Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I recently came across an old advertising brochure for Ocracoke. It must have been published in the late 1950s. It lists four fishing & hunting guides, three boats that offer transportation to the island, four general stores, a taxi service, a watchmaker, an appliance store, a repair shop, four hotels, and three tourist homes.

I think it's noteworthy that no gift shops or rental cottages are listed (there weren't any). Nor are there any restaurants, though the hotels and tourist homes offered meals.

Look for more details (in a future blog) about what Ocracoke had to offer a half century ago.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a small photo album with historic pictures, including the aftermath of the 1944 hurricane, the 1921 Ghost Ship of the Outer Banks, the 1935 wreck of the Nomis, the Island Inn, the Methodist Church, and the Wahab Village Hotel. I've added a short paragraph under each photo to help put them in historical perspective. You can see the pictures by clicking here:


  1. Hi Philip...we'd love to see that 1950's brochure...any chance of taking some pix and sharing? I love looking at those things! So full of charm and nostalgia.

    Linda & Tom Borneman

  2. Linda & Tom, Unfortunately, the original was a single mimeographed sheet (I can't remember where I saw it -- probably at the OPS museum library). I made a copy, but it isn't very good. I had to hand letter the portions that were almost unreadable. There are no graphics of any kind...just typing. I will share more of the brochure's text in the next few days.

  3. My husband learned to swim on Silver Lake in Ocracoke when he was 9 years old - given he was born 7/9/47 his family must have been among the first tourists. He said they rode over on a ferry carrying only 4 cars and they were dropped off right on the beach! They stayed in one of the houses facing Silver Lake, to the west of the light house. We'll stop by next month during Ocrafolk School and see if anything on your brochure looks familiar to him!

    Trisha and Gary Davis
    Worthington, Ohio