Wednesday, September 10, 2014



Can accommodate ten guests. Terms per day 75c; per week $4.00.
MRS. MARY FULCHER, Proprietress

So read the advertisement in the August 4, 1891 issue of the Washington, NC Progress.

Mary Gaskins Fulcher was married to William Henry Fulcher. Their son, Frank Treat Fulcher, a sailor & preacher, was a colorful island character. You can read about Frank Treat here:

Mary Fulcher's great-great grandsons, Rudy & Donald Austin, operate Portsmouth Island Boat Tours

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of late 19th century steamship traffic to Ocracoke, and the large Victorian hotel that accommodated the guests. You can read the article here:


  1. Kevin2:03 PM

    Frank Treat Fulcher had a different recollection of the Ponzer Hotel's fate (and even its name):

    " I quit the agency to run a ferry form the terminal – two miles out in the Pamlico Sound – to their hotel “Ponder” run by George Credles of Hyde County. A very good thing until a hurricane in August 1899, known as the “August Storm” swept the whole building away."

    I think I like the goose fat version better.

    1. Kevin, I think the official name of the Hotel was Ponder...but Ocracokers always called it the Ponzer Hotel (Ocracokers also always grew "high geraniums" not hydrangeas! And they ate turkle soup, not turtle soup.)

      The old August storm of 1899 did considerable damage to the hotel, but it did not "sweep the whole building away." The hotel burned when the goose fat ran out of the pot.