Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ocracoke & Valley Forge

Below is the reverse side of the 1950s era tourist map of Ocracoke village which I published yesterday.

I think the most interesting section is entitled "Ocracoke and Valley Forge." This is a snippet of history mostly overlooked in present-day promotions about Ocracoke.

The brochure reads: "It is a fancy -- one that history does not leave without support -- that Ocracoke helped George Washington win the Revolutionary War. This is because Ocracoke pilots helped make Ocracoke Inlet one of the few against which the British blockade was weak. Powder, shot, salt, and clothing slipped in through Ocracoke, was shipped by wagon north to Washington at Valley forge, thus helping materially to turn the tide of war against the British."

(Click on photo to view a larger image.)

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a modern day ghost story, "Ode to Mrs. Godfrey," by guest columnist Tom McDonald. You can read it here:


  1. I have met Blanche several times and agree with you that she is a local, if not national, treasure. We who read your posts love seeing photos of her. I wonder whether you can share photos of her in her youth?

  2. Anonymous8:47 AM

    From Ocracoke to Valley Forge is about 500 miles. That must have been some exciting (and slow) trip by horse and buggy.

  3. Anonymous8:51 AM

    To your knowledge do any of the women of OI belong to the D.A.R.? Even if not a member, wouldn't anyone descended from most of the original families, then be entitled to be called called Daughters of the American Revolution? Just curious-do you know the names of the pilots who aided the cause?

  4. Julie S.9:24 AM

    Please induldge this dit-dotter's question! The ammunuition dump - was it REALLY a dump for ammo and if so, how did they "secure" it enough to build upon it? Assume the Corp of Eng. had some play in the matter. Didn't know the houses we often rent are sitting on top of it! LOL As usual, love the entertaining and informative history you provide for OI. Keep it coming!

  5. Anonymous12:10 PM

    Good question, Julie S....I'm curious, too!

  6. Anonymous1:38 PM

    Today's map, Philip, begs (at least) two related questions: With availability of modern DNA analysis, are the two unknown British sailors buried on Ocracoke still unknown? And what of the ponies? Any chance similar methods might be used to verify their provenance? I know you're not the keeper of the ponies, but someone down there is, and I'm just curious about whether the issue has ever come up. As always, thanks for indulging such inquiries.

  7. Anonymous2:19 PM

    An ammunition dump is a bit of a misnomer. An ammo dump is where live ammunitions are stored, not a disposal area for ammunition. I doubt there is any ammuntion left in the area on Ocracoke, though one never can be too sure.

  8. For all of our readers who posted questions above -- look for discussions about these issues in forthcoming blog posts. I'll do my best to answer as many as I can.

  9. Anonymous3:41 PM

    We kind of figured you would. That's what makes the Journal so interesting. I guess we are a tad demanding though. Now would probably be a good time to let you know we appreciate your patience & consideration. Philip-you are in a class by yourself!

  10. Anonymous11:02 PM

    I certainly appreciate your patient consideration of our inquiries, Philip. You are a most gracious blog host. Thank you!

  11. Anonymous8:49 AM

    Perhaps, Philip, you can turn the tables one day and ask demanding questions of your curious bloggers!!!!

    In the meantime, this NC mainlander offers many thanks for your patience, your willingness to share your wealth of O.I. knowledge and your willingness to answer our array of neverending questions!

  12. Julie S.2:49 PM

    Thanks Anon - I guess you can tell I'm not very knowledgable about ammo! LOL Always learn something on this wonderful blog. And ditto on the thanks to Phillip

  13. Anonymous4:38 PM

    OK, Howard,now that you know how much you are appreciated-guess ya better get crackin on them answers-LOL- Just one last question...Philip-How do you put up with us?