A sailing vessel by the name of the Flying Cloud (a barkentine, not the famous clipper ship) wrecked on Ocracoke beach in 1854. According to Sonny Williamson in his book, Shipwrecks of Ocracoke Island, Elijah Styron, Sr. (1841-1910) salvaged the figurehead from the ship. An unknown islander composed a chantey about the ship:
"Oh! I looked to the east'ard
And I looked to the west'ard --
And I saw old Flying Cloud a-comin;
She was loaded with silks,
And the finest of satins,
But now she's gone across Jordan."
I understand that some years later the figurehead was sold by a family member to a summer resident of Nags Head. I wonder if any of our readers might know where that figurehead is today. Please leave a comment if you do.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the "Joe Bell" flower. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012112.htm.