Thursday, January 12, 2017

Wreck Master

In the nineteenth century and early twentieth century the federal government appointed wreck masters in coastal communities. These individuals were empowered to take charge of cargo and other goods thrown on shore after a shipwreck.

Carol Cronk Cole Collection, Outer Banks History Center

Of course Ocracokers and other Outer Bankers often snatched up whatever they could manage to salvage before the official wreck master could gather the items together and protect them from looters. Once collected, the wreck master contacted the shipping agent who arranged for a vendue, or auction. The vendue (an old French word) was the occasion for much excitement in coastal areas. Residents and visitors would gather around for the entertainment as much as for the opportunity to purchase items at bargain prices.

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

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:40 AM

    Man oh man! what a great time to live on the OBX. Free stuff, do the OI hustle. Find me a barrel of goods. Yes sir. I feel the electricity in the air. Roll out the Barrel we'll have a barrel of fun. I saw in a magazine some guy bought at an auction a barrel and it was filled with beautiful Damask Table cloths. Of course the article was about beautiful Damask table cloths, Vintage colorful Damask table cloths found in a barrel at an auction. Man oh man! I wonder what was in those barrels, tea cups maybe. I wonder if things were purposefully shipped in barrels as they would float . right, they all would float? would some sink??