Five years ago Daniel Couch wrote an article for Village Realty titled, Shipwreck Salvaging is a Time-honored Tradition on Hatteras and Ocracoke.
Couch included this story about Ocracoke Methodist preacher, Rev. Lawrence Olin Wyche:
"Many years ago, David Stick underscored the intensity of wreck busting
in an interview he conducted with an insurance agent at Ocracoke for his
book, 'Graveyard of the Atlantic.'
"'The Ocracokers,' the man
said, 'would drop a body while carrying it to the grave, and leave it on
the road, or leave Sunday services, if someone yelled, 'Ship ashore!''
there appears to be some basis for that assessment. Brother L. O.
Wyche, beloved preacher at Ocracoke, was conducting a revival at the
Methodist Church in the mid-1890s when word spread through the
congregation that a lumber-laden vessel had struck near The Swash.
came to a halt as the men executed an orderly dash out the doors. The
next night, one of the ladies of the church scolded Brother Wyche,
saying the episode was unchristian-like, and our Lord could not possibly
condone such intoxicating behavior.
"The eloquent Wyche, hat in hand, politely responded, 'Don't dwell on it, good sister. He'd have done the same thing for us
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: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/ocracoke-lighthouse/.