Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The History of Your Home

As many of our readers know, I did an historic rehabilitation of my grandparents' home several years ago. For me it was not difficult to document the history of my house. However, if you have an older home, particularly one that has not been in your own family, you may be interested in the following web site:

A friend of Ocracoke Preservation Society sent this link to the Society. It gives much valuable information about researching the history of your home.

My house in the 1930s:

My house in 2005:

(Click on either photo to view a larger image.)

If any of our readers would like a chance to win this beautiful Ocracoke quilt, just click on the photo below to purchase raffle tickets (please keep in mind that the photo and description on the re-direct page is last year's quilt; you will be purchasing tickets for a chance to win the quilt pictured below.)

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke native Major General Ira Thomas Wyche. You can read the complete story here:


  1. What happened to your chimney?

  2. Your home looks great! Thanks for all the links.

  3. Thanks for the link. We live in a house that was built in 1932. I would like to get some b&w pictures of the house and hand them on the walls. Thanks again.

  4. Anonymous11:30 AM

    Your family's your's looks fantastic. You can tell there was lots of love put into it! It's always so wonderful to see the history of Ocracoke apprecieated and maintained. When my sister and I were on your Ghost tour last week, you shared your home with the group and had some interesting facts about it as well...the hole in the floor...the reason for no closets. It was a great night!

  5. Anonymous12:43 PM

    just out of curiousity nantucket has a daffoidil festival martha's vineyard has roses does ocracoke cultivate a love of roses too? is there a flower associated with your town which ads to a sense of place?

  6. Unfortunately my chimney has been gone for some time. The original brick chimney was dismantled sometime in the 1950s, and replaced with a concrete block chimney. I now heat with a heat pump and a beautiful red Vermont Castings gas log stove (which sits in front of the mantle and vents outside where the chimney was). You can see the vent in the photo, between the two downstairs windows.

    The closest thing Ocracoke has to a community flower is the "Joe Bell" flower (the Gaillardia). Back in a 2000 Newsletter I promised to write the story of the Joe Bell flower...but I never did. I will again put that on my list of topics to address in a future newsletter.

  7. Anonymous4:07 PM

    Philip, loved the photos. You have really put your heart & soul in restoring the house. Your front porch is most inviting.

    I enlarged both photos. In the original black & white photo, two questions come to mind: who is the lady and man standing near the white fence? The man appears to be wearing a captain's outfit. Also, the shed to the far left....there looks like a cross or something painted on the door, perhaps. What is it?

    Thanks for letting your bloggers ask questions....even silly ones!

  8. Re. the black & white photo: the man is my grandfather, Homer Howard. He enlisted in the US Life Saving Service, and continued in the service after the USLSS merged with the Revenue Cutter Service to form the US Coast Guard (in 1915). I'm not sure who the woman is, but I am almost certain it is one of my aunts, and not my grandmother.

    The shed to the left is the woodhouse. I don't remember it, but I'm sure the cross is an optical illusion -- perhaps a shadow or peeling paint...kind of like the face of Jesus on a pizza I guess!

  9. Anonymous5:40 PM

    Please show us photo of Jesus pizza.

  10. Anonymous7:56 PM

    Philip- I don't know HOW you put up with us.

  11. I ate the pizza. I was afraid if the national press got word of it throngs of pilgrims would trample my plants and knock down my fence.

  12. Anonymous11:12 AM

    Very good answer to a very very silly question.

  13. Anonymous2:51 PM

    The question wasn't silly at all!!!!

    There are no dumb questions!