In the past I have mentioned the broad tidal flat, almost entirely barren of vegetation, that extended from the present-day Variety Store to the current NPS campground. Ocracokers called it The Plains. Today this area is thick with yaupons, myrtles, and cedars. Pines and live oaks have even sprung up there in recent years. When the Park Service acquired Ocracoke in the mid-1950s they began construction of man-made dunes on the ocean side of NC Highway 12. This protected the newly paved road from tidal overwash, and allowed vegetation to flourish there.
Present day visitors have difficulty imagining what Ocracoke looked like more than three-quarters of a century ago. I am re-posting the following vintage photograph to help our readers understand.
This paragraph from MotorBoating Magazine, January, 1932, may help also:
"Ocracoke is a narrow island of beach sand, probably
fifteen miles long and less than two miles across at its widest point. It is
separated from the mainland by 30 miles of Pamlico Sound, and Europe lies 3,000
miles to the east across the Atlantic Ocean. The northerly half is covered with
low sand dunes sparsely overgrown with a beach grass, a section south of the
center is as flat and barren as a desert, and so low that the surf from the
occasional severe storms washes over it into the sound."
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Ocracoke Water Tank Caper. This is the link: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news032117.htm.