Wednesday, February 23, 2011

David & Alice Williams Cemetery

David Williams (1858-1938) was a surfman at the US Life Saving Station at Cedar Hammock (just south of Hatteras Inlet) in the late 1800s. When keeper James Howard retired in 1903, David Williams became keeper. He served in that post at Cedar Hammock until 1905. In that year he was transferred to the new station built in Ocracoke village.

Captain Dave and his wife, Alice Wahab Williams, lived on the north side of Cockle Creek (Silver Lake). In the late 1990s their house was acquired by the Ocracoke Preservation Society and moved to its present location where it serves as the Society's museum, gift shop, research library, and offices.

Captain Dave and Miss Alice have no direct descendants living on Ocracoke Island. They are buried, along with children and their spouses, in a brick-enclosed cemetery near the British Cemetery and the George Howard Cemetery. Within the last year, briars, vines, and weeds began encroaching on the markers and brick walls. Saturday morning Bill, Dave, Ralph, Andrew, DeAnna, and I (members of the Ocracoke Preservation Society) met at the cemetery with rakes, clippers, weed eaters, and a grass cutter. By the end of thirty minutes the cemetery was neatly trimmed and presentable once more.

The Ocracoke Civic & Business Association is negotiating with island contractors to repair the brick wall.

Click on any photo below to see what's been done.

The Williams Cemetery before the Cleanup:

Making Progress:

Andrew attacking vines:

Another View:

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of a 1911 wedding on Portsmouth Island. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous7:39 AM

    Ocracoke Teamwork! Now, that's what I'm talking about! Great job to everyone! I love keeping and preserving old cemeteries!

    Keep up the good work! Very worthwhile endeavor!

  2. Anonymous8:25 AM

    Wow, this is one of the things that makes Ocracoke the special place it is. Go out and get it done. No muss, no fuss, no money necessary. Thanks to all of you for sprucing up these burial grounds - we who walk there appreciate your hard work.

  3. Hear, hear! What Anonymous said.

  4. Anonymous3:28 PM

    Where but Ocracoke could you find this kind of respect for departed loved ones? You give real meaning to the words "perpetual care".

  5. Anonymous4:49 PM

    To all of you, a much needed project that you have accomplished. Nice job.

  6. Anonymous10:19 AM

    And I have the poison ivy to prove it! --DeAnna