Monday, May 08, 2017

Diamond City

About 45 miles SW of Ocracoke (as the sea gull flies) lay the small settlement called Diamond City.  Several hundred people lived there, on the eastern end of Shackleford Banks.  Although people of European descent had acquired the spit of sand as early as 1723, it wasn't until about 1885 that the settlement acquired its name. Shore-based whaling had become the primary industry there, and by 1899 about 500 people called Diamond City home.

Cutting up a Dead Whale

It was in August of that year that the powerful San Ciriaco hurricane struck with a vengeance, causing widespread destruction. When the storm was over, most of the islanders began moving away. The last of the residents had left by 1902, most having relocated to Harkers Island, Salter Path and Morehead City.

The following report is extracted from The Beaufort [NC] News, September 29, 1938:

“Diamond City today is nothing but sand dunes. All of the houses are gone. Occasionally when the winds or tides sweep across the sands the bleached bones of many of our earlier citizens are exposed to view.

 “Those bones which are lifeless and the goats which are owned by Uncle Coochy Chadwick, which are everything but lifeless, plus the sea-gulls are all that one finds where…Diamond City the whaling town was once, before it was destroyed by a storm or just abandoned by people who preferred to move to Beaufort or Harkers Island.”

Click here for an excellent history of Diamond City.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the entertaining story of Calvin Wilkerson and his Condomed Nautilus. You can read it here:

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