Old timers and long-time visitors to Ocracoke will often refer to Howard Street as a "sandy lane." More recent islanders and visitors sometimes call it an "unpaved road" or an "oyster shell" road. For the past 40-50 years residents along Howard Street have been putting shells, stones, concrete pieces and asphalt shingles in the road to harden it. For the most part we have been successful in keeping Howard Street navigable. Cars no longer get stuck in the deep sand. But we pay for it with mud, pot holes and puddles.
Below are two vintage photos (taken prior to 1960) -- one of the British Cemetery Road (near the old George Howard cemetery), and the other of Howard Street. As you can see, both roads are deep, soft sand.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article written by my Uncle Marvin in 1954. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102111.htm.