Monday, April 30, 2012

Portsmouth Island Homecoming Gallery

Well, I am a day late sharing images of Portsmouth. Had a great time in spite of mist and light rain. It was breezy, also, and that kept most of the mosquitoes at bay. The highlights of the day were chatting with friends (new & old), touring the Henry Pigott house, visiting the Life Saving Station, and enjoying the outstanding potluck dinner on the grounds. Here is a gallery of photos by my friend Jim:

Philip Chatting with Dale in the P.O.

A Typical Bedroom

Kitchen in the Roy Robinson House

A View from the Life Saving Station

Henry Pigott's Living Room

Ranger Dave in Henry's Kitchen (notice the low ceiling)

Exterior of Henry's House

The Methodist Church

A View Across the Marsh

The Road to the Village

The Marsh after a Rain

Ready to Depart

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Project Nutmeg, and how Ocracoke almost became a site for testing nuclear weapons. You can read it here:


  1. As always, nice photos Jim!

  2. debbie s.10:14 AM

    so neat!!

  3. Anonymous10:48 AM

    Enjoyed the photos. How was the turnout? I was wondering if your ancestry has a connection to Portsmouth.

  4. There were between 350 and 400 people at Homecoming. My connection with Portsmouth is that my grandfather, Homer Howard, was stationed at the Life Saving Station/Coast Guard Station from 1913-1917. My father remembered living there (near the schoolhouse) and playing with Cecil Gilgo, when he was a small child.

  5. Anonymous11:37 AM

    It seems somehow...good for the see photos from Portsmouth taken on a gray misty day, with water beading on the window panes.

    My tendency is to romanticize how life must have been, living there day-to-day. But these shots--suggesting simplicity, wind-swept solitude, and proximity/exposure to natural forces like tidal waters and ocean storms--hint at more than just barefoot days filled with island adventures

    Did your dad have any recollections of his days spent living there, Philip?

    And what about that turnout? 350-400 seems HUGE. Is that typical, compared with homecomings in years past?

    As always, thanks for sharing.

  6. Anonymous11:39 AM

    Appreciate your reply--so glad you had a nice time.

  7. Anon 11:37 -- My dad was just six years old when his family moved back home to Ocracoke. The only memories he ever shared about Portsmouth were playing with Cecil Gilgo, and living near the schoolhouse. In later years he couldn't even remember exactly where their house was.

    The turnout for this year's Homecoming was, I think, slightly less than in some recent years. I heard that 25-50 people declined to make the trip because of the weather forecast. But, as you say, it was good to be on the island on a day that reminded us that life on such an isolated spit of sand could be challenging, as well as bucolic.