"By the early 20th century Ocracoke's fish houses were major suppliers to such east coast fish markets as the Fulton Fish Market in New York City, bringing considerable revenue to the island. During the first two decades of the 20th century prosperous merchants such as Amasa Fulcher, who operated a store on Cockle Creek [Silver Lake Harbor], and freight boat captains such as Isaac O'Neal had substantial houses constructed."
Although most people think of Ocracoke as a traditional fishing and seafaring community, many islanders were entrepreneurs and/or were closely aligned with off-island merchants, especially those in Virginia, Maryland, and New York. Even the island's 18th century European residents settled here to work as pilots guiding merchant vessels through Ocracoke Inlet and across the Sound to markets on the mainland.
This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is about earthquakes that have affected Ocracoke and the Outer Banks. You can read the newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news092116.htm.