Friday, March 23, 2012

Theodore & Alice Rondthaler

Theodore and Alice Rondthaler purchased a house on Ocracoke on their first visit to the island in the mid-1930s. It was love at first sight. In 1948 Theodore accepted the position of principal at the Ocracoke School. Alice was hired as one of the teachers. Their tenure at the school lasted 14 years; their love affair with the island lasted for the rest of their lives as they continued to be active participants in the life of this community.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Rondthalers of Ocracoke Island. You can read it here:


  1. debbie s.11:53 AM

    I loved this months newsletter, Philip. Thank you.

  2. Anonymous1:54 PM

    I googled Mr. Rondthaler's name class of 1923 Princeton and a 5-cent copy of the school newspaper appeared like magic on my computer screen. What a blast to read the copy he would have read and maybe even saved.

  3. Anonymous3:36 PM

    Thanks for putting the picture in there with Sigma. I enjoyed seeing that of him at such a young age. David

  4. Anonymous3:50 PM

    Very interesting usual. I was not aware there was no hotel on OI in the 30s. Can you tell us about the very 1st inn? Thanks for all your time. You never disappoint.---DC

  5. The Island Inn building was constructed in 1901, but not converted to a hotel until after WWII. Blackbeard's Lodge was built as Ocracoke's first hotel in the late 1930s.

  6. Anonymous7:26 PM

    As I said, you never disappoint. I was under the impression that the Island Inn was always a hotel. Thanks for clearing that up .---DC

  7. The center section of the "Island Inn" was originally built as the Odd Fellows Lodge (upper floor) and schoolhouse (ground floor). In 1917 it was sold as a private residence. Later, Stanley Wahab bought it and turned it into a coffee shop and ice cream parlor. During WWII the upper floor was an officers' lounge, called the Crow's Nest. After the war it was converted to a hotel.

  8. Anonymous9:05 PM

    THANKS for this month's newsletter. As someone that stays a week each fall in the old Rondthaler home, I've always enjoyed learning about their lives on Ocracoke. Hope you've sent a link to their family members. Have a GREAT summer see you in the fall.

  9. Debbie Leonard7:54 AM

    What a wonderful story! Thank you.

  10. Anonymous9:13 AM

    One other note about the Island Inn - the square dances. After WWII, the one-story extension on the right was a room big enough for the weekly Saturday night square dances. Fishing/shrimping boats from Atlantic, Harkers and other mainland villages would "put in" at Ocracoke Saturday noon, providing men and boys for the dances. That was a wonderful time to be on Ocracoke.

  11. Correction: My neighbor Al pointed out this morning that Blackbeard's Lodge (originally the Wahab Village Hotel) was not the island's first hotel. Somehow I forgot about the Ponzer Hotel which sat where the Coast Guard Station/NCCAT building is now, from 1885-1900. It was 2 1/2 stories tall, built in the shape of a cross, and included a large dining hall. It burned down in 1900.