Thursday, April 23, 2009

Another Old Photo

Below is a photo of the mailboat Aleta. This is how folks traveled back and forth between the mainland and Ocracoke Island when I was a small boy. The first state-operated ferries didn't begin operation until the late 1950s.

Notice how low the Aleta sat in the water, and how folks are crowded on the upper deck and at the stern (sitting on fish boxes and luggage). There were two wooden benches under the canopy where you could get out of the sun (or rain). Hardly anyone wanted to be inside the cabin in the summer.

The trip took about 4 - 4 1/2 hours to cross Pamlico Sound. What a wonderful adventure it was!

Thanks to Blanche for the photo (click on the photo to view a larger image).

In our latest Ocracoke Newsletter I share information about our many local cemeteries, with examples of some of our more interesting epitaphs. You can read it here.

To read about Philip's new book, Digging up Uncle Evans, History, Ghost Tales, & Stories from Ocracoke Island, please click here.


  1. Anonymous5:41 PM

    The Letter Carrier

    There was a time when a letter sent
    traveled by rail, car or boat.
    It happened this way each and every day to places rather remote.

    Now Instead of a pony named macaroni
    you click with a mouse
    from house to house and then your message is sent.

    Where are the pictures of favorite mice and what if you ink jet is dry?

    Save the tradition
    of a letter on expedition
    from far away climes
    with a post mark divine
    be it Paris or London or Hawaii
    It would be a disservice
    to say good Bye
    to the men and women in blue of the Postal Service.
    send a letter to day or a package its true,

    It is up to you.
    Help, please save Ben Franklin's
    goal of letters delivered daily. Write to President Obama
    tell him whats on your mind
    a sack of mail

    A letter by hand makes an e-mail pale
    in comparison

  2. Anonymous12:06 PM

    Philip, this may sound silly in every sense of the word, but I wanted to go back to your 4/23/09 blog even though today is 8/19/10 and post a comment. You see, 4/23/09 is the day my dear husband, Scott, died after "living with progressive Multiple Sclerosis" for 24 years of our 27 years, 5 days of being married. He was only 54 years old.

    We would visit Ocracoke several times through the years via the Swan Quarter ferry until Scott became completely bedridden & paralized in a hospital bed, here at home.

    We visited multiple times in The Village Craftsmen. Your son eventually had a book store inside one wing of the building and we would usually see you both there. You were always very gracious to us.

    Scott would either be riding in a motorized scooter or later, in a motorized wheelchair. Thanks to the handsome ramp you built onto the shop, getting inside the shop was a breeze!

    Last year, in October, I found you enjoying a pleasant autumn afternoon sitting in a rocking chair on The Community Store porch. You graciously invited me to sit and we chatted for 15 minutes or so. I will always remember that day and I thank you for letting me share my memories with you.

    Scott and I adored Ocracoke. A little of Scott is there in special places and my heart is there, as well.

    Thank you for listening from a NC mainlander.