More on WWII and the Outer Banks

November 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

This photo accompanies the article in Our State magazine

“It started on January 18, 1942, when German U-boats torpedoed the Allan Jackson due east of Oregon Inlet. The sky flashed red. The next day, the same scene, just seven miles from the coast, as the City of Atlanta went down.

War was here. Just more than a month after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. And every night, looking across that barren landscape and into the water where the ghosts lurked, the people wondered: Are we next?”

From an article, “War in the Water,” in Our State magazine.


Core Banks Closed?

October 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

Occurred to me that the place where we once lived as lawless squatters might actually be “closed” during this federal shutdown.

According to a newspaper article:

Cape Lookout Superintendent Pat Kenny was at the Harkers Island Visitor Center Tuesday as NPS staff and volunteers prepped the park for closure. The staff had to notify all visitors to the park they had to leave, including ones that were staying out on the islands.

“The park is effectively closed to all visitors,” Mr. Kenney said. “The visitors aren’t happy. Some of these folks have been planning this (visit) for a year. As an agency, we’re disappointed; there’s a lot of benefits to the local community to have a park, but without an appropriation, we can’t work.”

So, I’m assuming the entire Core Banks are closed…though I’m not sure how you keep people with boats away when there’s no one working.

Bashing Our Plywood Winnebago

October 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

We tended to think of our crazy-ass beach vehicles as charming and quirky.  Apparently, they are also environmental disasters. I’d read it before (in a guidebook to the Outer Banks) and been a little mortified.  Now a random Google search turned up this blog entry by Benjamin Preston posted on The New York Times site earlier this summer:

Everyone did it, and on the two islands comprising the Core Banks, a vehicle’s ferry ride was usually a one-way trip; it became someone’s guaranteed ride in that remote fisherman’s vacationland until it broke or was covered by drifting sand.

His article reports that about 1,500 vehicles were removed from Core Banks in 1976.

Preston quotes a park ranger, Karen Duggan:  “They ran anything and everything. I’ve even seen a picture of a Duesenberg out there. When the cars got stuck or no longer ran, they just left them there.”

Read the whole article and see a couple of photos here: The Secret Buried Cars of North Carolina’s Core Banks

Preston also links to these newspaper articles:

Clean Up on Core Banks Delayed

Banks cars’ registration is planned

Core Banks Club?

July 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

Googling around today, I’ve found a couple of references to the Core Banks Club and a man named John Hagan.

On the Virginia Episcopal School website, an update called “Core Banks Alumni Retreat” from Ron Hood:

This private club, with origins dating to 1902, has enjoyed a renaissance of sorts under the watchful guidance of the “Mayor of Davis,” John Hagan. The Hagan family, along with a small cadre of members, have a wonderful “operation” there, fully equipped to accommodate all manner of hunting and fishing activities.

A man named Henry Hagan writes an entry on his website, dated 7/10:

Beautiful warm sunny skies offset a howling wind at Cape Lookout during our Core Banks Club family vacation week!  All four of our children were with us, along with Brother John and our three labs!  Nancy and Graybo Murray, and Lind and Swanson Graves from Washingon NC joined in the fun. Blair had friends from Baltimore.  Sarah Sims and Dan Thornton had friends from their Elon days. Friends of friends even appeared!

Mr. Hagan includes some nice snapshots from the trip.

Putting this here in the hopes that it will lead me to find out more…..

Fish Gone Missing

July 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

From @CapeLookoutNPS on Twitter today: Did You Know? There was once a fish-shaped weathervane atop the Cape Lookout Lighthouse:


A link takes you to the photo above and this info on Facebook: There was once a fish-shaped weathervane on top of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. At some point after the last Lighthouse Keeper was stationed here (after the 1950s), it was removed and disappeared.

WWII and Core Banks

July 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

I’ve not given much thought to World War II and the proximity of German U-boats to Core Banks, until now.  As it turns out, I’ve been writing about World War II heroes for the last year, part of a series for South Carolina ETV.  Now, here’s this WWII story that played out just miles from where I used to play on the beach.

A couple of links to get the research started.

First an interesting article, apparently submitted by a Tarheel Junior Historian. (I used to be one of those!)

Then, some information on a book about the topic: War Zone: World War II Off the North Carolina Coast by Kevin Duffus

ImageFrom a blurb about the book: “Learn about the intrepid men and women who defended America in little boats and in small planes; the truth behind the famous phrase “Sighted sub, sank same;” and the children who spied on German spies. Discover the real story behind the legends of secret agents, midget-submarine landings, a busload of naked Nazi U-boat POWs at New Bern, and the shelling of a chemical plant on Kure Beach.”

Core Banks Named for Coree?

July 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

Saw this text and photo today on the Cape Lookout National Seashore Facebook page:

Did You Know? Core Banks was named for the Coree (core-ee), a Native American tribe which likely used the islands as seasonal fishing grounds.

Photo of John White’s watercolor “Indians Fishing”

Very little is known of this tribe. This may be due in part to the fact that their numbers were significantly reduced before European contact as a result of war with another tribe. Between the villages Coranine and Raruta (located in coastal Carteret County), John Lawson’s records show that the tribe had 25 fighting men.

It is unclear if the Coree belonged to the Algonquian or Iroquoian language family. The tribe fought alongside the Iroquoian Tuscarora during the Tuscarora War. However, they were assigned to a refuge on Lake Mattamuskeet with other Algonquian tribes.

Although the Coree are extinct as a tribe, they may have descendants among the Tuscarora, Lumbee, and white and black communities near their reservation or native lands.

So this makes me curious about a number of things…including who is John Lawson?  And where are Coranine and Raruta?