Tuesday, January 03, 2012


Hello to all. This is Philip again. Many thanks to Bill, Amy, & Jude for helping out with blog posts in November and December. I was off the island now and then, visiting family and taking a bit of a vacation. Lou Ann and I spent some time in Asheville, NC, as well as in Charleston, SC, St. Petersburg, FL, and Wilmington, NC.

In Charleston we had a chance to connect with some Ocracoke history. In 1718 Blackbeard blockaded the harbor there, and plundered at least nine ships. He held several prominent citizens hostage, and demanded a chest of medicine (presumably to treat venereal disease) from the colonial government. After a tense delay, the medicine was delivered, and Blackbeard released his hostages.

In April of 1861 Ocracoke schooner captain Horatio Williams was anchored in Charleston harbor when Confederates fired on Fort Sumter. Captain Williams was determined that his two-masted schooner, the Paragon, not be commandeered by the Confederates or captured by Federal forces. He sailed out of the harbor under cover of darkness. Back in North Carolina he intentionally sank his ship in the Roanoke River, and buried her sails in barrels. Williams waited until after the war's end to raise his ship and put her back in service.

We are happy to be back on the island (though it is a bit chillier than St. Petersburg). We are looking forward to enjoying the beach, trying some new recipes, spending time with friends, reading in front of the gas log stove, relaxing, and sharing more island history and stories with our Ocracoke Journal friends.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke and the "Lost" Colony. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112111.htm.


  1. debbie s.8:13 AM

    Missed you Philip but SO very glad you got to wander around a bit with the lovely miss lou ann!

  2. Anonymous8:42 AM

    The best part of waking up may be Folgers in your cup--but the nicest part of my day is definitely the journal. Thanks for 2011--here's to a great 2012!

  3. Anonymous9:50 AM

    wait how does some one, a ship captain, sink a ship then "raise his ship"? other than folklore how are such events Documented? What technology-back then was employed to execute such a task? The Roanoke River --what part of the river --this series of events sounds incredible . I have heard about some guy named Paul and I heard he had a blue ox.

  4. Bonnie10:59 AM

    So happy to have you back! I sure did miss my daily dose of island living!

  5. Anon. 9:50 -- Thanks for the skeptical question! I will address your questions in a future blog (I don't have time to do that this morning). Keep posted.

  6. Anonymous1:08 PM

    Glad you guys made it home safely! You missed the "big chill" here in St. Pete, so it's not so warm here anymore either! We miss you (and Zoby does too!)... there's always a seat under the pergola waiting for you!

    Tonya :)

  7. Anonymous8:40 PM

    NC Mainlander says "Welcome Home!" Oh, I am really enjoying my cookbook. THANK YOU!!!!!! THANK JOHN, TOO!