Five years ago I published a post about these metal "piles" that the Swan Quarter and Cedar Island ferries pass as they enter Big Foot Slough Channel, just a few miles northwest of the village.
In case you missed that post, these piles are called spuds. They are part of a sunken dredge (the Lehigh)
which sank in 1942. Spuds are used to pinion a dredge to the bottom
while working. Native islander Benjamin Early Spencer was captain of the
Lehigh, and a couple of other Ocracokers were working on the dredge along with about nine other men.
The Lehigh was approaching Ocracoke to dredge the harbor in
preparation for bringing vessels to the docks at the WWII naval base.
The Navy's mission was to thwart German U-boat activity off shore.
Strong winds produced huge waves that swamped the dredge, and she
quickly sank. Navy personnel at the newly established base rescued the
captain and crew.
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.