Saturday, August 21, 2004

Ocracoke Post Office

The Post Office has long been at the center of community life on the island. In the first half of the 20th century, before ferries and paved roads, the mailboat was Ocracoke's primary link to the outside world. The trip across the sound took about 4 hours. Islanders would gather at the mailboat dock in late afternoon waiting for letters, packages, relatives, and news from the mainland. It was the perfect time to visit with neighbors, share stories, and hear what was going on around the village.

The first Post Office was established on Ocracoke on this date in 1840. William H. Howard was appointed postmaster. Today, a modern Post Office is located at the edge of town, not along the harbor as in years past. People come and go throughout the day and the pace is a bit quicker, but the Post Office, with its bulletin board full of notices, is still an important center for news and information.


  1. Anonymous1:50 AM

    I understand Mike Piland was postmaster on Ocracoke in the early 1900s. Know anything about him?

  2. Anonymous9:54 PM

    what has happened to your writing lately. You are leaving us flat. You used to talk about moon light walks and other things that made us want to be there. you sound sad........

  3. Two comments from Philip:

    1.) I do have some information about Mr. Piland. He was the postmaster on the island, as well as a prominent citizen....and there's more! Write me at for more information.

    2.) Don't know what's happened to my writing. If it sounds a little flat sometimes, I guess it's just because, well, maybe it is sometimes. Life has lots of different dimensions. Sometimes I like to write about starlight over the ocean, and sometimes I like to just pass on some island trivia. I'm hoping folks enjoy it all.

  4. Anonymous1:56 AM

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