Do you enjoy all our Facebook posts? Do you want to keep learning about Ocracoke history and see new exhibits when you come to the museum? This is the fund that keeps our doors open, the programs happening and our posts updated. Money from this fund can be used to help any of the other funds achieve their goals too.
Building Fund: This year we need our railings replaced and our museum washed. One year we needed a new roof. Over time, the building needs upkeep and this fund was created specifically for maintaining, with historical accuracy, the integrity of this lovely old island home.
How do we come up with the amazing old island photos we’ve been posting? Generous folks share their collections with us, we scan them on hi-tech equipment, label them according to the donor, and research their origins and subjects. We also have an extensive collection of household artifacts that require storing, labeling and research. All this requires people power and funds to keep things organized, displayed, and researched.
Ocracoke's Historic Island Inn & Commons
In 2018, the OPS purchased the Island Inn and property with the help of Hyde County and the Ocracoke Occupancy Tax Board. We plan to rehabilitate and preserve the original building and utilize it as a visitor's center and for much-needed administrative offices for other nonprofit organizations on the island. The expansive property will serve as a village commons and central gathering place. Landscaping will include a variety of native fig trees and plantings.
Maintaining a database of the historic homes on the island is a challenging job. Over the years, houses change ownership and even location. To be able to help prospective house preservationists, we need to keep an accurate list of what houses still exist in the historic district and which ones are eligible for the valuable historic district tax credits.
Historic Preservation Projects
This fund started with a vision and a generous endowment from the David and Jerry Beveridge estate. This fund gives us at least a starting point to save historic structures that are at risk of being lost. Our goal is to keep historically significant structures in the historic district from being changed beyond recognition or destroyed. Our first project with the money from this fund is the Simon & Emma O’Neal House at 458 Lighthouse Road.
Sometimes it’s not just structures that we need to preserve. Occasionally donors give us land to take care of. Sometimes we keep that land for public use (Robbie’s Way) and sometimes we use that last in conjunction with other like-minded organizations to further the access and appreciation of greater island areas. With the Lampe Tract, we are working with the NC Coastal Land Trust in conjunction with the Ocracoke Youth Center and the NPS in order for a walking trail to be built and accessible to the general public.
Occasionally we receive gifts that are simply too big to be displayed in the museum, so we set up an area for outdoor exhibits. One example is the large brick and concrete cistern off the back porch. Not only do we have to get the donations to the property, we have to prepare the location for display and we have to maintain the artifacts as they age and weather. We also have a large restored boat, the Blanche, that needs continual painting and basic upkeep. Hopefully in the future we can add another boat to our fleet that kids (and adults) will be allowed to climb in and learn from.