Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September Newsletter

We have just published our latest Ocracoke Newsletter. This month's article is about the Unionist North Carolina State Government that was established in 1861 right here on the Outer Banks, with Hatteras as capital!

You can read all about it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news092114.htm


Monday, September 22, 2014

Fresnel Lens

What is a Fresnel Lens?

Rodney Barfield, in his book Seasoned by Salt, explains: "The Fresnel (pronounced Fre-NEL) lens developed by French physicist Augustin Fresnel, was a technological leap in navigational lighting. It is a glass dome of prisms and bull's-eyes, and light is concentrated at its center into parallel rays that are intensified with a magnifying glass."



















This is a photo of the fourth order Fresnel lens in the Ocracoke lighthouse. Although the Fresnel lens was invented in 1822, and the Ocracoke lighthouse was built in 1823, a Fresnel lens was not installed until 1854.

The Ocracoke light (now produced by a 250 watt quartz-halogen bulb, and magnified by the lens) is equal to 8,000 candlepower, and is visible 14 miles to sea.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of late 19th century steamship traffic to Ocracoke, and the large Victorian hotel that accommodated the guests. You can read the article here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news082114.htm.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cutter Head

Many of our readers have seen dredges working in Hatteras Inlet or in the Swan Quarter/Cedar Island ferry channel. But I wonder how many have ever seen the dredge cutter head, the working end of the dredge that cuts through the bottom so the sand can be sucked up and deposited in the "hopper," cast over the side from a long pipe, or pumped through a pipeline to a "spoil island."

The other day I noticed that a truck from Cape Dredging Company in Buxton, NC was parked in front of the Pub. On the trailer was a cutter head. So I stopped and made a couple of photos for our readers.





























Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of late 19th century steamship traffic to Ocracoke, and the large Victorian hotel that accommodated the guests. You can read the article here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news082114.htm.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Crime

I subscribe to Google Alerts. Anytime Ocracoke is mentioned on the web I receive a notification. Recently I saw this headline: "Compare Crime Rates, New York, NY -- Ocracoke, NC." So I clicked on the link (http://www.bestplaces.net/crime/?city1=53651000&city2=53748740).

This is what appeared! (According to the web site, "The crime indices range 1-100. A higher number corresponds with more crime. Our crime rates are based on FBI data.") --  

Violent Crime in Ocracoke.............61.2
Violent Crime in New York City....63.5
Violent Crime in the US..................41.4

Property Crime in Ocracoke...........71.2
Property Crime in New York City..31.7
Property Crime in the US................43.5

I suppose the FBI has been investigating murders, rapes, burglaries, arson, and violent assaults on Ocracoke that I was just not aware of! How could I have missed this mayhem right under my nose?

Isn't the Internet just wonderful.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of late 19th century steamship traffic to Ocracoke, and the large Victorian hotel that accommodated the guests. You can read the article here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news082114.htm.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Arrrrgh, Mateys!

Well, shiver me timbers, today is "International Talk Like a Pirate Day." So dust off your cutlass, don a tricorn hat, or tuck a treasure map inside your dress (if you're not an Anne Bonney or Mary Reed, you might consider different attire)...and face the world of land lubbers like the buccaneer you know you can be.

If you need a bit of encouragement, check out this web site: http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html. Remember, talk like a pirate. You can do it!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of late 19th century steamship traffic to Ocracoke, and the large Victorian hotel that accommodated the guests. You can read the article here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news082114.htm.




Thursday, September 18, 2014

Lorena, Ira & Elsie

I recently received a copy of this photograph, taken about 1896. Seated is Lorena Howard Wyche, and two of her three children, Ira Thomas and Elsie Marvin.


















Ira's grand-daughter, Liz Williamson, sent me the picture. It was taken shortly before Lorena died. She was only 31 years old. Elsie continued to live on Ocracoke the rest of her life. Ira went to West Point, and served in WWII as a two-star General.


















You can read General Wyche's story here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news092110.htm.

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Coming right up -- International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Click on the logo below for more information:

http://www.talklikeapirate.com/

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of late 19th century steamship traffic to Ocracoke, and the large Victorian hotel that accommodated the guests. You can read the article here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news082114.htm.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Answers

A recent issue of Time magazine ("The Answers Issue, Everything You Never Knew You Needed to Know"), includes some interesting statistics.

Average length of an American worker's one-way commute, in minutes -- 25.5 (for Ocracokers it's maybe 2 or 3)

Percentage of commuters who leave their county to work -- 25% (for Ocracokers this is essentially zero)

Average distance in miles that Americans live from the nearest Walmart-- 6.7 (that's probably about 10 minutes; for Ocracokers it is about 3 hours)

Percentage of Americans who live within 3 miles of McDonalds -- 75% (0% for Ocracokers; we are about 2 1/2 hours from the nearest McDonalds)

Percentage of Americans who live within 60 minutes of a body of water-- 90% (all Ocracokers, of course, live within just a couple of minutes of water)

Percentage of Americans who live within 60 minutes of a National Park -- 75% (all Ocracokers, of course, live within just a few minutes of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore)

Life is in large measure about choices. We islanders generally choose nature, community, and family over convenience, high-paying jobs, and proximity to shopping centers, fast food...even doctors and dentists. Island life is not for everyone.

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Coming right up -- International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Click on the logo below for more information:

 http://www.talklikeapirate.com/

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of late 19th century steamship traffic to Ocracoke, and the large Victorian hotel that accommodated the guests. You can read the article here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news082114.htm.