Monday, August 06, 2018

Ocracoke Tick War

 NCpedia has an interesting article about the early 1920's "Tick War" that eventually led to the elimination of all free-ranging livestock on Ocracoke Island. You can read it here:
This is what I wrote about island livestock and dipping vats five years ago:
Years ago horses, cattle, sheep and goats wandered on Ocracoke Island as on an open range. There were at least two dipping vats filled with an insecticide laced liquid into which islanders herded their livestock to purge them of parasites. One vat was located under an oak tree between the schoolhouse and the health center. Another was behind the Wahab Village Hotel (now Blackbeard's Lodge).

The following account is from the National Park Service web site:

Bankers who still had sheep in the 1950s had to get rid of them or pen them when the highway was built.
When the State required two dipping vats to be built and utilized, Ocracokers had difficulty getting some of their wilder stock to cooperate. “One or two horses were gored that was trying to pen them. Several men were run up trees.” Individual cattle could be identified by brands or marks notched in their ear when the calf was born. If a stockman were found to have undipped livestock, they had to appear in court. “That was an expensive thing, because they had to go by boat to Swan Quarter.”
“I recall my father making two trips, because he had not dipped his cattle. The judge said if you can’t dip them, kill them. So, he and others went down with rifles and shotguns. They were just slaughtered, the whole herd was killed out. I’m talking about the ones that was up on the north end, the wild ones never did come up in the village.”
A man recalled helping burying the freshly shot cattle when he was a boy. One of the men shooting the cattle was a Coast Guardsman with a 30-30 rifle. “They thought they killed all of them. We happened to look way down on the point and we saw one standing near the sound a mile down there. He killed it with the first shot.”
If you have ever wondered how the street you live on or vacation on got its name, or are just curious about other street names, take a look at this month's Ocracoke Newsletter. We have compiled a list of every official street in Ocracoke village, along with one or more paragraphs explaining how they came to be named. You can read the Newsletter here.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:37 PM

    Thanks again for the interesting read.
    By they way the new ball field, is it being put to good use? Do the kids like it? if is used for anything else besides playing events, drone flying, etc? Thanks again