Ocracoke's Historic Island Inn & Commons
The Historic Island Inn & Commons building is the last remaining Greek Revival structure on the island. Built in 1901 by the Ocracoke Odd Fellows chapter for its headquarters, this building has remained a central piece of the village's social fabric for over 100 years. In addition to the Odd Fellows Lodge, it as also served as the island's schoolhouse, a coffee house, the Naval Officers' club during World War II, and as the Island Inn.
In 2010, the popular Island Inn - including its famous restaurant - faced financial issues that forced the property into foreclosure. The subsequent owner put it on the market in 2015. Recognizing the historic significance of the property, in 2018, the Ocracoke Preservation Society purchased it with the help of the Ocracoke Occupancy Tax Board and Ocracoke's Tourism Development Authority. When the property was acquired, the additional wings that made it an inn had deteriorated to the point of being unsalvageable and were torn down, but the original building remained sturdy.
The Ocracoke Preservation Society is currently working to restore and preserve the original building. In the future, the building will provide both an Ocracoke Island Visitors’ Center as well as administrative offices for other nonprofit organizations on the island. The expansive property will serve as a village commons and central gathering place for everyone to enjoy. Landscaping will include a variety of fig trees and plants native to Ocracoke.
The rebuilding efforts have had serious challenges. In 2019, Hurricane Dorian caused massive devastation to the Ocracoke village and all available financial and physical resources shifted to aid island residents. Ocracoke Preservation Society deferred attention to the project during the recovery, but the time has come to do more. It has been estimated that $750,000 will be needed to complete this vision and we are relying on everyone's support to make this happen. Please consider donating to the Island Inn & Commons project today!