Saturday, March 27, 2010

Setting the Record Straight

Subway, McDonald's, Hooters, Wings, Tattoo Parlor??? What a field day we all have had...over my lot on Highway 12! And yes, it is my lot where the house has been razed. And it's been fun to read the creative comments about it. There is no telling what speculations and rumors are circulating around the village (and among readers of this blog) about what is going on there.

First, a little history. The lot in question is a portion of what was once my great grandparents' property (which included frontage on Howard Street, the present-day Island Inn property, and extended from where the Slushie Stand is...all the way to School Road). Over the years it was divided among descendants, and portions were eventually sold out of the family. My grandparents' property (the house I now live in, and the lot in question) were sold out of the family in the mid 1960s. The homeplace (then about 100 years old) was in disrepair, and the new owners erected a double wide home on the empty lot in the early 1970s.

I had an opportunity to purchase the property about 25 years ago. It took two decades to save enough money to restore the homeplace to historic standards (see, and click on the links at the top of the page to follow the restoration of this house; I apologize for several missing photos). The double wide was of inferior construction, and in sad condition when I purchased the property, but I rented it to generate a bit of income. Over the years it continued to deteriorate. In recent years I decided that the value of the building did not warrant the costs for major repairs and have decided to raze the building.

As one reader commented, it had become an eyesore. Of course, the building has no historic significance, and was not worth repairing. I did not want to keep an unsightly, abandoned building in the middle of Ocracoke village, so I contracted to have it torn down and removed.

For anyone curious about details, the building was demolished with a permit from Hyde County, and was disposed of properly. Certain parts were salvaged, but much was not (the aluminum siding, for example, was glued to a fiberboard backing which made it cost prohibitive to recycle).

Many people have asked me what I plan to do with the property. At this time I have no plans. I may simply use it as an extension of my yard, or I might some day build a small cottage there, or rent the property for a small business or public usage. Maybe it would be the perfect place for a wind turbine...or a nuclear reactor??

I hope Bill has something to share tomorrow that will take our minds off my lot. In the meanwhile, enjoy the spring, and wave when you pass me in the village.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is about "Ocracats" and was written by Pat Garber. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous2:31 PM

    Wow!! Everyone is awful quiet today!

  2. Anonymous3:58 PM

    This just in: Unconfirmed sources tell us that Philip Howard is actually bluffing. He has made a long term lease agreement with the NC department of Transportation and Hyde County. His property will be the entrance-exit location for the new mid-pamlico sound tunnel. The new tunnel will connect Ocracoke Island with the mainland. The Tunnel will be constructed by the same company that amazed the world with the famous English Channel, "Chunnel" that connects England with France. Officials, who asked to remain anonymous, say it is all a part of a bigger plan by Howard in cooperation with the Obama administration. "Philip hopes to work with the President in developing a plan for the island." The source went on to say that over the next 4 years the Obama administration plans to strip the island of its park status and sell the land to developers. The money will be used to pay for the new health care legislation. "We know Donald trump has already placed a bid on opening the island´s first casino." Mr. Howard was especially excited by the long term lease. He knows the traffic will be coming unto the island right on Howard Street meaning countless cars passing his well known "Village Craftsmen" store. B. Ullcrap of Wings stores said in a separate interview that Howard was actually planning to follow through on his agreement to open four Wings stores on the island in the next five years. "All of the previous rumors were planted to confuse the islanders. We knew all along the village couldn´t handle four stores. Philip knew about the Obama plan and was thinking of opening the stores all along the 16 miles of the Island." It is believed Howard will receive 44 million dollars annually for the lease.

  3. Anonymous4:07 PM

    If you go with the nuclear reactor, and the tattoo/scarification parlor, you can bring glow in the dark tattoos to Ocracoke.

  4. Anonymous5:18 PM

    well - now I'm not sure. I heard it was the new Amtrak station. After all, we've all see the Amtrak ad and know the train must stop here somewhere.

  5. Debbie Leonard6:14 PM

    Funny comments! Philip, I agree with you...that house wasn't very attractive!

  6. Anonymous7:24 PM

    Well I for one have never step foot on OI But I do read the newspapers and Listen to NPR. IMHO it would benefit the immediate Howard family to start composting and improve the soil of this lot and attempt to grow fresh vegetables. It is known that organic farming practices produce healthier foods and growing our own is the future. Clinton now regrets weaning the Haitians off of their own source or rice and depending on imports now they are really suffering . Plant a Victory garden really don't worry about the winter just can our vegetables for Winter consumption thats what granny did. She was too busy canning weeding knitting mending washing etc to blog bless her heart

  7. Anonymous7:27 PM

    Quiet ?? they are not at work goofing off on the computer visiting the blog -- today the are enjoying a beautiful spring day or hiding Easter eggs dying Easter eggs or are in a sugar coma from all the Easter candy they should not have eaten

  8. Anonymous10:10 PM

    oh don' tell us, what is Ocracoke Village without speculations and rumors? damn.

  9. Anonymous10:35 PM

    anything is better than a broken down red double-decker bus selling shaved ice. ugh

  10. Sundae10:43 PM

    I loved the Fun Bus! (Sorry, Philip.)

  11. Anonymous10:50 PM

    Here´s the artists rendering. Now we know Philip is serious.

  12. Sunday morning's unconfirmed rumor directly from Ye Olde Coffee Shoppe: The No-Tell Motel and All-U-Can-Eat Buffet and Harmonica Museum.

    You better believe it.

  13. Anonymous9:08 AM it's becoming clearer and clearer...a nuclear powered casino with glow-in-the-dark tattooed topless waitresses and the whole operation serving as a cover for a garbage smuggling operation (via tunnel) - garbage to be smuggled from the mainland because it turns out to be cheaper to dispose of trash in Ocracoke where there ARE NO SCALES!!!