Saturday, March 26, 2011

Frazier Peele

In the 1950s Hatteras native, Frazier Peele, started ferry service across Hatteras Inlet. His first venture simply involved nailing a deck across a wooden skiff. The next year he built a proper ferry with railings and a ramp. It held three or four vehicles, but he couldn't always get close enough to shore because of the shallow water. At those times his passengers would have to drive their cars and trucks through several inches of salt water in order to reach the sandy shore.

As you can imagine, only the brave and adventuresome made the journey to Ocracoke in those days. But, my, how wonderful the island was back then!

Click on the photo to view a larger image.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a list of traditional island remedies. You can read it here:


  1. Colleen Crane8:40 AM

    Oh, man! I remember that!! Seemed like you were being dropped in the middle of the ocean.

    Colleen Crane

  2. I do believe that is the ferry in the film we gave to the historical society. As we left the island in 1956 it must have been high tide, because he came in and dropped the ramp on the sand. What an adventure!

  3. Anonymous5:06 PM

    Philip--What of YOUR earliest memories of the island? How did you arrive when visiting? How was the village different from the way it is today? What did you look forward to most? And without the prevalence of amenities like air conditioning or insect repellant, what did you least look forward to? For instance, here in PA my family still enjoys visiting a rustic (electricity but no water/plumbing), one-room cabin my grandfather built in the late '40s/early '50s, but for my mother, now 72, her childhood memories of Friday-to-Sunday visits before the cabin was built include "camping out" under a tar-paper tent, erected to ward off the dew, and dreading--as only a pre-teen girl could--Sunday stops for ice cream cones on the way home at a drug store in a nearby small town, after a long weekend of hard work, no showers, and no change of clothes.

  4. Whew! So many questions. I really don't have time or space to answer them all in a single comment. Actually, although I have never devoted an entire Newsletter article or Blog post to this issue, I have made relevant references over the years. I think I will take one question at a time for a number of future Blog posts. Look for them over the next week or so.

  5. Anonymous2:36 PM

    Thanks, Anon, for "overwhelming" Philip with such wonderful and interesting questions. I shall look forward to reading his answers in the next couple of weeks!