Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Then and Now

I was looking through some of my file folders a few days ago, and came across this photo that was given to me by Judy Jones who has an historic connection to Ocracoke. This photo of the future NC Highway 12 was taken in 1956 at the edge of the harbor (you can see two children wading in the water on the right), about where the Fish House is located today.

If you enlarge the photo (use the guidelines to the right) you can also see the peak of the center section of the Island Inn in the background, just to the left of the vehicle.

July, 1956

The following photo was taken from about the same vantage point as for the 1956 picture. I had to stand on the property of the Fish House because the vehicle tracks in 1956 were closer to the water than the paved road is today. Needless to say, the Island Inn is no longer visible from this position.

October, 2013

Ocracoke is still a wonderful place to live...but quite different from the village I knew as a child.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a brief history of the Soundfront Inn, one of the oldest structures on the island. You can read it here:


  1. Debbie Leonard6:18 AM

    Wow...I wish I had been to the village then! So interesting.

  2. Anonymous8:08 AM

    the second photo, is it a common practice on the island to remove the glass tops of outdoor furniture n preparation of the winter? Dining al fresca is no doubt popular way to enjoy a meal on the island. I am sure the owner of the round table is looking forward to the day he can remove his glass top from storage .DD

  3. I would enjoy seeing more pics from the 50's and 60's. My first trip to the island was in the late 60'or early 70's. My dad LOVED fishing in Hatteras. One year we took a day trip to Ocracoke. I remember eating at a sound side restaurant. Thank you for the history lessons and pictures.

  4. Bear MacDonald9:17 AM

    It appears that 4WD was suggested to drive through the town. Now many scurry about in golf carts with margaritas in hand.

  5. The blue trim on the Silver Lake Motel is so: Pennsylvania Dutch!

  6. Anonymous12:38 PM

    Honestly , the trim color is from the Martha Stewart Lily Pond Lane cottage color book. If there were more pictures I could point out more treatments Martha Stewart inspired. The woman is a motherlode of ideas for the proper way to live. Now golf carts are a lost opportunity -- the city fathers are alowing this taxing opportunity to slip thru their fingers. all this crying not enough money to do this or that permits for a fee should be issued to operate EACH cart and an hourly tax should be collected when operating on public roads.

  7. Anonymous3:38 PM

    Classic democratic party idea...taxes!
    As long as YOU can get out if paying them your all for them.

  8. Anonymous4:36 PM

    it sure does look like a long time ago because it's impossible nowdays to take a picture without getting either a sign or dumpster in the photograph ! in your modern day picture you have at least a dozen eyesores in just a simple shot. i know you couldn't help it Philip but it's still sad.

  9. Anonymous9:07 AM

    North Carolina law states a golf cart needs to be registered with the state ... and according to some information on an Ocracoke Island tourist web page, it notes golf cart use is Restricted to the Village only. Now for public safety, in order to enforce the rules there needs to be an enforcer-- and the police do not work for free. Therefore a fee or tax is collected to staff the law enforcement team. If Ocracoke island golf cart drivers stay within the Village things are safe. I thought the Village was a walkable cyclist friendly resort. I guess I was wrong.

  10. Anonymous12:00 PM

    Then and Now that remnants of Fort Ocracoke have been discovered in the inlet what news development s since this 1998 discovery and PH-- what information do you have or have you done regarding the USS Fanny. thanks.

    1. Maybe one of our readers has an update on Fort Ocracoke and the USS Fanny. I haven't kept up with recent discoveries or developments.