Thurston Gaskill (1902-2000) remembered "The Big Freeze of 1917." In David Shears' 1989 book, Ocracoke, Its History and People, Thurston recalls that winter:
"You could walk on the ice of Pamlico Sound. You didn't try to walk all the way across because it was anybody's guess as to how thick it froze. I've no doubt that you can't solidly freeze a body of water as close to Ocraocke Inlet as we were located, at our hunting camp on little Beacon Island about three miles west of Ocracoke. One could look out and see not just a flat sheet of ice but real mounds where the ice had skidded on top. My father and I and our companion named Bill Williams spent 21` days at the camp. For heating we just had our regular supplies for the plain wood stove. Wood was all we'd got. We had no radios in those days so we just sat it out."
For more about the Big Freeze of 1917, read our 2014 post: The Winter of 1917-1918.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the
water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.