the origin of the Ocracoke Island Wahab family. You can read the article here:

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Wahabs of Ocracoke Island

We have published another Ocracoke Newsletter. This month's article is about the Wahab family of Ocracoke, and research about their origins...Arab or Scotch-Irish?

You can read the current Newsletter here:

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sam Nutt

Many of our readers know the story of the 1942 sinking of the British armed trawler HMT Bedfordshire, and the British Cemetery on Ocracoke. But few know the story of the ship's stoker, Sam Nutt, who by a curious turn of events, was the only member of the Bedfordshire's crew to survive.

Here is Sam Nutt's story, as told on the website,

"'The Bedfordshire was one of twenty four that was sent over to the States. We sailed down to Norfolk Virginia then down to Morehead City, which was our base, and we worked from there convoying, escorting and then patrolling'.

"On May 10th 1942, Sam had been on shore leave and was due to join the Bedfordshire the next morning. That night while leaving a bar in Morehead City, he was arrested by two policemen and locked up in a cell without an explanation.

"The next day on May the 11th, HMS Bedfordshire, with their stoker still missing, went out as usual and patrolled the coast. During that night her luck suddenly run out and she was torpedoed and sunk by a U-boat. All 37 crew were lost and only four bodies were ever recovered from the sea.

"Meanwhile after being released with no charge, Sam had been trying to join his ship.

"'I never did know what the Americans were going to charge me with. I spent a night in the cells and they let me out and the American soldiers took me down to the dock to join the Bedfordshire ... but she had gone to sea. We had to go aboard another boat to go and look for the Bedfordshire. They were going to take us out to join the ship at sea but when we got there ... there was no trace of her at all.'

"A few days later it was concluded that the trawler must have been sunk by a U-boat. Evidence of this was later confirmed in the diary of U558." 

After reading the story above I began to wonder more about Sam Nutt. I discovered this 5 minute YouTube video that features Sam Nutt, along with USCG Chief Petty Officer Arnold Tolson, remembering those tragic days:


This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is about the almost forgotten 1890 "Oyster Wars" that pitted islanders against outside business interests. You can read the article here: