Friday, August 22, 2008

Post Office & Storm

Many of our readers know that Ocracoke does not have home delivery of mail. Most of us are happy about that. Going to the post office is a social event in this small community. On the bulletin board there we find out about important meetings, items for sale, activities at the churches, & village potlucks. We see messages from folks who are seeking rides to the airport in Norfolk, or addresses of neighbors who are laid up in the hospital. The post office lobby is also the place to stop and chat with friends, and to catch up on the latest island news. It is a long tradition, going back to the days when the daily mailboat pulled up to the dock in the late afternoon. In those days, it seemed, everyone from the village gathered around, not only to get their mail, but to visit and gossip...and to see if any "strangers" had come over from the mainland.

As an interesting historical note, it was on August 21. 1840, one hundred and sixty-eight years ago yesterday, that William H. Howard was appointed the first postmaster on Ocracoke. I believe this was the first post office established on the Outer Banks.

On today's date in 1933 (August 22), a severe storm passed over Ocracoke. Hurricane force winds pummeled the island, and tidewater was knee deep in the village.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is "One Reason to NOT Move to Ocracoke." You can read it here.

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