Saturday, March 31, 2012

Try Yard Creek

Driving down NC Highway 12 from the Hatteras ferry, the first bridge you will come to (just past the pony pen) is the span over Try Yard Creek, one of six narrow tidal creeks that connect with Pamlico Sound. All of the creeks are almost certainly remnants of long-ago inlets. Ocracoke Inlet is the only inlet on the Outer Banks that has remained open since Europeans began keeping records.

At one time there was a modest whaling industry on the Outer Banks. From 1726 until 1875 New England whalers ventured to North Carolina in February, March and April, hunting the giant cetaceans off shore. Local fishermen were more likely to concentrate on the occasional beached whale, although for a while longboats were launched through the surf to pursue whales. Once brought to shore, the blubber was boiled in large "try pots" to render the fat into oil.

Try Yard Creek was named after the nearby area that was once used for trying whale blubber.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Rondthalers of Ocracoke Island. You can read it here:


  1. OcracokeFan1:40 PM

    How interesting! I have always been curious about all of those names. It is so interesting to imagine various enterprises taking place on Ocracoke where today there seems to be nothing down there. While I personally prefer the isolation and natural setting it is amazing to think of the work that took place there at the "Try Yard."

    I do hope the history of the other creeks will follow if there are stories to tell.

  2. Anonymous11:09 AM

    Philip, What are the names of the six creeks? I can only think of five, and it's driving me crazy!!!

  3. There used to be seven creeks. From south to north they are Island Creek, Shad Hole Creek (now dried up; no bridge any more), Old Hammock Creek, Molasses Creek, Old Quawk's Creek (I think the state's sign says "Quoke's Point Creek"), Parker's Creek, and Try Yard Creek.