Monday, June 17, 2013

She Hath Done What She Could

Ann Mariah Styron Bragg (1847-1917) is buried "Down Point" near the Soundfront Inn. Her marker reads "She hath done what she could." She and her husband, Capt. Samuel Dudley Bragg, Sr., had 7 children.

In 1892 Samuel Dudley Bragg, Jr. (1870-1892) and his brother Maltby (1877-1892) were on the mainland, having just sold a catch of fish. As they were getting ready to sail back to Ocracoke the weather began deteriorating. They were advised not to attempt to cross the sound in such weather, but they insisted, saying they knew the waters and they would be OK. They cast off and were never heard from again.

Grave Stone for Maltby, Samuel Jr. & May Belle Bragg

 In 1902 a schooner captain brought his vessel to an Ocracoke anchorage because his ship was leaking. Not being able to make the repair, he left his vessel at Ocracoke under the care of Capt. Dudley Bragg, Sr. After Bragg finished the caulking a tug arrived to tow the schooner to Norfolk. Capt. Bragg and his son, James, accompanied the schooner. After rounding Cape Hatteras they encountered high winds and rough seas. The captain and crew of the tug feared that the heavy seas and strong wind would pull the bowsprit out of the schooner, so they decide to "cut her loose." The schooner disappeared in the storm and sank.

Lost at Sea
J.M. Bragg
"And the Sea gave up the Dead which was in it."

Ann Mariah lost two sons in 1892, and another son and her husband in 1902. Her daughter, May Belle, had died in 1885 at 12 years old. Ann Mariah was left with one daughter, Isabella, a son, Hallas, and another son, Gary, who ran the Cedar Grove Inn [later named the Soundfront Inn; now a rental house].

What more could be said? Ann Mariah "hath done what she could." 

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a tribute to a wonderful man who did much for Ocracoke Island, Marvin Wyche Howard (1897-1969). You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous10:12 AM

    What did the sailors use to caulk a repair? What was he composition of caulk?? Is the caulk of today in any way shape or form similar to the caulking material of yesteryear???

    1. Follow this link for lots of information and photos: