Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Island Guests, 1949

In previous posts I have quoted from a 1949 letter about a visit to Ocracoke written by C.A. Weslager from Wilmington, Delaware. Below is another interesting paragraph from that letter about several other guests at the Wahab Village Hotel (now Blackbeard's Lodge).

"This hotel is now frequented by fishermen from southern cities, and a few couples who are seeking rest. Some of the guests, with whom we became friendly, will interest you. There was Lester Johnston and his wife -- he operates a retail grocery store in Bel Haven, N.C. [sic]. They came to rest. Olsen is an engineer with Western Electric at Winston-Salem. He and his wife came to fish. There was a handsome pediatrician from New York city, Dr. Clement Cobb, bronzed from a two week exposure to the sun. (He walked nude on the beach whenever he got the chance, to get the full benefit of the sun, collecting shells and making bird studies. He is a very capable ornithologist.) Cobb came to rest preparatory to an operation. There were two spinster sisters who own a photographic business in Smithfield, N.C., a middle-aged librarian from Washington, D.C., who came alone, bringing bottled cocktails in her bag, and two partners who run a Buick agency in Raleigh. Finally, a dentist form Charleston, W. Va., his wife, their flapperish daughter (a blonde) and her red-haired boyfriend. The younger couple were gone off every day alone. I almost forgot an aged banker, who seemed near the condition known to the physician as "in extremis," and his wife who catered to his every want as one would care for a small baby....

"The guests themselves provided enough material for a novel, and our two bottles of bourbon and case of ale enabled us to break down any social barriers that might have otherwise existed."

Sounds like a sampling of present-day visitors to the island!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter, a newspaper article published in 1923 titled "Quaintest Town in America," provides a fascinating glimpse of Ocracoke Island life a century ago. You can read it here: .

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