Thursday, October 05, 2017

Island Inn

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.

Thank you!

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:


  1. Anonymous4:37 PM

    I stayed at the II when Foy and Larry ran the place. It was nice. Clean and kept up. They sold it and for a while it was the same then I think the couple split up and it nose dived to a p oint where my basement and garage were a more inviting place to sleep. Too bad. I do think the place is beyond ever being worth the time and $$ to restore. Bulldoze it and build a nice FAMILY friendly motel-it would thrive and be a nice addition to your area...How could it not?
    we've been bi-monthly visitors since 1977.

    1. The center section is very historic -- schoolhouse, WWII officer quarters, iconic hotel -- and of sturdy construction worth preserving.

  2. Anonymous5:02 PM

    I should have known that they don't make anything like they use to and that the original section would still be in good shape. Thank you for that information. I guess part of it could be incorporated into a new building...The location is great. I would like to stay there again 0if it were updates of course. My favorite room was #13 or #14. right in the front. The 2nd floor porch was always great during a thunderstorm. The trees were lower then and you had no problem seeing Silver Lake and the green lights at the entrance to the lake. good memories. Thanks again Philip.

  3. Our family stayed in their motel across the street. Had many excellent meals at the restaurant. Our kids were the same age as Cici's (sp) and they spent time together in the late 80s and early 90s. Many nice memories. Cici and children were and are wonderful people. Very sad.