Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Post Office In Big Ike O’Neal’s Store

The following photo and caption was published in the August 21, 1941 edition of The Beaufort News:

Post Office At Ocracoke Today Is In Big Ike O’Neal’s Store

OCRACOKE ISLAND’S postoffice is located in Big Ike O’Neal’s store located on the shores of Silver Lake Harbor in the center of the community. Postmistress at the present time is Miss Elizabeth O’Neal, daughter of Big Ike.  She is shown in the above picture selling a money order to Walter O’Neal, island merchant. Ocracoke, according to its per capita, probably issues more money orders than any other community in the world. Tom Howard, retired postmaster there, once told the Beaufort News Editor that the annual sale of money orders amounted to $36,000 – (Photo by Aycock Brown).

The Post Office/Big Ike's Store was severely damaged in the 1944 hurricane. A new Post Office was then built nearby (where Down Point Decoys is today; that Post Office was moved, and is now a rental cottage behind Captain's Cargo gift shop). Captain's Landing Motel sits approximately where Big Ike's store was located. It is owned and operated by Betty Helen Chamberlin (Big Ike's granddaughter/Elizabeth O'Neal Howard's daughter) and her husband George. 

Elizabeth always insisted there was no such thing as a postmistress. She was the postmaster!


  1. Anonymous8:05 AM

    During WWII the post office was a vital link for military personnel serving their country. The year 1941 was practically smack dab in the middle of it.On the heals of the President announcing today mental health services available to all veterans upon separation---a good old handwritten letter, heart felt, sent from home no doubt helped the war effort of the Greatest generation. Now with "social" media, likes dislikes email deleted, phones lost stolen broken and so on I wonder if a folded up letter carried in the pocket and a picture in a wallet was an overlooked cog in the machine of life. Also, What's up with the Caution sign on the Post Office window?

  2. Anonymous9:56 AM

    2018 is an excellent year for USPS commemorative stamps. The Latest Love stamp will be released soon!! It is created by Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Company. Place your order at your local Post Office. Your go to source to help Occupy the Post Office by sending cards letters and packages to your Loved ones!