Thursday, April 03, 2008

Doxsee Clam Factory

We meet the most interesting people here on Howard Street. Yesterday I was called over to the Village Craftsmen and introduced to John & Margie Doxsee. John's great-grandfather was James Harvey Doxsee from Islip, NY. In the early years of the twentieth century (ca. 1900 - 1920) he moved his prosperous clam factory from New York to Ocracoke. Many islanders (all of whom have since died) worked at Doxsee's, which was located across the "ditch" from the old Coast Guard Station (now the NCCAT campus). The factory, which processed and canned clams and clam juice for a national market, moved to Marco Island, Florida after the operation became unprofitable on Ocracoke.

John's cousin, Bob Doxsee, publishes a web site about the family and their clamming businesses. You can read more here. Unfortunately, although he has photos of the clam factories, he does not have Ocracoke photos. However, the Ocracoke Island facility is clearly visible in the 1917 village panorama. You can see that picture in the Village Craftsmen on your next visit.

Maybe I'll do more research and publish a monthly newsletter about Doxsee's sometime soon.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a reprint of the eulogy given at the funeral service for island native Muzel Bryant who died in February at the age of 103. You can read it here.


  1. The Dorsee's had a child, Henry, age 2 buried in Community Cemetery

    1. Where is this located I'm 6 generation doxsee was wanting to see the sites

  2. Yes....John, Margie, & I were discussing the Doxsee child with my cousin Blanche. He was buried originally near the Harborside Motel (in the Doxsee's yard), then moved sometime in the '40s (if I remember correctly) when the property was sold, then moved again in the late 50s or early 60s, soon after the community cemetery was established.

    Ocracokers have a long tradition of digging up bodies and moving them!