Sunday, July 13, 2014

Loop Shack Again

Two days ago I re-published a blog post about Loop Shack Hill. I included photos of some of the extant structures. Below are two pictures showing what the installation looked like during WWII (the first courtesy of Earl O'Neal, the second courtesy of the Outer Banks History Center). The "Loop Shack" radar tower (with the wooden base) is shown on the left in the top photo; on the right in the bottom photo.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Agnes Scott, direct descendant of Agnes Scott for whom the women's college in Decatur, Georgia is named. You can read the Newsletter here:


  1. Anonymous10:15 AM

    Looking at the Loop Shack Hill photos it's hard to gain perspective/bearings re. precisely "where" the facility was situated relative to current island geography, though I know it's on the inside of the curve of the main road just as it approaches the village proper.

    I guess before the war, the road, and the NPS, all of the area between the village and the lifeguard beach was what you've previously referred to as the bald beach, if I'm correct, which would account for that "desert plain" look we see in the photo surrounding the facility.

    To the point of "the hill" itself then--the geographical lump atop which the facilities were constructed--was that a natural formation or (as I suspect) Navy built?

    And speaking of the Navy, Philip, and the extent to which the island was "exposed" to the outside world by the arrival and long-term encampment of service personnel throughout the country during the time Ocracoke was "occupied," it would be interesting to hear (from folk like Cousin Blanche?) how the arrival of these "outsiders" impacted day-to-day (and long-term) life on Ocracoke.

    A topic for another time perhaps.

    Until then, and as always, thanks.

    1. As you approach the village from the "north" Loop Shack Hill is on your right. The Beach Jumpers marker is visible at the base of the hill. Walk up the hill to see the foundation of the Loop Shack. Farther back are the other structures. Beware of prickly pear cacti ("pickle pears" to locals)!

      The hill is a natural sand dune, one of just a few that dotted an otherwise flat tidal plain.

      One of the biggest consequences of the war & the Navy Base was that local girls often dated and married young men who were stationed here, while native island young men who were off the island working or serving in the military, married girls from elsewhere. (The additions to the gene pool cannot be underestimated!)

    2. Anonymous3:15 PM

      Hah! Appreciate the reply.Any idea whether many off the off-islanders remained after their service?

    3. It wasn't a large number, but Ocracoke today has several families of native islanders who don't have old, historic Ocracoke last names -- Teeter, Mutro, Lynn, Brelig, & Ennis come to mind.

  2. Anonymous10:48 AM

    speaking of the gene pool, I once read where the greatest thing that could have happen to Ocracoke was the influx of a new clean gene pool. Ocracoke was just a hop skip and jump from becoming a island of inbreeding much like the horses are on the verge of doing without some outside action. You can see the same facial traits in a lot of those people. There is nothing wrong with that, but there is a common trait or likeness to many old families on the island. Good strong stock.