Friday, June 17, 2016

Leonard Meeker

In a recent blog a reader left this comment: "We first stayed on Ocracoke in 1973 and way back then it seems we noticed a fairly large house with sloped roof almost directly opposite the C. Guard station - on the other side of the channel into the lake. Do you know who built it? Or who lived in it? A long time ago we were told that it was where the mystery writer Mary Ellen Bradford ?? stayed from time to time. We tried to find a Mary Ellen Bradford but it was a dead end. Can you shed any light on any of this?"

I believe the reader is referring to the home of Leonard (1916-2014) and Beverly Meeker, wonderful people who have contributed much to the Ocracoke community. If I remember correctly, the house was built sometime in the 1980s.

Leonard was a remarkable man whose life included a distinguished public service career in government and work with non-profit organizations focusing on social justice law.

2005 Photo by Oliver White
Courtesy Ocracoke Observer

It was always a delight to visit with Leonard and Beverly, either joining other island friends for dinner around their dining room table, or sipping Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and discussing local and world affairs on their screened porch overlooking Pamlico Sound.

I am not familiar with Mary Ellen Bradford. If she ever visited Ocracoke I am not aware of it.

Leonard died at the age of 98 in his home in 2014. Peter Vankevich wrote a detailed obituary in the Ocracoke Observer: Beverly continues to live in the home.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the dramatic story of life-saver Rasmus Midgett and his rescue of the crew of the barkentine Priscilla in August, 1899. You can read it here:  


  1. Anonymous8:16 AM

    Philip thank you for digging into this. Like I said it was a long time ago and I'm glad you found the details. We knew we could count on you to get the facts straight anyway it is a nice house. This is a great blog and we will continue to read it daily thank you Philip. m.burton

  2. A life well lived.

  3. Anonymous11:26 AM

    Should have known that someone totally awesome lived in that cool house! Thanks for sharing his story with us.

    NJ Reader

  4. Anonymous12:33 PM

    Even though anon 8:16 is my brother-in-law and said it all. I wanted to thank you as well. We had a running discussion about this house. You settled it for us. I also agree with him about my daily reading of your blog. Thank you. Steve S.

  5. Philip, this is Hahn again... can you e-mail me at hanrahan at rocketmail dot com, please? Have a few questions I need to ask coming from Calvin and Elizabeth they want to keep on the down-low. Kindly, Hahn.