|Photo by Crystal Canterbury|
Here are a few tidbits of information about Portsmouth (from David Stick's book, The Outer Banks of North Carolina:
- Portsmouth, unlike Ocracoke and other Outer Banks communities, was a planned town.
- Portsmouth town was laid out in half-acre lots, with designated streets.
- Town lots were sold for 20 shillings in the mid-1700s.
- John Tolson purchased the first lot on February 12, 1756 (members of the Tolson family live on Ocracoke to this day).
- Fort Granville was built on Portsmouth. It was garrisoned in 1758.
- On a 1775 map showing the Outer Banks, only one road is depicted. It extended from Portsmouth to Core Banks.
- Population of Portsmouth in 1800 was 246.
- An academy was established on Portsmouth by 1806.
- Population in 1810 was 387.
- In 1836-1837 more than 1,400 vessels passed through Ocracoke Inlet.
- In 1846 the federal government established a marine hospital on Portsmouth.
- In 1866 The Excelsior Oil and Guano Company established a menhaden processing plant on Portsmouth.
- Between 1876 & 1885 a US Weather Bureau Station was located on Portsmouth.
- Portsmouth also had a US Life-Saving/Coast Guard Station from the late 1800s to WWII.
- Population in 1850 was 505.
- Population today is 0.