Friday, September 08, 2017


In the past I have written about Outer Banks and Ocracoke Island windmills ( One large millstone (along with an accompanying photo) is on display in the yard of the Preservation Museum.

Not long ago a neighbor directed me to these two smaller millstones in the yard of a descendant of one of the island's 19th century millers.

Fish were often carried from Ocracoke to the mainland and traded for corn. Then the corn was ground on the island and sold in the village.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a brief history of Howard's Pub. You can read it here:   


  1. Pretty neat! It looks like the millstones in your photo are made from marl, basically calcium deposits and fossilized shell.
    Most stones I've seen came from other rock materials. I've not seen stones quite like this before.

    I found this statement in wikipedia:
    The type of stone most suitable for making millstones is a siliceous rock called burrstone (or buhrstone), an open-textured, porous but tough, fine-grained sandstone, or a silicified, fossiliferous limestone. In some sandstones, the cement is calcareous.

    1. Mike, come look me up sometime when you are on the island...and I will show you the millstones.

    2. Anonymous9:29 AM

      Windmills --- why doesn't OI have a wind turbine to generate electricity ?? then if the cable from the mainland is severed tourists will not forced to evacuate.

    3. If only a wind turbine were such a simple solution! We don't always have wind...and how many turbines would it require to generate sufficient power? It took three large mobile generators just to provide electricity for permanent residents. One other consideration: wind powered grist mills were abandoned because of too much wind! They were nearly all destroyed in the 1899 hurricane.