Several days ago a reader asked about the WWII ammunition dump on Ocracoke Island.
In 1942 the US Navy built a large facility on the island. It was instrumental in stopping U-boat attacks off the North Carolina coast. In addition to construction of the base (near the Coast Guard station) the Navy paved the first road on Ocracoke. A portion of that road ran from the present-day firehouse, alongside where the Ocracoke Coffee Co. is situated today, to the "T" at the end. Off the "T" the Navy paved short aprons. It was there that they stored ammunition. The road became known as "Ammunition Dump Road." Today it bears the more sanitized, official name, "Sunset Boulevard."
Although the word "dump" suggests spent ammunition, this was an area set aside to store live ammunition. A security gate, with gatehouse, was erected several hundred feet before the "T." A security guard was posted there to keep unauthorized people out. At each apron the Navy built wooden sheds where they stored the ammunition. The sheds were nestled against a sandy ridge, and more sand was banked up around them.
After the war the base and ammunition dump areas were abandoned. Blanche remembers being with friends, and they would climb up the ridge to gain access to the roofs of the ammunition sheds. From that vantage point they could see all the way to the ocean.
Eventually all of the Navy buildings were either dismantled or moved. Today, all that remains is the large round cistern near the NPS Visitors Center...and portions of several other structures at the edge of the village (but that is a story for another post or Newsletter).
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is Lou Ann's story of the Night Blooming Cereus Cactus. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072111.htm.