Hurricane Maria's winds and tides are moving out to sea. Today's post is about another storm, the 1846 hurricane that opened Hatteras and Oregon Inlets.
All of the inlets along the Outer Banks are periodically changing...all but one, that is. Ocracoke Inlet has been continuously open since Europeans began keeping records.
Before 1764 Ocracoke and Hatteras islands were separated by Old Hatteras Inlet, about 8 miles northeast of Ocracoke village (about 2 miles northeast of the pony pen).
Old Hatteras Inlet closed in 1764, thereby joining Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, making it possible to travel by foot or pony cart between the settlements. On September 7, 1846, a violent hurricane opened the present Hatteras Inlet, again separating Ocracoke and Hatteras. This almost doubled the length of Ocracoke, which is today about 16 miles long.
Local island lore reports that in 1846 Caroline Williams Howard walked from Hatteras to Ocracoke "on dry foot." She was carrying her stepson Robert (1845-1878), and is believed to be the last person to walk across what is now Hatteras Inlet.
This month's Ocracoke Newsletter highlights several noteworthy
staircases in historic island homes. To read the newsletter, and see
photos, click here: www.villagecraftsmen.com/news092117.html.