Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Community Store

A number of people have been asking about the Community Store. Many of our readers know that the store has been closed since spring. According to the Ocracoke Foundation's July, 2012 Newsletter, "since 2008 [the Foundation] has been working with the Trust for Public Land and the Senseney Family on a way to preserve and protect...the Community Square."

In 2010 the Foundation began negotiations with the Hutcherson family to include the Zini and Lola Williams house (across the street) in the project.

The Foundation's goal is to purchase these properties, honor existing leases, locate a tenant for the Community Store, and renovate and improve the properties and the site. Several new possibilities may include adding improved public restrooms, a dedicated boat pump out, and a community kitchen. Other goals include providing long term working waterfront access, open availability for public use, a model for improved environmental practices, and a space for community events.

Money, of course, is an issue. According to the Foundation's Newsletter, "the recent North Carolina legislative cut in funds which historically were available for communities such as ours will make the effort to purchase complex."

There is wide public support for the Foundation's efforts to save this important Ocracoke property from development. You can read about the project at http://www.ocracokefoundation.org/. Click on "Preserving a Piece of our Waterfront" for more information.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Hurricane House and the Hurricane Boards. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072112.htm


  1. Anonymous10:00 AM

    why don't they start a face book page to raise money the easy 21st century way?. How many times have I watched the evening news to hear of some fantastic sums of money generated by a page of this sort designed to inform and raise money for a purpose dear to the hearts of those donaing and supporting the effort.

  2. Anonymous7:28 PM

    Not a bad idea, Anon 10 a.m.....

    If NC Mainlander here had the funds, I would have purchased the Community Store and retain the rustic charm that is so iconic to the property. I have such fond memories of this unique store including visiting it with my late husband for as long as he could travel on the island. Scott had MS & in the 80's and 90's, after dinner, I would walk along side Scott as he manuvered his scooter. Before the days of cell phones, we would stop at the enclosed phone booth, located just under a tree beside the store, and call our parents on the mainland to let them know we were having a fantastic vacation and give updates on Scott's health.

    When I returned to Ocracoke Island in October of 2009, just a few months after Scott died, I found myself drawn to the Community Store. One Indian Summer afternoon, Philip and another fellow were talking and rocking their cares away on that friendly front porch. I was invited to join them. I'll never forget it, Philip!

    As I write, I'm looking at a fantastic colorfully embossed Community Store business card which I am so thankful I picked up before the store closed. Perhaps you've seen it, but if not, please indulge me to share the pictures on it. The card features a white background with a quaint pot-belly stove, a drawing of the store itself and the famous front porch, an orange cat, a grocery bag with fresh veggies and the Ocracoke lighthouse. I wouldn't take a million dollars for this little business card now. What a marvelous and sentimental keepsake.

    Oh, I do hope that the Community Store will one day be opened again. I am thankful that my husband and I always supported the Community Store every time we were blessed to be on that island. It was a destination to us.

    It's like an old, dear friend to me....

  3. From the latest "news on the street" it sounds like there is a very good chance that the Community Store will reopen sometime this fall. We are hoping so.

  4. Anonymous9:05 AM

    NC Mainlander is excited to hear this news, Philip! Please keep us posted. Maybe one day I'll catch you enjoying another Indian summer afternoon sitting in a rocking chair on that famous porch again!!!

    Another example of "the best things in life are free". :)