Thursday, November 19, 2015

E.D. & Clara Springer

Many visitors to Ocracoke are familiar with Springer's Point, the last vestige of a maritime forest situated within Ocracoke village. This is where the earliest European settlers made their homes, and from the shore you can look out over Teach's Hole, where Blackbeard was killed in 1718. At one time several houses, a blacksmith shop, horse stables, docks, warehouses, and even a wind-powered grist mill, were situated on the Point.

But why is this area called Springer's Point? Read below for our latest explanation of one more Ocracoke landmark named after a prominent islander.

In the mid-1700s that area on the southwest edge of the village was called Williams' Point. John Williams had purchased it from William Howard in September, 1759. Later, it was sold back to members of the Howard family, and islanders began calling it Howard's Point. It later passed to Daniel Tolson, a prominent islander who is buried on the Point. 

Before her death in 1883, Daniel Tolson's widow, Sidney McWilliams, sold her land and buildings to E. D. and Clara Springer, from South Creek, North Carolina.

E. D. Springer

Although the Springers enjoyed spending time on Ocracoke they never made this their permanent home. In 1923 the elder Springers sold their property to their son, Wallace. He was the last person to live in the old house on the Point, but only for a short while. Wallace, who never married, continued to stay on Ocracoke for some years. Instead of remaining in the old house, he eventually moved in with Mr. Jamie Styron and other island friends. In 1941 Sam Jones purchased Springer’s Point. Wallace Springer died March 13, 1963.

 Sam Jones died in 1977, and is buried at Springer's Point, next to his horse, Ikey D. 

The Point to this day is still called Springer's Point. It is one of several areas on the island named for people who have been part of our history.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Capt. Horatio Williams and his schooner Paragon. You can read the story here:


  1. Anonymous4:19 PM

    Philip, Looking at a aerial shot of this area it's hard to believe that, "At one time several houses, a blacksmith shop, horse stables, docks, warehouses, and even a wind-powered grist mill, were situated on the Point."

    That's a lot of stuff in such a small space. How many acres, if you know, was the original point area?

    I have walked this area and it's not a big space unless there was a LOT of erosion. I am just curious about this.
    Jerry L.

    1. I don't know the acreage of Springer's Point, either when the earliest pilots settled there, or today, but there is plenty of space in that general area. Today, the NC Coastal Land Trust owns just a portion of the land that the Springers owned, and that section of the island was surely larger in the 1700s. In addition, there has been erosion there. And, I am sure the earliest structures were rather close together.