A typical turn-of-the-2oth-century island home was the "story and a jump." This small cottage, often about 1000 square feet, had two rooms downstairs (a living room & a tiny bedroom), and two bedrooms upstairs. The kitchen was separate from the house. That helped keep the house from getting unbearably hot in the summer, and it helped protect the main house from accidental fire. A privy also stood outside, some distance from the house.
The "story and a jump" was more than one story, but not quite two stories. A knee wall (usually about 4 feet high) extended above the first floor front and back walls. With a gable roof, the attic now became livable space.
An interesting feature of this type of cottage is the small windows at the upper floor level that open into the ceiling above the front porch. With the back door and other windows open, these little windows provide extra ventilation (as well as a convenient place for small fry to gather to eavesdrop on adult conversations on the porch).
A number of these houses still stand in Ocracoke village, many with shed or "L" additions on the back, some with extensions on the front. With the advent of air conditioning, many of the little windows were covered over when the porch ceilings were replaced. But a few, like in the photo above, survive.
This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a tribute to a wonderful man who did
much for Ocracoke Island, Marvin Wyche Howard (1897-1969). You can read
it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news052113.htm.