Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Globe & the Hattie Creef

Island native, Blanche Howard Jolliff (born 1919), remembers several fish houses on the western side of Cockle Creek (Silver Lake Harbor) when she was a child. One of them was operated by the Globe Fish Company, based in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

According to a 1915 book by Clarence E. Weaver, Elizabeth City: Rich in Natural Beauty, Unsurpassed in Location, Unlimited in Resources, Manufacturing, Lumbering, Trucking and Fishing Center, Globe Fish Company was “engaged very extensively in the wholesale handling of [delicious sea foods of all kinds].”

Globe Fish Company was organized in May, 1911, and grew rapidly. By 1915 Globe was operating the largest wholesale fish line in eastern North Carolina, shipping fish as far south as Florida, and to various northern and western cities. Globe operated several large boats, among them the Guide, the Pampano, the White Wing, the Robena, and the Hattie Creef*.

Their boats sailed regularly to Ocracoke, bringing ice to the island, and transporting fish to facilities in Elizabeth City. Globe Fish Company was owned by the Daniels family. In 1978 Royden and Buck Daniels retired and closed their business. Jennette Fruit & Produce Company, a nearby company in Elizabeth City’s historic mercantile district, purchased the Globe Fish Company property.

*The Hattie Creef was a 55-foot Carolina sharpie built in 1888 by Roanoke Island native, George Washington Creef, as an oyster dredge boat. Built from lumber salvaged from a shipwreck, and named for his daughter, the Hattie Creef was later used as a passenger boat, a mail boat, a freight boat, and a tug boat. In 1900 Orville and Wilbur Wright booked their first passage to Kitty Hawk aboard the Hattie Creef. The fare was $1.25 each. The Wright brothers were regular commuters on the Hattie Creef for a number of years.

There is more information about the Hattie Creef, and photos, here: http://www.jennettebrothers.com/hattiecreef.aspx.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article by island resident, Crystal Canterbury, about her very first visit to Portsmouth Village, on the last day of 2014. You can read Part I here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042115.htm.


  1. Wesley10:44 AM

    Can you provide some more info about your sources for the Wright Brothers having traveled on the Hattie Creef? After a quick search, I'm seeing evidence that they did so in 1908 and 1911, but no evidence of the 1900-1903 trips. The 1900 trip seems to have been well documented and I'm seeing the name of the vessel as the Curlique - http://www.wright-brothers.org/History_Wing/Wright_Story/Inventing_the_Airplane/Off_on_Adventure/Curlique_Voyage.htm I'm sure they found someone else to travel with on subsequent visits!

    I'm always interested in Wright Brothers history...this is certainly another interesting note in that story.

    1. I got that information from the "San Bernadino County Sun," 2 April, 1978. Here is the URL: http://www.newspapers.com/image/59197606/

  2. Replies
    1. Anonymous6:20 PM

      Hi Philip,
      I was told last week by Charles Wescott, a 96 year old Wancheser, that Bannister Davis was the Capt of the Hattie Creef at one time. I am a descendant of Bannister Davis and would like to know if he was the Capt when the Wright Brothers came from Elizabeth City with their equipment. Can you help?
      Lou Ellen Daniels Quinn
      (your Howard cousin)

    2. Lou Ellen, I wish I could help, but I have no idea who the captain of the Hattie Creef was. That information must be out there on the web or in books somewhere. Good luck with your search!