Thursday, September 18, 2014

Lorena, Ira & Elsie

I recently received a copy of this photograph, taken about 1896. Seated is Lorena Howard Wyche, and two of her three children, Ira Thomas and Elsie Marvin.

Ira's grand-daughter, Liz Williamson, sent me the picture. It was taken shortly before Lorena died. She was only 31 years old. Elsie continued to live on Ocracoke the rest of her life. Ira went to West Point, and served in WWII as a two-star General.

You can read General Wyche's story here:


Coming right up -- International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Click on the logo below for more information:

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of late 19th century steamship traffic to Ocracoke, and the large Victorian hotel that accommodated the guests. You can read the article here:


  1. Love seeing the old pictures!

  2. Anonymous8:35 AM

    From what I have read in old newspaper reports, ship wrecks continued despite the OI light house. Soon after the Life Saving Service developed. After the hurricane opened up Hatteras Inlet, ships no longer sailed the treacherous shoal near OI. Now these events, Hatteras Inlet a deeper harbor overnight, less ship wrecks were contributing factors to the economic decline of OI. Then came the Duck Hunting industry and a porpoise factory. A porpoise factory!! The hunting of porpoise necessitated a factory!! Though it was on Hatteras Island , PH do you have any knowledge of this factory????

    1. Although I don't know as much about Hatteras as I know about Ocracoke, I do know there was a porpoise processing industry there. I believe the term "factory" simply means "the seat of some kind of production." I am not aware of any machinery being used there. I will do more research. Look for a future monthly Newsletter about the porpoise fishing industry on the Outer Banks.