Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Sam Jones & Peggy Upton

I have written about Sam Jones before (you can read our Ocracoke Newsletter about him here). Sam was born in Swan Quarter, North Carolina, and moved to Norfolk, Virginia, when he was 13 years old. He had visited Ocracoke Island in his youth, and later married island native Mary Ruth Kelly, the daughter of a sailboat captain. Sam was a successful businessman, and in the 1950s he commenced building several large buildings on Ocracoke. These buildings were sided with cedar shingles, and were distinctive because of their size and many dormers.

Berkley Castle, ca. 1950

In 2010 the Virginian-Pilot published an article about Sam Jones and Marguerite “Peggy” Upton who were both born in 1893 and spent their formative years in Norfolk’s Berkley neighborhood during the "Roaring Twenties." Upton is described as "the quintessential American gold digger. She was the inspiration for the iconic Lorelei Lee, heroine of Anita Loos’ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." Sam, on the other hand was deeply rooted in the Victorian morals of his childhood in eastern North Carolina.

You can read the article, The Iron Forger and the Gold Digger, here:

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Mrs. Godfrey's ghost who haunts the Island Inn/Odd Fellows Lodge. The story is taken from Chapter Three of my book, Digging up Uncle Evans. You can read the account here:

No comments:

Post a Comment