Friday, August 18, 2017

Fishcakes

Washington (Washie) Spencer (1901-1988) was a native Ocracoke fisherman who loved his island home. His grandson, Vince O'Neal, owner of the Pony Island Restaurant, carries on the family tradition by working the water to supply fresh fish for local restaurants.

Vince is also a strong supporter of the Ocracoke Working Watermen's Association, and often provides fish cakes for events using an old family recipe. If you are not on the island for one of these events, you can still enjoy Ocracoke fish cakes. Just stop by the Fish House on Hwy 12, and pick up the main ingredient. Then follow Washie's recipe.

Washie Spencer’s recipe for Fishcakes:
  • 12 fillets of fish (fresh catch of the day) 
  • 3 eggs 
  • ½ cup flour 
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 6 cubed potatoes 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Fill a large pot with enough water to cover fish and potatoes. Bring fish and potatoes to a boil and cook until potatoes are soft. Drain and let cool. Add remaining ingredients to fish and potatoes in a large bowl and mix well. Hand pat into cakes and grill or fry to a golden brown.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a contemporary account of the December 24, 1899 wreck of the Steamship Ariosto. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072117.htm.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Fig Festival

Tomorrow, August 18, is the first day of this year's Annual Fig Festival. The Fig Festival celebrates Ocracoke's sweetest tradition: fig preserves and fig cakes!

This year's event begins on Friday afternoon/evening on the grounds at the Ocracoke Preservations Society Museum. Learn about Ocracoke fig trees and fig recipes, and vote for your favorite in the Fig Preserves contest. Join in a Traditional Ocracoke Square Dance to the tunes of Molasses Creek! 

Photo by Trudy Austin



















On Saturday, the Fig Festival moves to the historic Community Square. Local vendors provide fresh figs, fig preserves, local cookbooks, fig-smoked BBQ, and other fig-tastic items. Bring the kids for crafts and games, and enjoy live music throughout the day until the main event -- the Fig Cake Bake-Off with free samples for everyone.

The fun continues with a dance party in Community Square. We hope to see you there!

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a contemporary account of the December 24, 1899 wreck of the Steamship Ariosto. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072117.htm.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

MTS Trail

On Saturday September 9, 2017 people all across the state of North Carolina will be hiking and paddling different segments of the North Carolina  Mountain To Sea Trail.

The Outer Banks Region of the trail covers 81 miles, has 20 different segments, starts/ends at Jockeys Ridge State Park and Silver Lake Ferry Dock in Ocracoke. The MST in a Day event commemorates a speech on September 9, 1977 by Howard Lee, then the NC Secretary of Natural Resources and Community Development. He told a National Trails Symposium in Waynesville that North Carolina should create a “state trail from the mountains to the coast, leading through communities as well as natural areas.”

Catherine Peele, Segment Leader for the Mountain To Sea Trail In A Day event for the Outer Banks Region, remarked that "We are pushing to get the entire trail covered in one single day which is the 40th Anniversary of the trail!"

Photo by Paul Travis











There are a total of 1,175 miles of the trail divided into various short legs. Legs average 3-5 miles, which means that just about anybody, of any age, can hike, & can find a suitable leg (dirt trail, road, greenway, beach, flat or steep.)

If you will be on the island Saturday, September 9, please consider hiking one of the three legs of the trail on Ocracoke Island (one is 4.5 miles long; one 3.2; and one 6.6).  Of course, many other segments of the trail are available to hike. To register to hike, and for more information, please visit the MTS web site.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a contemporary account of the December 24, 1899 wreck of the Steamship Ariosto. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072117.htm.  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

One of Ocracoke's Iron Men

John T. Parris, Jr. penned the following obituary at the death of Ocracoke islander, Capt. Tom Gaskins, in 1947:

"Ocracoke Sees the Passing of One of its Iron Men as Capt. Tom Gaskins Departs.

"Captain Tom Gaskins sailed today [July 5, 1947] for the Islands of the Blessed and tonight the ghost skippers of the Seven Seas gathered to welcome him into their celestial harbor.

"The long shore-leave that his age has imposed on him came to an end at noon when his heart stopped beating and he crumpled to the ground of the oak-shaded yard of his home where he had lived alone for a dozen years or more.

"Only an hour before, the 93-year-old one-time skipper of schooners and clipper ships had been sitting down on the quay spinning yarns of a bygone era when sailing vessels with two and three raking masts, their topgallant and royal sails furled, stood in the roadstead off Ocracoke....



















"Born on Ocracoke island, Dec. 19, 1854, Captain Tom took to the sea when he had barely reached his 'teens.

"For almost 40 years he sailed up and down the Atlantic Coast.... The two ships of his life were the Annie Wahab and the Paragon, both two-masted schooners....

"So perhaps he has found the Annie Wahab up there in the Island of the Blessed and is sitting around signing on a crew to take her out of that stormless sea where he can let her canvass billow full and white."

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a contemporary account of the December 24, 1899 wreck of the Steamship Ariosto. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072117.htm

Monday, August 14, 2017

Hyde County Medicine, 1889

The following article comes from The Washington Gazette (Washington, Beaufort Co. N.C.) - Thursday, August 14, 1889; pg. 3; column 2. It was republished in Miscellaneous Newspaper Articles for Hyde Co., NC (1796 - 1940).

WHAT A WOMAN CAN DO

SWAN QUARTER, Hyde Co. N.C. - Miss Jennie WHITLEY one of the principals of the Misses WHITLEY and BROWN High School, at Washington, now teaching a public school at Otales Chapel, in Hyde county, had one of her pupils bitten by a ground rattlesnake. There being no physician near by and the little boy two or three miles from home, Miss WHITLEY sent to a near neighbor’s house, procured a pint or more of Holland gin and gave her little patient a sufficient quantity, as in her good judgment would have the desired effect, first having bandaged the boy’s leg above the wound remembering the old adage that “the hair of the hound would cure the wound.” But seeking no further friendship for the snakeship [sic], took a toad frog, cut it open and bound the bleeding side to the wound; she then sent her little patient to his home. Dr. William O. WHITFIELD was called at once, but upon examination of the case found that Miss WHITLEY had so treated in the outset that the patient need not fear for the safety of the child. The little boy is well and out again declaring his intentions to bruise the serpent’s head. [Kindly submitted by Robert Henderson]

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a contemporary account of the December 24, 1899 wreck of the Steamship Ariosto. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072117.htm.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Ocracoke Surf Film Festival, 2008

According to Surfline.com, "In 2007, the Global Surf Network was born to bring the surf film and the independent surf filmmakers to venues where movie experiences can be amplified. Also, the organization founded by Rob [Beedie] believes there's a social side in surf films for stoking young and oldies.

"The Global Surf Network is putting up several surf film festivals that promote the sport and boost new filmmaking careers."

According to The Molasses Creek Journal, "In August [August 15, 2008], [Deepwater] theater was the venue for the 1st Annual Ocracoke Island Surf Film Festival, which raised over $2400 for OYC [Ocracoke Youth Center].














"Sponsored by the Global Surf Network, the film fest included several different documentaries and short films, and one feature movie (shown on the sort-of-big screen inside), interspersed with live musical performances (on the theater’s front porch.)"













To my knowledge that was Ocracoke's first and last Surf Film Festival. 

For surfing enthusiasts: check out these surf film festivals from around the world; and here is a list of the best surfing movies. Enjoy!

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a contemporary account of the December 24, 1899 wreck of the Steamship Ariosto. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072117.htm.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Richard S. Spofford

The three-masted schooner, Richard S. Spofford, wrecked at Ocracoke at 3:30 a.m., December 22, 1894. The Ocracoke US Life-Saving crew and their keeper, James Howard, were stationed 14 miles away, at Hatteras Inlet, and unaware of the wreck until much later in the day. Keeper Terrell from the Portsmouth Island station responded when he was informed of the wreck at daybreak but, lacking proper equipment and a trained crew, was unable to rescue the sailors.

Five of the ship's crew launched the ship's yawl in an attempt to reach shore, but were thrown into the raging breakers when it swamped and capsized. To everyone's surprise, they all managed to reach the beach where they were pulled ashore by onlookers.

Keeper Howard and his crew arrived at the wreck at 8 pm. The remaining three crew members were clinging disparately to the bowsprit as the schooner rolled dangerously each time the surf broke over the ship. Because of the cold, darkness, and raging storm it was not until daybreak that a line was successfully fired to the vessel. The captain and one crew member were safely brought to shore in the breeches buoy. The steward, Sylvester Chase, had fallen from the quarterdeck the day before and had died lashed to the capstan.

Breeches Buoy Rescue















The official government report addressed the death of Chase: "The diligence and devotion of both the keepers and the men under their command throughout the entire occurrence are well attested. It was the first instance of a wreck in the vicinity since the appointment of Keeper Terrell, and his promptness and fertility of resources go far to prove the fitness of his selection. Keeper Howard has rendered long and satisfactory service, which is not sullied by his record at this disaster."

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a contemporary account of the December 24, 1899 wreck of the Steamship Ariosto. You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072117.htm.