Friday, September 18, 2015

Jackson Dunes

As our second post in a series about names of Ocracoke landmarks (you can read our first post, "Miss Elsie," here) today I share some information about Jackson Dunes. Many of our readers are familiar with this area at the eastern edge of our village. It is a small development of mostly newer homes and rental cottages, although at one time it was mainly populated by one of Ocracoke's first families, namely the Jacksons.

Jackson Dunes is in the lower right corner

Every islander and many visitors know Jimmy Jackson and his son Jamie Jackson, our only commercial auto mechanics. Most weekdays they can be found at "Jimmy's Garage" across the street from the Pony Island Restaurant.

Jimmy Jackson (right) with antique car

The earliest Jackson of record in coastal North Carolina was Issac Jackson, a carpenter and cooper who lived in Bath County. He was born about 1655. Isaac's son Thomas and his wife (name unknown) had two sons, Isaac and Francis.

Francis Jackson was an early pilot at Ocracoke. In 1715 the NC General Assembly passed an act to settle pilots at Ocracoke Inlet. Almost all ships bound for ports on the mainland of North Carolina passed through Ocracoke Inlet, the only Outer Banks inlet that has been continuously open since Europeans began keeping records. Ship captains wanted someone with local knowledge of channels, shoals, and water depths to come aboard as a pilot to navigate their vessel across the bar, and bring it into the deeper waters of Pamlico Sound.

Jimmy and Jamie are direct descendants of Francis Jackson (ca. 1723-1798). Francis Jackson married Susannah Howard, daughter of William Howard, Sr., early owner of Ocracoke Island. Jimmy and Jamie are 9th & 10th generation O'cockers, respectively.

In 1762 William Howard and John Williams sold 100 acres to Francis Jackson and in 1764 an additional 100 acres. At one time Francis Jackson owned several hundred acres of land on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands. At his death he still owned land on Hatteras as well as a large tract on Ocracoke. Francis Jackson left no will, and the court appointed five men to divide the estate among his relatives. This was done, and the transaction was recorded in 1802. Francis Jackson, Jr. added to his share by purchasing one of the other portions. This area is now known as Jackson dunes.

The Ocracoke Jacksons descend from Francis Jackson, Jr. and his wife Sarah, and ultimately from Francis Jackson, Sr. and from William Howard, Sr. through his daughter Susannah.

(Most of the information above came from Ellen Fulcher Cloud's publication, From Whence We Came, the History of the Original Ocracoke Names.)

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of whale and porpoise fishing on  the Outer Banks. You can read the story here:

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