Saturday, December 17, 2011

Good News

I recently received the Monthly Newsletter from the Ocracoke Foundation ( For some time the Foundation has been in negotiations with David Senseney and his family about purchasing the Community Square property. Here is their latest announcement:

"We are very pleased to announce that our [Ocracoke Foundation's] primary focus for 2012 will be the acquisition of the Community Square!!  Since 2008 OFI has been working with the Trust for Public Land and the Senseney Family to purchase the heart of the village's historic district to protect and preserve this important part of island heritage. It is the desire of the Senseney Family that community ownership ensure the preservation of the historic structures, long term waterfront access, maintain availability for public use and enjoyment, and provide a model for improved environmental stewardship, a space for community events, and a source of dedicated funding for island nonprofits."

As most of our readers know, the Community Square includes the Community Store (est. 1918), several other retail establishments, the Working Watermen's Exhibit (on the dock where Jack Willis' store used to be), and several wooden docks. The porch of the Community Store is a great place to sit and relax, and to visit with islanders and visitors...and the docks will provide public access for views of the harbor, the lighthouse, and sunsets.

We are looking forward to heritage and environmental improvements, more public and community events, and the preservation of an important cultural icon. Many thanks for the hard work and dedication of Robin Payne, the board and directors, and the Senseney family.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke and our its connection to the "Lost" Colony of 1587 You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous6:06 AM

    Philip, this IS truly great news! I had noticed the property was for sale when searching "for sale" properties and was naturally concerned that it could have been totally redeveloped if purchased by someone who didn't understand the "heart" of it.

    I am elated to hear that the Ocracoke Foundation is working to acquire this particular historical area of the Ocracoke Village.

    Your NC Mainlander wholeheartedly approves!

  2. Anonymous8:11 AM

    That is really great news! As fans of the island we all need to promote this so that the funds come in for the purchase, improvement and long term maintenance. NO JOKING...this will be the perfect place for public restrooms in that part of town.

    What is the chance that the Ocracoke Foundation will take on the project of purchasing the old Berkley Manor property? That is a must for preservation of the historic district. I wish I was a millionaire and I'd buy it all up to preserve it myself.

  3. Great news. One of my favorite spots.

  4. Anonymous10:14 AM

    Philip or Jude, For over a week, I've noticed via Ocracoke Harbor Inn's web-cam a ferry docked away from the usual arrival/departure area @ Silver Lake. Your NC Mainlander is curious and wonders if this is an extra ferry used in the summer months and now docked during the less busy winter season?

    If you know and don't mind me asking, will you kindly post an answer? Much obliged!

  5. The extra ferry dock is sometimes used to tie up ferries when a hurricane is threatening...or in the off-season when they are not running as many boats.

  6. Anonymous4:55 PM

    If I ain't mistaken, the Community Square ALREADY HAS PUBLIC RESTROOMS . . . back in the corner behind the lattice, right?

  7. Anon 4:55 pm, you are correct. There are public restrooms behind the lattice at the Community Store -- porta-potties. The Ocracoke Foundation (with the support of many island businesses) hopes to provide true public bathrooms (sponsored by the entire community).