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The Beaufort news. (Beaufort, N.C.) 1912-1948, August 21, 1941, SECOND SECTION, Page PAGE SIX, Image 14

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THE BEAUFORT NEWS BEAUFORT, N. C. Thursday, Aug. 21, 1941 Bones 01 Many Proud Old Ships Lie Buried Beneath The Sands Of Ocracoke Island PAGE SIX Island Is Backwash Of Graveyard Of Atlantic Ocracoke Is A Very Strange Land To Visitors To the visitor going to Oc racoke for the first time, the island is a very strange place. It is a land of dead live oaks, tame wild geese and fresh salt mullet. It is also a place where the finest peo ple in the world make their homes. On the beach are the remnants of proud old ships which were lost in the grave yard of the Atlantic and came ashore in the backwash of tides swirling through Hatteras Bight. Ocracoke, like Hatteras Is land, the "Cape Stormy" of the Atlantic Coast, is wind swept and storm swept, but so far there is no record of anyone ever losing their lives there during a hurricane, and no house has ever been blown down by the winds. It is true that a few houses have been undermined and washed down during severe gales which brought sea tides across the vil lage but these cases have been very few indeed. The people of Ocracoke are proud of their an cestry. They know that they are descendants, perhaps, of ship wrecked mariners but they are proud of this whether their ances tor was of Anglo Saxon or Arab ian stock. Ocracoke probably had its founding as a result of a ship wreck, and this is a story about some of the ships. A few days ago on Ocracoke Is land I rode across the beach and went crabbing in the surf. If you have never tried crabbing in the surf you have something to look forward to, because you have to match your wits against a crustac ean which apparently has no sense at all, but can run sideways fast er than you can run forward un less you are in the Olympic class. Leaving the crabbing up to Brant ley who can out-run his pappy, I decided to go over and investigate the ribbing of a huge piece of wreckage recently exposed by a sea tide that washed over the beach. My companion told me that this was what was left of the old four masted schooner Victoria S., which foundered in the surf of the island about 15 years ago while enroute to some northern port from Georgetown, laden with pine lum ber. The lumber was sold at a vendue and most of it was bought by a firm in Morehead City and transhipped, but some of the ship wrecked timber was used in the construction of new homes on Oc racoke. Sand and time have greatly splintered up the remainder of the wreck. The decking, or part of it. is still intact and so are many pieces of the ribbing in the hull. The old wreckage is interesting thought and because it is near Oc racoke community, within easy walking distance for persons going to the surf, this disfigured corpse of a once proud sailing vessel is perhaps the most photographed ship wreck along the coast today. Unless you allow plenty for the ex treme bright sunlight and the wat er and sand reflections plus the clear atmosphere existing on the island perhaps the photo you made was burned up (over exposed) anyway that is what happened to mine and I was using a k-2 filter at the time. The old piece of wreckage is only one of many old ships whose bones now lay on Ocracoke Beach. To wards the inlet there are other wrecks but most of them are Down Below in the Hammock and Great Swash region. There are more wrecks on Ocracoke beach than at Hatteras and the stranger won ders why. The answer is that Oc racoke beach is a sort of backwash for ships getting in troubble off Diamond Shoals, that section of the ocean which has long been known by mariners as "the Graveyard of the Atlantic." Coming northward the sailing is clear as long as the mariner keeps in the current of the Gulf Stream which moves up the coast at the rate of about six miles an hour un til it reaches Hatteras and then curves to the northeastward. Ships in sailing days would leave the stream off Diamond Shoals and if conditions were favorably they continued northward in the wat ers of the North Atlantic which meet the warmer waters of the oSuth Atlantic at Hatteras. If the weather was stormy and that is not unusual because the region is the "Cape Stormy" of the Atlan tic Coast vessels leaving the stream would get in the currents swirling through Hatteras Bight eventually if unlucky, would boomerang back onto the beach at Ocracoke. THE CHOSTSHIP There are the bones of many fa mous old shipwrecks on Ocracoke Beach today. Sometimes they are covered with sand but when ex posed, many of the most famous can be identified by the islander who may be accompanying you along the beach. One of the most famous is the old "ghost ship." And that is a story for you! The lookout on duty at the Hat teras Inlet Coast Guard station at dawn on January 21, 1921, saw a 5-masted schooner under full sail aground on the Outer Diamond of Diamond Shoals. No distress sig nals were flying. When the station surfboat reached the schooner, the crew found it utterly deserted except for a cat. It was the Car roll A. Deering, home port Bath, Maine, in ballast from Barbados to Portland. She had lost both an chors, and both lifeboats were missing; otherwise all was well. If the crew had abandoned ship they must have left in a hurry, for there was food standing in the pots on the galley range and on the plates laid on the. mess table. Only the previous afternoon the Deering had hailed the Lookout Lighthouse 60 miles southwest ward, reporting she had lost her anchors in a two-day storm asking that Norfolk be wirelessed to send a tug to tow her in. The lightship's wireless was out of order, but a steamer appearing southbound soon after, the lightship hailed her to stand by for a message. Ghost Ship Of The Graveyard Of The Atlantic I'" 1 'mi wvw - w Instead the steamer altered its course, heading off shore and the deck of the crew unfurl'd a tar paulin and lowered it over the counter, hiding the steamer's name. The daughter of the Deer ing's master demanded that an in vestigation be made, which devel oped that the Deering master had spoken to the Cape Fear Lightship five days earlier. The storm ap peared to account for the delay. Nothing more was learned, al though just about every investigat ing division of the Government worked on the case for many months trying to solve the mys tery. Nothing more was learned of the Deering's crew and after 20 years the crew is still missing and the possible connection of the steamer with the mystery is only surmise. In the same period the steamer Hewitt, Texas to Boston, vanished without trace off Hatteras. FLYING DUTCHMAN Few ships have ever grounded on Diamond Shoals and come off that is, nothing came off except the wreckage which usually fetches up on Ocracoke Beach. The Mau rice R. Thurlow was a notable ex ception. She struck in a storm or. October 13, 1927. The lookout at Cape Hatteras Station, 10 miles northeast of Ocracoke Island, sighted her distress signal and mo tor lifeboats put out and saved the crew of nine. When the morning of the four teenth dawned, the Thurlow had vanished. It could not have brok en up in that time although strange things happen in the Graveyard of the Atlantic so the Coast Guard Cutter Mascoutin was dispatched from Norfolk to search for her. The cutter found no trace, but 13 days later a Dutch oil tanker sighted the vessel in the North Atlantic. More Coast Guard vessels put out to run down the Flying Dutchman, but she wa? never sighted again a phantom ship. OTHER WRECKS Lafct vessel lost in Ocracoke wat ers was the Albatross, world's larg est beam trawler. She put in to Morehead City during a storm on her first fishing voyage out of Hampton, Va., after veing trans formed into a trawler, sailed on one celar morning, went to Ocra coke $ Inlet and promptly went aground not so far from the shoal in the inlet where the Portu gese "Vera Cruz" foundered back in 1904. That was in 1939 and the vessel wa sa complete loss des pite the fact that owners hwd div ers trying to recover the engines for several weeks. This Vera Cruz which founder ed in the Inlet was loaded to the gunnels with three or four hun dred Cape Verde Island Negro im migrants, who were cast ashore on Portsmouth beach, succored there for a few days and subsequently returned except those with the proper entrance papers to the Cape Verde Island. The "evil" master of the vessel "Vera Cruz" escaped before the Revenue Cut ter arrived from New Bern, and with him went the personal beolng- mgs of many of his passengers. It was later learned that he was try ing to enter the immigrants into America without proper papers and that he finally left the coun try without being caught in a sperm oil barrel aboard a New Bedford whaler. The first six-masted schooner ever built the George W. Wells. and a British tramp, the Brewster, J both foundered on the same day on Ocracoke Beach. The Brewster was finally able to be refloated, SHE FINALLY FETCHED UP ON THE BEACH AT OCRACOKE Twenty years ago the 5-masted schoon er Carroll A. Derring foundered on the Outer Diamond of Diamond Shoals. With all sails set, Coast Guard went to her aid but found not a soul aboard. An investigation was held by several gov ernmental agencies, but what became of the crew was not learned and the mystery is still unsolved. Months after the vessel stranded and broke to pieces her bow washed ashore on Oc racoke Beach. Part of the old "ghostship" is shown in photo at right. Persons in the picture are Brantley Brown and Miss Ruth Lewis of Beaufort and Miss Hattie Styron and David Gaskill of Ocracoke. (Sketch of Deering by Jesse A. Giles Photos by Aycock Brown). but the Wells was a total loss. That was back in 1913. A section of the beach at Ocracoke until this day is known by the natives as The Wells. The fabled wreck of all goes back eighty-seven years when the Flying Cloud wrecked. For years I was under the impression that this Flying Cloud was the famous clip per. After Cape Stormy in the Post, Wesley Stout, its editor, was embarrassed because I had tied in a Flying Cloud with my Ocracoke story. The clipper, as you prob ably do not know, did not end her career until in the 1870's. I listed a Flying Cloud wrecking on Ocra coke Beach in 1854. Jamie Styron, a commercial fisherman and guide, had the fig urehead, inherited from his father which reputedly came from the old Flying Cloud and Jamie's brother Lige will still sing the chantey which was composed by an islander i about the ship that begins like this: Oh! I looked to the east'ard, And I looked to the west'ard And I saw ole Flying Cloud a-comin' She was loaded with silks, And the finest of satins, But now she's gone across Jordan After Cape Stormy, the Post editor called this apparent error to my attention. A few days later from some small port on Lonw Is land came a letter to thee Post which was forwerded to me from an old timer saying: "It could not have been the famous clipper "Flying Cloud" but perhaps it was a Barkentine by the name of Fly ing Cloud, built in 1853 and pre sumably lost on a South Atlantitc Beach the following year. Of this I have no further information. The "Flying Cloud Figurehead" which Jamie Styron owned was eventual ly sold to a summer resident at Nags Head who uses it with other souvenirs of the sea to decorate the cottage. Wrecks not only are fewer to day but they are laden , with no silks and satins. A vendue in the Flying Cloud's time must have been something to. remember. Worst wreck in the number of lives lost was that of the sidewheel packet "Home" off Ocracoke in 1837, almost a hundred drowning. 3 J Mil lUWJIIIH muiWWIWMWIMHHtl.l IHIW"''I""1 . , - - J v v j ' - tfH 1 if I I politano, commercial designer. The Camp Davis soldier won the Special Merit award in an interna tional poster contest for the pre vention of war. His was the best poster in the state of New Jersey in a contest designed to promote preservation of wild life. His painting, "Boone's First Sight of Kentucky," won for him a schol arship. At present oSik is assigned to Training Battery No. 2 of the Bar rage Balloon Training Center. In his leisure time the soldier artist keeps in painting trim. If authori ties sanction the chapel mural i plan, Soik probably will use "Re ligion in American History" as his theme. Sgt. Wood V. F. W- Not A Selectee CAMP DAVIS, Aug. 21. Sgt. .Albert E. Wood of Camp Davis , hi s military aptitudes SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS - - 1 -. . (F SJS s -FOR- MANY YEARS The Favorite Bakery Product On Ocracoke Island Has Been BETTS BREAD And The Products Of IB IE TITS WAiKmmw of Beaufort, North Carolina Shipped Daily To The Following Ocracoke Merchants Art And The Army Meet At Camp Davis CAMP DAVIS, Aug. 21. Art and the army may seem miles apart, but Artist Paul Soik, Jr., New Jersey selectee, might receive his most important assignment in the military atmosphere of Camp Davis. He is being considered to paint murals for the eight regi mental chapels now under con struction at the trainine center. Soik, 22 years old, already has an illustrious background for an artist so youthful. He first achiev ed notice as a senior in Lyndhurst, N. J. high school, where he was are editor of the covered year book. As a student, his class pro grams were different, his posters were meaningful. From the beginning, Soik has honesty recorded his impressions of life, spurning surrealism. After graduating from high school, he attended the Arts Career school in New York City, studying under Lee Kimmel, nationally known il lustrator; Penrhyn Stanlaws, por trait artist; Miss Paula Hitchison, fashion illustrator, and Justice Na- finds himself in the unique posi tion of being a member of the Vet erans of Foreign Wars and a se lectee at the same time, a coinci dence which officers say might be without parallel in the army. The soldier qualified for mem bership in the V. F. W. by serving with the U. S. Marines during the second Nicaraguan campaign. He was with the Marines from 1928 until 1931, when he was discharg ed. ' On that day in 1931 when he re ceived his discharge papers, Pvt. First Class Wood didn't have the slightest idea he would be in the army ten years later. When he returned from service to his home in Dearborn, Michi gan, Wood became an active mem ber of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and of the Military Order of. the Cottie. He even was a member of the V. F. W. national champion ship drum and bugle corps. After entering the service for the second time, the "Cottie" or der saw fit to make Wood "Su preme Aide-de-Camp," a national officer. Wood had a rather low number in the national selective service lottery and was called back to duty last spring, being assigned to Bat tery A of the 93rd Coast Artillery regiment, one of the first units to be activated at Camp Davis. He started out as a buck private, but officers were quick to notice Promotions first to corporal, then to serg eant came quickly. Sgt. Wood is finding the new army to his liking. But he can't suppress a smile as he looks back to 1931, when he thought his military career had ended. Prices running into four figures have been common at beef cattle sales this year, as the industry has enjoyed the most successful pure bred season in 20 years. Calf Stream Fishing OFF CAPE HATTERAS Do'phin, Amberjack, Blue Marlin For Full Information Write or Wire: Guide Cap!. Vernon Willis Cruiser "THE WILLIS" Hatteras P. O. North Carolina We Have Helped Make ATLANTIC, N At Eastern End of U. S. Route 70) The Most Progressive Community In East Carteret County ( C. D. SCARBOROUGH A. FULCHER GARRISH BROS. ALBERT STYRON W. G. WILLIS CHRIS GASKILL WE INVITE YOU TO VISIT OUR STORE NEAR MAILBOAT DOCK When You Are Going To and From Ocracoke Island and Cape Hatteras National Park OUR STORE CARRIES A COMPLETE LINE OF t GROCERIES AND COLD DRINKS And Used In the Dining Rooms Of WAHAB VILLAGE HOTEL PAMLICO INN and CEDAR GROVE INN We Stand For 11 C. Coastal Progress J. R. MORRIS & SONS General Merchant and Standard Oil Dealer Atlantic North Carolina

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