BLACKBEARD THE PIRATE and HIS HOME, OCRACOKE
Blackbeard the Pirate
During The Golden Age of Piracy(1689-1718), numerous rogues pursued their lawless and murderous trade throughout the New World.Blackbeard was the most notorious pirate in the history of seafaring.
Because of its shallow sounds and inlets, North Carolina's Outer Banks, Ocracoke Island, became his haven as well as many other outlaws in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
"O Crow Cock"
In the early 1700s, a young man from a fine English family began his career along the coast of Carolina and Virginia. Edward Teach, the most dreaded of all pirates, known as "Blackbeard", was said to have had a residence on the island (Ocracoke). Lt. Robert Maynard of the Royal British Navy was sent to capture Blackbeard and end his evil activities. Legend has it that during the long night preceding his capture, Blackbeard, impatient for the dawn to escape, cried out "O Crow Cock, O Crow Cock" and from that came the name Ocracoke. In the ensuing battle he was beheaded and his head attached to Maynard's vessel as a trophy. Witnesses said that they saw the headless body swim 'round and 'round the ship seven times before it disappeared. To this day many of the island's natives continue to call themselves O'Cockers
Queen Anne's Revenge
A Hidden Treasure No Longer
By MARVIN HUNT
Settled in the early 18th century by families from southwest England and Ireland trickling down the barrier islands from Tidewater Virginia, Ocracoke remained virtually isolated until the mid-20th century. The first ferry, from Hatteras Island in the north, was established in 1957; the first mainland route, from Cedar Island, in 1964
HOOF PRINTS IN THE SAND
The descendants of Ocracoke's Feral Horses are pastured in a "pony pen" along N.C. Highway 12. Not much of their wild heritage is apparent today. All were born in captivity and fed hay and grain, and some are even broken to ride.
Ocracoke's British Cemetary
The British Union Jack is always flying
Like Hatteras, Ocracoke has spawned many colorful legends. One of the most intriguing is the story of the pirate Blackbeard's last battle. The bloody fight was supposedly waged in Teach's Hole channel near Ocracoke Village. Some historians have cast doubt on this traditional tale, but it certainly makes for an interesting yarn.
The Ocracoke Lighthouse is the oldest active lighthouse in North Carolina. The current 76-foot-tall Ocracoke Lighthouse, located in the fishing village of Ocrocoke on Ocracoke Island, replaced the first Ocracoke Lighthouse which was a 55-foot-high, wooden structure. The original lighthouse was struck by lightning in 1818 and burned down. The 1823 lighthouse was controlled by both northern and southern troops during the Civil War. Confederate troops removed the lens from the lamp in the early years of the war, while Union troops replaced it in 1863. The fuel used to light the lanterns behind the lens was, first, whale oil, then kerosene, and finally electricity. The light now functions like a street lamp; it turns on at night and off in the morning. In 1868, the tower was cemented and covered with its first coat of whitewash. The whitewash was made of one-half bushel of unslaked lime with boiling water, a peck of salt, one-half pound of powdered Spanish whiting (fish), three pounds of ground rice put in boiling water, and a pound of glue. The brilliant whitewash, the nearby white picket fence, and the small shed originally used for storing the whale oil are familiar features of the Ocracoke Lighthouse.
How would you like to travel to an island where they speak their own language, rely solely on boats to bring goods and services, and no road will take you there? There is a tiny isle of paradise that people call Ocracoke.. Read More