Monday, January 09, 2017

House Moving

Many a building on Ocracoke has been moved -- the Island Inn, Sorella's Pizza & Pasta (formerly the Ocracoke Pizza Co.), the old Assembly of God Church, Coyote Music Den, the Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum, the Ocracoke Oyster Company, Down Point Decoys, other businesses, and numerous private homes.

In her book, A Blessed Life, Della Gaskill (b. 1937) describes moving an island home many years ago:

"When my grandmama and my grandfather, Papa Cas [Richard Caswell Williams (1884-1959)] and Zilphia [Zilphia Gray Styron (1886-1966)], were going to get married, my grandfather built a house around the other side of the Island by what we call the Creek (Silver Lake Harbor.) The house was built around where Chris and Mabel Gaskill lived [near British Cemetery Road]. After my Papa built the house they were getting ready to get married and my grandmama told him that she weren't going around the Creek to live, so my grandfather had a boat, and he had to take that house down piece by piece and bring it around the shore side in back of my mama's house and bring it piece by piece down where the old home place stands now... I guess there probably were men that helped him take it down and move it by boat until they got it all down there where they built it on the land where it sits today, the old home place [near the Assembly of God church]."

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is Capt. Rob Temple's poem, "A Pirate's Christmas." You can read it hear:


  1. Missed the journal
    Hope your Christmas was happy
    Looking forward to a new year filled with more interesting island tales

  2. Anonymous1:55 PM

    Yet another remarkable tale. Living on the mainland, with two Home Depot stores, each about two miles away in opposite directions from our home, and with a Lowe's about three miles away in a third direction, I've more than once considered the realities of do-it-yourself projects on Ocracoke without a "big box" home store within a 20-minute round trip of one's project. The thought of disassembling an entire home and then hauling it piece-by-piece--BY BOAT--for reassembling on a new site adds a whole new dimension of respect for the fortitude and gumption of the folks who've gone before you on the island--and REALLY roughed it. As always, thanks for sharing.

  3. Anonymous3:19 PM

    Happy New Year! As others have said, we missed the journal during your holiday break. Glad to have you back around the blog. Hope you have a great start to 2017!

  4. Anonymous10:42 PM

    Is the navigator app unavailable thru Safari? Does the navigator feature the house moved piece by piece? My version of safari could not open the page.

    1. I do not know the answer to the Safari question, but I will forward your question to Stefen, who created Check back later for his reply. The house mentioned above was moved in the early 20th century. There is no video or photographic documentation of the move.

    2. Ocracoke Navigator does work in Safari. I just loaded it on a Mac to make sure everything was working correctly. just enter in the Safari address bar.

    3. Anonymous9:16 AM

      Thank you for the follow-up response. My question regarding the house was --is it standing today-- is there an image of it on the app. I was wondering how monumental a task it would have been back then vs today to do such a thing.

    4. There is no photo of the house on OcracokeNavigator, but I will find one or take one. Please check back regularly.

    5. Look for more information and a photo of the Caswell & Zilphia Williams house on our blog, Tuesday, January 17, 2017.


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