Wednesday, November 08, 2017

1942 Praise for Ocracoke

The following paragraph is reprinted from The State magazine, April 11, 1942.  The State, with Carl Goerch, an eastern North Carolina newspaper journeyman, as publisher, printed its first issue in 1933. In 1996 the magazine's name was changed to Our State.

"[Ocracoke Island] has been a favorite summering place with large numbers of people, particularly those who lived in Washington, Greenville, New Bern, and other towns in the eastern part of the state. Hunters and fishermen have visited it from all parts of the country. It has no paved streets, no power, except that which is supplied by private plants, no sewerage or water systems, none of the many civic improvements that you will find elsewhere, but it's the grandest place in the world to visit and, if you listen to the natives, it's also the grandest place in the world to live. The houses are mostly two-story frame structures, each of them being immaculately clean and most of them well painted. Practically every house has its small garden and chickens. The entire population of the island--it's around 700--depends upon the sea for its livelihood. No, not quite all either because there are a number of men who are in Coast Guard or else have been retired with pensions. Wahab Village, originated by Stanley Wahab, local boy who made good in the big city of Baltimore, has a first-class hotel, cottages and other accommodations. It promises to be quite a development. Ocracoke lighthouse is one of the oldest on the coast."

"The Coast Guard station is located on the sound side of the island. We didn't get to go there on this trip through Hyde County, but we have been there any number of times in the past. There are no people anywhere whose friendship we value more highly than we do that of those hardy, whole-souled folks at Ocracoke. If you've never been there you have missed one of the most interesting of all places within the boundaries of North Carolina...."

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a transcription of a letter describing the September, 1944, hurricane, its aftermath and cleanup. You can read the letter, with vintage photographs added, here:   


  1. Anonymous7:23 AM

    thank you this post. Carl Goerch was a well traveled gentleman. As he promoted the tourism sector of the state of NC. I was curious if he ever lived on OI. A quick look at MLS postings, a single lot of land only- is listed at $550,000 -- that is a chunk of change for no house but just grass. Housing costs have no doubt put a guy on a pension out of the market for housing on OI. Anyway, on NCpeadia, an "unverified" account of an incident involving an Indian motorcycle and CG's interest in a chance to ride the vehicle, spoke to me as that was a Very different time in society. CG was a go-getter from the description-- writer publisher broadcaster his career was not a 9-5 desk job. I look forward to automation freeing up time for the creative human spirit and tasking a robot with the mundane repetitive task.

  2. Anonymous7:33 AM

    Hmm wait a minute, if all the copy written about OI educated people and sent them to visit OI-- a land as CG described of unlocked doors and no roads.... perhaps all the visitors complained about no roads and no locks on doors because I bet there are plenty of roads and locked doors today on OI. If I owned a house that cost over half a million dollars I think I would lock the door.

  3. Julie S.7:36 AM

    FYI: Lots on OI currently sell for well under $200,000. For $550,000 you can purchase a very nice home on OI.

  4. Anonymous9:20 AM

    How does one typically furnish a home on OI? Is the ferry reserved for the contents of a home to be brought on site? Are there furniture stores on OI? Does one typically amass contents when an estate sale is held? Just curious as the MLS images of housing units on the market showcase practical functional items in the dwellings. Having viewed interiors of the buildings on Portsmouth Island and there is no furniture I wonder what the OI look is for an island dwelling.

  5. Anonymous6:17 PM

    paradise is a state of mind. that state of mind can help you overlook a lot of flaws.