Friday, February 24, 2017

Ocracoke in the 1930s

In the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration published a series of books designed to document our country's history and culture. The Federal Writers’ Project collaborated to produce The WPA Guide to North Carolina: The Tar Heel State. This is what was written about Ocracoke:

"Ocracoke...on the north side of Ocracoke Inlet is a fishing village settled in the 17th century. Islanders in precarious houses, coast guardsmen, and sportsmen live peaceably here although there is no civil officer of the law. At the boat landing is a hotel, a frame structure built around three sides of a sandy courtyard. Infrequent hurricanes, hardly one in a decade, strike with great force. The village was inundated in the storm of 1933."

The Pamlico Inn, ca. 1938

The Pamlico Inn, referred to above, was destroyed beyond repair in the 1944 hurricane.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Electrification of Ocracoke Island. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous8:55 AM

    The works progress administration WPA was a program designed to restory dignity to the folks devastated by the depression. Granted this example is one that hired skilled writers photographers and artists many writers became famous with the jump start from the WPA - as Zora Neale Hurston collected folk stories as in stories of the folk in a depressed area. as she was an anthropologist- much of her work that I am familiar with is related to Florida. Anyway Better get your hands on some of this history/facts of the past before someone decides to change it and offer alternative facts. If we remove the yardstick in which we measure change and progress the AmeriKa of tomorrow will suffer an alternative reality of invention.

    1. Anonymous9:42 AM

      "Alternative facts" are nothing new...some people have just recently had their eyes opened. Truth be known, I would bet there are plenty of "alternative facts" scattered about those old WPA books too. No doubt they are mostly accurate, but if you've ever been involved with a story that ended up in the newspaper, it's amazing how many things they get wrong...

    2. Anonymous8:01 AM

      You have a point, during FDR's administration how many knew the truth about his life. In hindsight was he the right guy for the job or did everyone know Eleanor was running the show to a great deal? The press was a different animal back then, maybe they knew/judged/editorialized/ the average person would have been too judgemental and never accepted the fact he needed help walking? Or did the press not give the public a chance to become a more emphatic caring group that worked together and , wait I forgot, this is a capitalistic economy and the bottom line is the Bottom line and caring is sharing profit. As a consumer based economy this country is about selling and not just living. Utilize what you have been given. Let's put the Service back into the Public service sector. Service above self. Now what's this Tar Heel moniker all about. Does it have something to do with missing the spitoon?

  2. Anonymous10:17 AM

    That goes for some of the statements submitted to this site. At least Philip does his homework. Keep it up Philip...always interesting facts here. Daily reader.