Sunday, January 12, 2014

Bridge over the Gut

Prior to World War II two small tidal streams flowed from Cockle Creek (later renamed Silver Lake) toward the "bald beach." These streams, or "guts" as they were known by islanders, divided the village into two major areas, Around Creek (including the Community Store, Howard Street, etc.) and Down Point (from the southern side of the Island Inn to the lighthouse and in that general vicinity).

Several primitive wooden bridges spanned the guts. I discovered this never-before-published photo after my father died. It was probably taken in the 1930s.

From left to right (back to front), to the best of my knowledge: Juliana Guth (my mother's mother), Kunigunde Guth Howard (my mother), Helena Guth Webster (my mother's sister), Lawton Howard (my father), and an unknown man.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1921 letter written by a former slave, Harrison Williams, to Ocracoke native, Martha Ann Howard Wahab. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous10:20 AM

    Unless people print their digital images for posterity and store them properly.... There is nothing like a black and white photograph from long ago to document life, everyday life in your hometown to day, captured image by image on a phone to be lost stolen or broken is worthless to some extent unless the technology doesn't change to access the files in 2054 --- and then would some bother. I suppose some forward thinking group is amassing a system to preserve and protect what means of accessing the files and or the internet.of today; perhaps so ,perhaps not. Actually, what I meant to comment on was...As a child growing up in Miami, visiting the beach weekly , did not cause me to ponder the names of the beach Haulover hmm Haul over Haul what over,?? the catch of the day your boats?? I suppose when the bridge was built over the channel, Government Cut , I think it was cut not gut anyway, your charming essay brought both these curious thoughts to my mind. DD

  2. Anonymous9:45 AM

    Philip - Thanks for this great photo of one of the bridges over the guts, with the bonus of your mother's family pictured. Those bridges hold strong memories from my childhood. I went barefoot all the time (as did everyone else, adults as well as children), except on Sundays when I had to wear shoes to church. Walking home after church, I had to keep the shoes on until we got to the first bridge, when I could get back to bare feet. Wonderful memory of that bridge.
    Bobby Rondthaler

    1. Bobby, Happy to help bring back fond memories. Thanks for sharing.