Tuesday, June 27, 2017

1955 Ferry Proposal

If you enjoyed your ferry ride to Ocracoke, take a look at this editorial from The Coastland Times, Friday, February 4, 1955:


"This is a day and age past the time when there is excuse that one section or community of the state should be heavily penalized before access to neighboring communities and the state at large. To long permit any situation of this sort reduces the terminology to 'rank discrimination.' Fortunately, in recent years there has been a marked eagerness of the State Highway authorities to do things to help the small communities. Here is an example where speedy action can render a great service where greatly needed.

"Capt. Frazier Peele of Hatteras has established an automobile ferry which crosses to Ocracoke Island on regular schedule about three times a day, and which goes at other times on call for an additional fee. The normal fee is $5 per car; the special trips cost $7. He has built a good new boat for this work, but soon it will be outgrown. The venture of Captain Peele has demonstrated its need. In this day and time the cost of a round trip to Ocracoke Island is exorbitant, when we consider that in addition to ferry fare, the motorist must travel some 16 miles of bare sands whereby the skimpy mileage made on a gallon of gas subjects him to paying three times the normal gas tax, plus much additional wear and tear on his car.

"The State can now come to the rescue of Ocracoke Island people at little expense by contracting with Capt. Peele and operating this ferry free of cost to the traveler, as it once did at Oregon Inlet. It could go further, and by stabilizing the road to Hatteras Point, the distance could be shortented (sic) by half, so that the water trip would take only half an hour instead of the present hour by water.

"The State could stake off the best of the road on Ocracoke Island whereby the stranger could more easily find his way down these barren sands. It ought not be a difficult task, if any group of public spirited citizens would take the time to convince the state of the justice of building a road on Ocracoke Island. The time is past, when the large population of this community should longer be subject to the inconvenience which today faces the people of Ocracoke and their visitors.

"We think it would be only a good neighbor gesture, if the officials and civic organizations of Dare County would join hands with the civic club and public spirited citizens of Ocracoke Island in seeking to bring about the deserved and needed improvements. So long as the present situation exists, it stands as a challenge to all worthy citizens to do something about it. So long as it exists it is a reflection on a state which makes broad appeals to tourists, and is bad advertising for a region whose principal sources of income is its growing tourist business."

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a recording of Rex O'Neal telling about the time he fell overboard when he was gigging for flounder. The story was recorded for Coastal Voices, an oral history project about the maritime heritage of the Outer Banks and Down East region of coastal North Carolina. Click here to listen to Rex telling his story: https://carolinacoastalvoices.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/rex-oneal-gigging-flounders-2/

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