Monday, May 17, 2010

Hurricane House

Ocracoke, of course, has a large number of rental houses, most with cable TV, Internet access, and other modern conveniences. There are a very few cottages that take you back to an Ocracoke Island of years gone by. The Hurricane House is one of those. (Click on any photo, below, to view a larger image.)

This house sits at the end of an unpaved road, overloooking Pamlico Sound. Guests enjoy sitting on the screened porch, looking across the marsh, and watching pelicans and other shore birds fly by.

They even have ring side seats for watching the Cedar Island and Swan Quarter ferries as they approach Silver Lake harbor.

But the grandest benefit of staying at the Hurricane House is the opportunity to witness some of the most spectacular sunsets on the east coast.

The Hurricane House is named for the account of a major storm penciled on the kitchen wall ("...5 pm Water coming into yard...10 pm Water to second step...12 pm Water to sills...")

The Hurricane House is truly a traditional old island home. It is comfortable, clean, and well cared for, but it has no TV, no microwave, no telephone, no dishwasher, and no A/C.

If you are interested in renting this house (I even understand that the week of May 30 is available) you can call the owner, Katharine Woodwell at 508-548-0680 (evenings & weekends).

If you're looking for a more conventional rental cottage go to and click on "lodging."

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter celebrates colorful islander Don Wood (1936-1998). You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous8:07 AM

    What possesses folk to write on the walls of their home ? a lack of paper ? a desire that the future not forget the subject of the notation?. Is it historical accuracy, a point in time, in the triangulation of events on OI do you know of other homes with fateful jots on the jambs

  2. Anonymous9:04 AM

    As I recall, there is also a pretty good view of the outside shower behind the house . . . if you care to watch naked people covered with soap.

  3. Anonymous1:21 PM

    Writing on the walls or door jams is something which is also practiced on mainland. For example,my family's business which was located near the mighty James River (VA) was hit w/ major flooding by hurricanes: Agnes and Camille. Every time, either my father, grandfather, uncle, or other partner would record the height of the flooding inside the business. Those markings always reminded our families and patrons the incredible damage hurricanes can do even hundreds of miles inland.

    Philip, the info on the "Hurricane House" is great! Loved the photos!

    Keep finding interesting tid-bits to share, won't you?

  4. Anonymous2:28 PM

    We mark the height of our children in our house on a wall in their walk-in closet. I´m so glad it´s there. I think it adds charm to our home. It makes it more of a home not just a house. That same kind of charm is what makes Ocracoke so special. Perhaps some people just don´t understand good old southern charm.

  5. Phillip, once again you have managed to make me "homesick". i can not wait until october when i will once again be in your neck of the woods. though staying in Hatteras Village this year (a first for me in a lifetime of visits to Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands), I will definitely be making a pilgramage to your gorgeous island. keep the pictures coming..they're getting me through a very dreary north east spring!

    ps i love the writing on the walls, it is DEFINITELY charming!

  6. My house in the Midwest has a charming Guest Wall that has all the signatures of folks who have stopped by. There have been weddings, parties, Chinese New Years,artists, family and friends. There are cartoon drawings, holiday art and doodling. The little baby feet of my grandchildren are documented there as well! All are on the wall going up the staircase. I first learned of this art through the stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne. It is definitely eclectic and charming! I love reading all the lovely inscriptions, much better than a guest book!!
    Lou Ann from Indiana

  7. Anonymous11:18 AM

    This is a very nice house to rent and so is her other property, have been renting from her for I know over 20 years now. But it's in the fall (November), this mountain boy would have to have A/C if I came in the summer, but then it's to crowded for me in the summer!

  8. donna-howard@nc.rr.com7:49 PM

    Thank you for posting these pictures! We are renting this property (until now, sight unseen) for the first time in August. We eagerly anticipate a more true Ocracoke experience!

    Thank you for blessing us!