Friday, November 12, 2004

What a Deal!

Yesterday Cindy posted a question, asking, "I wonder if anybody has record of how much William Howard paid for the island?"

William Howard paid 105 Pounds for Ocracoke. Not a bad deal, I'd say.

There is some question about exactly what he purchased. In 1759 the island was only about eight miles long (inlets come and go over time). Also, "Ocracoke" (the area where the village is located) was apparently a seperate island from the "sandy banks" until late in the 18th century. With rising sea level the banks have migrated toward the west, and have "bumped into" the more stable "inside island" of Ocracoke.

Today, of course, "Ocracoke Island" encompasses the entire 16 mile stretch between Hatteras & Ocracoke Inlets. Interestingly, however, even within my own lifetime the tidal flats and ocean overwash that were common prior to the 1950's (and even into the 1970's) attested to the earlier separation of the village from the banks.

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