Monday, February 08, 2016

Storm Damage

Below is an early morning photo of a tree that cracked and broke last night during high winds. It is in the front yard of the Village Craftsmen. (Click on the photo to enlarge for a better view.)

Photo by Amy Howard


















There was also high water in areas of the village, but I haven't heard of any major damage or serious flooding.

Hovercraft

Here is an idea that seemed promising at the time, but never "took off." In 1970 a Raleigh business, Variety Vacations and Sports Enterprises, introduced the new idea of using hovercraft on the Outer Banks. "Able to travel on both land and water," the hovercraft was demonstrated for the curious in Roanoke Sound. Hovercraft use blowers to produce a large volume of air below the hull that is slightly above atmospheric pressure, which lifts the vessel above any flat surface.

I couldn't find a picture of a 1970 hovercraft, but located this one of a recent hovercraft in operation in Germany.

Photo by Stoaberg (Wikipedia)
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode















Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Hunting

Waterfowl hunting has been a tradition on the Outer Banks for hundreds of years. Here is a 1960s photo of an Ocracoke hunter. Can any of our readers identify this man?


















For information about waterfowl hunting in the 2015-2016 season, click here: http://www.ncwildlife.org/Portals/0/Regs/Documents/Waterfowl-Late-Seasons.pdf.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

The Big Freeze

Thurston Gaskill (1902-2000) remembered "The Big Freeze of 1917." In David Shears' 1989 book, Ocracoke, Its History and People, Thurston recalls that winter:

"You could walk on the ice of Pamlico Sound. You didn't try to walk all the way across because it was anybody's guess as to how thick it froze. I've no doubt that you can't solidly freeze a body of water as close to Ocraocke Inlet as we were located, at our hunting camp on little Beacon Island about three miles west of Ocracoke. One could look out and see not just a flat sheet of ice but real mounds where the ice had skidded on top. My father and I and our companion named Bill Williams spent 21` days at the camp. For heating we just had our regular supplies for the plain wood stove. Wood was all we'd got. We had no radios in those days so we just sat it out."

For more about the Big Freeze of 1917, read our 2014 post: The Winter of 1917-1918

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Another Beach Find

It is always interesting to find starfish on the beach. Sometimes hundreds of them wash up at the same time (is it part of their natural life cycle, the result of unusual currents, or because of some other factor?). Normally we find colorful purple and orange starfish (Astropecten articulatus), or larger gray starfish (Luidia clathrata). Every once in a while these plumper specimens, sometimes just called common sea stars, wash up.















Can any of our readers provide the full scientific name for this echinoderm?

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

19th Century Schoolhouse

In the late 1800s a fierce storm brought tide into the village from the ocean side. A schoolhouse located "Down Point" was badly damaged. Accounts indicate that the sea tide swirled around the building and undermined the foundation piers. As the tide rose higher the schoolhouse was lifted up and washed across the road onto a lot owned by James and Laurette Bragg (today Leroy O'Neal has a home on this lot, not far from Albert Styron's Store).

In 1894 James and Laurette Bragg sold their property to the Schoolhouse Committee since the schoolhouse was already on the land. The schoolhouse was "moved by the hand of God" according to 19th century islanders.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Photos Anyone?

I was recently given a box of old copies of the Ocracoke Island News. In the March 31, 1983, issue I read about a Variety Show Fund Raiser.

David Senseney was the Master of Ceremonies. There were various skits and songs performed by local entertainers and musicians. The highlight of the evening was the "Miss Ocracoke 1983" contest. The contestants were Reggie Ballance (Miss National Park Service), Jim Strickland (Miss Coast Guard), Mark Wilkinson (Miss Hog Shoal), Henry Ballinger (Miss Pit Toilet), Chester Lynn (Miss Patties Holler), and Wylie Whitehurst (Miss Cat Ridge). Danny Garrish was the Master of Ceremonies for the "beauty pageant." Kevin Cutler, Jenetta Henning, and Marion Austin were the judges.

Second runner up was Miss National Park Service.
First runner up was Miss Coast Guard.
The new Miss Ocracoke 1983 was Miss Cat Ridge.

The Variety Show raised $534.04 for the Ocracoke Fire and Rescue Squad.

If anyone has photos of this event please send copies to me. I would love to print them! And...maybe we should have a Miss Ocracoke 2016 contest sometime this winter. Another fund raiser for the Fire Department maybe??

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm

Friday, January 29, 2016

Rough Delivery

As most of our readers know, Ocracoke does not have a hospital. Island women are often asked what they do when they are about to have a baby. Usually women leave the island a week or so before their delivery date, but sometimes nature has a way of thwarting their plans. Following is a newspaper announcement from January 21, 1971:

"Mrs. Dorothy Williams [1944-2005] of Ocracoke had what could be called a very rough delivery. A 30-foot Coast Guard Boat, which had picked up Mrs. Williams to take her to Hatteras to have her baby, was immobilized in heavy seas after running onto shoals. An open 17-footer tried but was unable to get along side the boat due to heavy seas and wind. Finally, an amphibious vehicle of the Coast Guard rolled aboard the Coast Guard boat, bringing Dr. Dan Burroughs who delivered the baby in knee-deep water."

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is about islanders who worked on the water, and lost their lives at sea. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012116.htm