Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Freight And Express Service To the Outer Banks

Today UPS, FedEx, and the United States Postal Service provide regular package delivery to Ocracoke Island. Estes Express Lines, based in Richmond Virginia, also periodically delivers larger items to the island via tractor-trailer trucks.

Before ferry service was established it was difficult to get large items to Ocracoke.

In 1941 the following proposal was being discussed in Beaufort, NC:

"There as been some talk recently by those who could make it possible, to establish a daily freight and express boat line from Beaufort to Ocracoke Island where it could very easily connect with the over-beach bus to Hatteras Island. The Beaufort Chamber of Commerce which under its present leadership has never operated on a strictly local basis, but for the Central Coast at large, is ready to help make this possible through any promotional means. The Beaufort – Morehead City Railroad Company under its present management is also considering the various angles which would make this possible – a through freight service connecting with the daily trains into Beaufort from Morehead City, eastern terminus of the A.& E. C. Railway Company and thence through Core Sound connecting with the various communities of East Carteret and terminating at Ocracoke Island. Such a plan may not operate profitably at the beginning but in the long run it would be a most worth-while investment for the firm that undertakes it. That is because the Outer Banks and Ocracoke in particular are just beginning to develop. A through freight and express service would be of great benefit to every community east of Beaufort where there are no express or freight agencies at present. It is a matter well worth considering and Beaufort stands ready, we believe, to support any such proposition undertaken by any firm or organization."

It is interesting to note that the freight service was conceived as connecting first to Ocracoke, and from there to more remote areas via an "over-beach bus to Hatteras Island," since "Ocracoke in particular" was "just beginning to develop."

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a history of the Ocracoke Lighthouse, with information (and an artist's sketch) about the earliest lantern room. You can read the Newsletter here:

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