Saturday, January 16, 2021

The Homeplace

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a short article about the historic Williams-Tolson-Rondthaler House, known by the present owners (the Rondthalers) simply as "The Homeplace."








Although this house was damaged by flooding during Hurricane Dorian, the Rondthaler family is having it rehabilitated to historic standards. It is one of the oldest houses on the island, probably dating to before the Civil War. It is constructed, in part, from timbers salvaged from a sailing ship, and includes the island's only surviving nine-over-six window sashes. 

You can read about this historic house here:

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Ocracoke - Washington Freighters

Friends from Washington, NC, recently sent me a digital copy of the Newsletter of the Historic Port of Washington Project. One interesting article was "The Ocracoke – Washington Freighters: The Last of an Era of Maritime Commerce" by Blount Rumley. 

Rumley recounts a number of vessels, bug-eye sailboats and diesel-powered vessels, that plied Pamlico Sound until the mid-twentieth century carrying freight, animals, and passengers, as well as seafood, back and forth between Washington and Ocracoke. 





Those days are gone now, but you can read about them in Blount Rumley's article which he permitted us to reprint in our latest Ocracoke Newsletter. You can read the article here:

Monday, November 16, 2020

Things You Won't or Will Find on Ocracoke

Carl Goerch's 1956 book, Ocracoke, includes a chapter with a list of things you wouldn't find on Ocracoke in the mid-20th century. Of course, there have been changes. We now have a few of those things Goerch mentioned. Interestingly, however, we have had over the years several other things you might find movie theaters, a railway, a skating rink, and windmills!

We have just published our latest Ocracoke Newsletter with lists of those things you won't or will or at one time would have found on Ocracoke. You can read it here:

Although we have not allowed comments in recent months (it was getting too time-consuming to delete all the spam comments) we are allowing comments until the end of November, 2020, if you would like to add any other items to our lists. We would love to hear from you. 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

The Wreck of the Sarah D. J. Rawson

One of the most remarkable rescues performed in the 44-year history of the United States Life-Saving Service occurred in February, 1905, at Cape Lookout, North Carolina.

Surfboat Launch 

Sick with the flu, nine surfmen at the Cape Lookout station rowed 18 miles in an open boat and endured bitter cold for twenty-eight hours to rescue six mariners from the schooner Sarah D. J. Rawson

You can read the story in our latest Ocracoke Newsletter:

Monday, September 07, 2020

Howard Street through Time

As much as some things change, other things stay the same or change very little. Ocracoke's historic Howard Street, one of the iconic and enduring features of Ocracoke Island, has captured the attention of photographers for decades. These images below document Howard Street's appeal for residents and visitors alike. 

The image below appeared on a vintage postcard from the 1950s:

This photo was on a postcard in the 1960s:


This image of the eastern end of Howard Street is from the late 1960s:

The following photo was taken in spring 2020 by Shane Claridge, a first-time visitor to the island from Canada:











There have obviously been a few changes, but the primitive beauty of Howard Street remains. Be sure to take a stroll down this lane whenever you are on the island.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The Concrete Turtle

We have just posted another Ocracoke Newsletter article, this time a story about how islanders coped before we had official street names. It is called "The Concrete Turtle."

We hope you find the story amusing. You can read it here:


Saturday, July 18, 2020

House Raising and Moving on Ocracoke

If you've visited the Village Craftsmen in the last few days you surely have noticed that Amy & David's house is being remodeled and elevated. As I was walking around the site I noticed that 36 "C" clamps are supporting the entire weight of the house. I was amazed, so I talked to the house mover. He explained exactly how and why that could be.

David Tweedie's & Amy Howard's House

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter includes a few words about the history of moving and elevating houses on the island, more photos of Amy and David's house, and an explanation of how 36 clamps can support the weight of the house.

You can read the Newsletter here: