The Island Inn, one of Ocracoke Island's iconic hotels, is for sale. Built in 1901 as a school house and Odd Fellows Lodge, it was later used as a residence, a WWII officers quarters, a coffee shop, and, most recently, a hotel. The southwest wing was added immediately after the war; the northeast wing, in the 1950s. For many years the Inn included a popular restaurant.
Unfortunately, the building has not been well maintained, and is presently in a state of disrepair, and in need of renovation. A number of concerned island individuals and preservation organizations would like to see the Inn (or at least the historic central section) restored, but the money necessary is not available. The future of the Inn is unclear.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to listen to Chester Lynn share stories about the Island Inn. In the 1980s Chester was manager of the restaurant. He showed me this note left by one of his patrons. It is stained and yellowed, but Chester has kept it all these years.
The note reads,
ODE to AN Island Inn. 10/24/87, Sat night.
Tender was the fish
Dry was the wine
What a charming place to Dine
The waiter was warm
The beer was lite
and when we left
We felt just right.
And now its time
for us to leave
So we bid "Adieu" to our waiter Steve
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.