Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ocracoke & the Law

Yesterday afternoon I spent an hour with teachers who are attending a seminar at the Ocracoke NCCAT (NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching) campus. Their focus was on ethics, the law, and conflict resolution.

I shared with them a few stories about Ocracoke, conflict, and the law.

Did you know that in the 1800s Ocracoke had a designated "Wreck Master" whose job it was to oversee the collection and sale (at a "vendue" or auction) of cargo that washed ashore during shipwrecks? This was to prevent those "lawless [outer] bankers" from rounding up all the goods for themselves.

Or that for a period of 30 years (from the early 1920s until the early 1950s) Ocracoke was known as "the one place in North Carolina without any form of law?"

Or that Ocracoke drivers did not need license plates or driver's licenses until after Hwy 12 was first paved in 1957?

Or that the Hyde County Commissioners, responding to a petition by concerned residents, banned the sale of beer on the island in 1937, four years after Prohibition was repealed?

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a history of the early twentieth century Doxsee Clam Factory in Ocracoke village. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous9:08 AM

    Times have certainly changed!

  2. Anonymous9:13 AM

    Interesting! I think that would be a good subject for a future newsletter-THE LAW ON OCRACOKE THEN & NOW. Whaddya think?

  3. I've already written the Newsletters to be published in the next few months...but maybe I will put together an article on Ocracoke and the law for a future Newsletter.

  4. Anonymous11:44 AM

    Thanks for considering it. I'm sure whatever you come up with will be great.