- M.L. Cummings, Evangelist, visited Ocracoke in the 1920s. He held meetings in a large grassy area near what is now called Creek Road, close to Suzie's hair studio. He sold a 32 page booklet, Avenues Leading to Crime, and Blackie of the North Woods, His Life and Conversion, for 25 cents. The chapbook, which told of a life of vagrancy, crime, alcohol, drugs, sex, and conversion, relates details of southern jails and chain gangs, and was probably autobiographical. From what I can gather, he attracted quite a crowd with his stories.
- Traveling salesmen occasionally found their way to Ocracoke. Older folks remember one who carried a leather satchel on his back from which he sold bed spreads, pillow cases, and other sundries. He also brought news from the mainland.
- In the nineteenth century an itinerant photographer went from house to house making photos of islanders in their parlors. (I wonder, could this be who took the photograph of my grandparents that hangs in my living room?)
- The old Toothbrush Man was quite a character who came to the island periodically (you can read his story here).
- The nationally known evangelist Billy Sunday and his song leader Homer Rodheaver held revivals in the old Coast Guard Station about 1913 or 1914.
- My grandfather told of the man with the trained bear who came to Ocracoke (how did he get the bear here??), and made it perform tricks for donations. He must have been quite a sensation!
To read about Philip's new book, Digging up Uncle Evans, History, Ghost Tales, & Stories from Ocracoke Island, please click here.