Friday, August 17, 2012


Two days ago I wrote about the village of Waves on Hatteras Island. Waves was originally known as South Chicamacomico. North Chicamacomico is the present-day Rodanthe.

Although I have occasionally wondered how Rodanthe got its name, only recently have I done the research. Like Waves, Rodanthe was named by a post office official (in 1874; Waves was named in 1939). The village (pronounced Roe-DAN-thee) is also a traditional Greek girl's name (pronounced Roe-DAANTH, meaning "rose bud"). No one seems to know which official decided on Rodanthe, or why. This may forever remain a mystery.

Rodanthe is one of a very few US communities that continue to celebrate Old Christmas. Pope Gregory introduced the Gregorian calendar in 1582. England and the American colonies did not adopt the new calendar until 1752. Many residents of the Outer Banks resisted the change. One Ocracoke Island family continued to celebrate Old Christmas (January 5) into the twentieth century. The village of Rodanthe celebrates Old Christmas even now. Perhaps I will write a blog post about the celebration in December.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Hurricane House and the Hurricane Boards. You can read it here:


  1. Debbie Leonard6:16 AM

    I'd really like to hear about their Old Christmas celebration. In the mountains of NC and VA people often celebrate it by having a Breaking Up Christmas party; there is a fiddle tune by that name.

  2. My mother and brothers will be visiting the island Sep 15 - 22. We would visit if you will be around during that time.

  3. Bob, I expect to be on the island the week you will be here. Most weekdays I will be on the Village Craftsmen porch from 1-2. But check the "Let's Chat" sign just to be sure. Some days I may be out clamming, or having fun some other way. Hope to visit with you one day while you are here.

  4. Anonymous7:31 AM

    Thank you for pointing out the role the Postal Service has played in the creative names that dot the maps used when one travels. Maps, do people use maps any more? These days I do need a magnifying glass however, my role as head navigator, riding shotgun as we travel the blue highways --stopping to mail a post card back home and asking for a hand canceled postmark is a must. Get Carded I say Mail a postcard to someone this summer heck just mail a post card once a week to someone on your christmas card list these are special people reach out and card someone -- Please Save the post Office

  5. Anonymous1:43 PM

    Hi Phillip,
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about Waves on Hatteras Island to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you!