Travel to and from Ocracoke in the 19th century was quite a bit different from today.
In his book, The Life and Times of F. M. Wilkinson, George Wilkinson describes a journey across Pamlico Sound on the sailing vessel, Russell L:
"The Russell L. cut through the waters of the Pamlico times too numerous to count. One of several carriers that made the trip between Fowle's dock in Washington [NC] and Ocracoke, the Russell L. was one of the only means of transportation from the island to the mainland. As one passenger remembers, 'the trip was long and the boards hard but sleeping under stars was wonderful.' The trips were scheduled from dusk to dawn."
Click here to see a photo of the Russell L: http://www.ncroots.com/Beaufort/page176.jpg.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the recent skirmishes
islanders have had with North Carolina legislatures over the issue of
ferry tolls...and a 1955 newspaper editorial advocating free,
state-operated ferries across Hatteras Inlet. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news082113.htm.