Several of us attended a presentation Friday night on the Ocracoke Lighthouse repairs and restoration. Alex and JR, the two artisans who have done the work, showed slides and told stories about their discoveries, research and repairs. And several Ocracokers passed along family stories.
For instance, they discovered, much to their surprise, that the metal roof (or cap) atop the lens house was "not mechanically attached"! Basically, it had just been sitting up there with its lightning rod since the Lighthouse was built in 1823. They said their first thought was, "What a bad idea!" Then their second thought was..."but it worked!"
They also noted that the cap was cracked below the lightning rod and speculated that this was the result of a lightning strike. Clayton Gaskill informed him that his uncle, Chris, was in Park Service maintenance in the 50's and early 60's and told him that he needed to remove the cap for some reason, lost control of it, and dropped it over the side!
What a treat to hear these stories and craftsmen tell about what they do with such love and skill. And they kindly donated a disc of their slides to the Ocracoke Preservation Society for its archives.
This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is about "Ocracats" and was written by Pat Garber. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news031710.htm.