Ocracoke Street Names

Ocracoke streets did not have official names until 1999. Street signs appeared in 2005. Prior to that time the names of Ocracoke’s streets were fluid, often reflecting who lived there at the time (Mark’s Path), what public or commercial property was on a street (School Road), or what activity took place on a particular street (Poker Players’ Lane). It was common for islanders to make up names for UPS delivery. Statewide Enhanced 911 Emergency Service eventually dictated that Ocracoke, like the rest of the state, have official street names and road signs posted throughout the village.

The street-naming committee consisted of Kenny Ballance, Darlene Styron, James Barrie Gaskill, and Ellen Marie Fulcher Cloud. Determining official names was complicated because some streets had more than one unofficial name (Ammunition Dump Road, Fire House Road, Sunset Drive), while a few streets had no common names. In other cases, two or more streets had identical or almost identical names (Sarah Ellen Drive, Sarah Ellen Lane).

Well-respected island native, Maurice Balance (1927-2014), was consulted for suggestions about street names. He made a list of historic family names he thought should be honored by naming streets for them. At the bottom of his list he wrote, “No Blackbeard Road (thief, rapist, murderer), a dishonorable bastard”! As you can see, the committee agreed.

Following are all of Ocracoke village’s official street names as of 2018, with historical information.

  • 1st Avenue: This street and the surrounding area (Sunset Village) was named by Robert Lloyd Harcum (1900-1971), a real estate investor from Norfolk, Virginia, who developed this area in the late 1960’s. Harcum also established a furniture store in the building that now houses the Variety Store.
Lloyd Harcum and His Wife Mary
Lloyd Harcum and His Wife Mary
  • 2nd Avenue: Named by Lloyd Harcum (see entry for First Avenue).
  • Aretta Street: This street is named for Aretta Fulcher Williams (1878-1962). She and her husband, Leonard Williams, lived on Silver Lake Drive. Their house (built in 1913, and a contributing member of the Ocracoke Historic District) is now a rental house (“Blue Harbor”). The street in Upland Trent was named in her honor by family members who live in that area.
  • Back Road: This road, on the “back side” of the village, was cut through about 1929 (it was just a sandy lane then) to accommodate the growing number of families settling there. It was sometimes called Firehouse Road after the 1960s firehouse was built along the road. This road was also a section of the first road paved on the island, a one-lane concrete road leading from the WWII Navy Base to their “ammunition dumps.” (See also Sunset Drive and British Cemetery Road.)
  • Beach Road: This short road behind the bank was named by island native and early promoter of Ocracoke, Robert Stanley Wahab (1888-1967), who developed this area. (See also Ocean Road and Ocean View Road.)
  • Bebe Lane: This unpaved lane is named for Beatrice (Bebe) Tolson Daugherty (1922 – 1989), daughter of Celia Williams Tolson and Enoch Sylvester (Sid) Tolson, and granddaughter of Leonard and Aretta Williams. Their family home (a contributing member of the Ocracoke Historic District) was built in 1933, and is located on Silver Lake Drive, next door to the Leonard and Aretta Williams home (see Aretta Street).
  • Boos Lane: Named for members of the Boos family who operate Teeter’s Campground and live on this unpaved lane. In 1951 Warwick and Margueritte Vise Boos moved to the island from Illinois, and purchased Gary Bragg’s Cedar Grove Inn on the shore of Pamlico Sound, near the lighthouse. They renamed the business the Soundfront Inn, and operated it until the early 1970s.  From 1976 until 1996 Margueritte served as librarian for Ocracoke’s 80 square foot library, the smallest public library in the United States. At Margueritte’s death in 1996 the property passed out of the Boos family. Today the former inn on Sound Road is a popular rental property.

    Margueritte Boos
    Margueritte Boos in the Library
  • British Cemetery Road: The British Cemetery, which is located along this road, is the final resting place for four sailors from the armed British trawler, Bedfordshire, which was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat May 11, 1942. The section of this road from NC12 to the intersection of Back Road was for many years considered part of Back Road. This section was also sometimes referred to as Curiosity Lane. In the 1950s four island women, Nancy Williams, Lillian Jackson, Helen Fulcher, and Helen O’Neal, lived near the corner of this road and the Back Road. Rashe O’Neal (see Rashe Lane) began calling this Curiosity Corner for these women who gathered nearly every evening in the summer on one of their porches to share island news. Later on, various other women, including Elizabeth Howard, Fannie O’Neal, Etta Scarborough, Maude Fulcher, Irene O’Neal, Maggie O’Neal, Martha O’Neal, Lillian Fulcher, Fannie Pearl Fulcher, Ann Scarborough, and Jessica McManmon, continued the tradition. The road came to be known as Curiosity Lane.

    British Cemetery
  • Brugh’s Ridge Road: This unpaved lane is named for Doward and Jackie Overton Brugh. Doward was a 1970s real estate developer (he developed the nearby Oyster Creek area) who married into the Ocracoke Howard family. Before official street names were established this road was often referred to as Rug Road because a number of used carpets were placed in the lane to keep cars from getting mired down in the mud.
  • Bryant Lane: Named for the Leonard (1874-1960) and Jane Bryant family. Leonard, from the mainland, married island native, Jane Blount. Leonard made his living as a carpenter and barber. He was also the sexton of the Ocracoke Methodist Church. Jane was a domestic. Leonard and Jane had eleven children, three of whom, Julius, Mildred (Babe), and Muzel, remained on Ocracoke. Muzel died on Ocracoke at the age of 103 in 2008. (also see entry for Winnie Blount Road).

    Leonard Bryant
  • Cabana Road: Named by Lloyd Harcum (see entry for First Avenue) who developed this area.
  • Cedar Drive: For many years this unpaved road was called Old Laundrymat (sic) Road, because a laundromat was located there in the 1960s. Jimmy Jackson and others who lived on the road petitioned to make Cedar Drive the official street name. (See also Jackson Circle.)
  • Cedar Lane: This short section of road in Jackson Dunes pays tribute to the numerous cedar trees that grow in Ocracoke village. Named by the residents along this road.
  • Cedar Road: Also known locally as Bank Road (the First National Bank building sits on the corner of Irvin Garrish Highway and Cedar Road), this paved road also pays tribute to the many cedar trees on the island. Before the establishment of official street names this road was generally referred to as Richard’s Road for Richard Farrow O’Neal (1877-1944) who lived at the end of the road.
  • Cemetery Road: This road dead ends at the Ocracoke Community Cemetery which was established on September 14, 1953. A deed for approximately 5 acres of land was executed by members of the Garrish family for the sum of $1.00 for the purpose of forming a Cemetery As­sociation to supplement the more than 80 small family cemeteries that were increasingly being filled. The Ballance family relinquished a portion of their property to create the road. On November 21, 1953, two islanders were buried in the newly designated Ocracoke Community Cem­etery, Benjamin D. Gaskill, age 82, and Robert B. O’Neal, age 66. They both died on the same day and were buried on the same day.
  • Central Drive: This unpaved lane (along with West End Road) across from the Variety Store was named by Myra Wahab (1903-2002), widow of Robert Stanley Wahab (1888-1967), native islander, entrepreneur, and early promoter of Ocracoke. Myra developed this area in the late 20th
  • Creek Road: This road connects Lighthouse Road and Silver Lake Drive. Silver Lake harbor was originally called Cockle Creek (it is not a lake, but a wide, shallow tidal creek), hence the name of this road. At one time this was called Scarborough Road because Clarence Scarborough owned and operated a small general store along this road and lived next door to the store. Later Corky Mason operated the business as Corkey’s Store. At that time the road was often called Corkey’s Road.
  • Cutten Sage Lane: This is the road past the first bridge in the Oyster Creek development. It intersects Cutting Sage Road (see entry for Cutting Sage Road). On some pre-2005 maps this road is identified as Portsmouth Village Road.
  • Cutting Sage Road: This is an alternate spelling of “Cutting Sedge,” a member of a family of tufted marsh plants, Cyperaceae, and is the traditional name of the western portion of this road that leads from the intersection of Sunset Drive to Oyster Creek. This road was sometimes called Bridge Road since it crosses three canals. Also, some pre-2005 maps list the section that crosses the first bridge as Bay Ridge Road.  Confusingly, the road past the first bridge in the Oyster Creek development, which intersects “Cutting Sage,” is named “Cutten Sage Lane.”
  • Elizabeth Lane: This unpaved lane honors Elizabeth O’Neal Howard (1910-1996), wife of Robert Wahab Howard (1914-1974). Elizabeth, whose historic family property lies in this area, served as Ocracoke’s postmaster from 1941 until 1972, and was an early collector and preserver of island history and genealogy.

    Elizabeth Howard
  • Esham Lane: This road is named for David Esham (1941-2001) and family. David was the son of Ocracoke native Virginia Williams and Elisha Esham from the Eastern Shore of Virginia. David Esham, business owner, fisherman, and first president of the Ocracoke Preservation Society, had a house and a dock at the end of this road.
  • Faraway Oaks: Named by Frank Wardlow (1917-1997), who developed this area.
  • Fig Tree Lane: Named by island native, Ray Thomas Waller (1940-2007), for the luxurious fig trees growing along this lane where he lived.

  • Fish Camp Lane: Ocracoke has a long tradition of fish camps, primitive 19th century huts constructed of bull rushes, erected “down below” (the part of the island north of Ocracoke village) for use by local fishermen. Later fish camps were simple wooden buildings. Since the mid-1950s, when the National Park Service purchased most of the land outside Ocracoke village, the old fish camps were demolished or moved. However, a number of small, current-day “fish camps” with boat docks have been erected along a boardwalk on the marsh bordering a tidal creek at the end of Cutting Sage Lane in the Oyster Creek area. Thus, Fish Camp Lane.

    Fish Camps
  • Friendly Ridge Road: Named by the developer of this area, Lloyd Harkum, in the late 1960’s. (See also 1st Avenue)
  • Garrish Lane: This small lane off of Water Plant Road is named for Uriah Wahab Garrish, Sr. (1874-1968) and the Ocracoke Garrish family. The earliest documents relating to a Garrish on Ocracoke are in the estate papers of Jobe Wahab. In 1785 the estate paid 4 pounds 16 shillings to Henry Garrish (b. ca. 1760) for gradeschooling of Thomas Wahab. Henry served in the American Revolution, and married islander Elizabeth Howard (1765-1837). The name Garrish is derived from the Middle English word Gerysshe, meaning “changeful, wild, wayward.”
  • Gaskill Lane: William Gaskill (b. before 1737 – d. 1768) was a whaler and fisherman, and Justice of the Peace in Carteret County in 1749/1750. He and his wife, Ann Jarret, had ten children. At least two of their children settled on Ocracoke. Thomas Christopher Gaskill (b. ca. 1752 d. ca. 1828) arrived on Ocracoke Island before 1800. His brother, Benjamin Gaskill (d. 1787), married Jane Williams Wahab, daughter of John Williams of Ocracoke (and widow of Job Wahab). James Barrie Gaskill (1943-2017) owned property at the end of this lane, and maintained a commercial fishing operation on the canal. Gaskill is an English name derived from the location of this family in the late Middle Ages, in Gatesgill, a hamlet in Dalston Parrish within the city of Carlisle in Cumbria County on the northwest coast of England. Gatesgill, recorded as Geytescales in 1273, derives from the Old Norse words “geit” (goat) + “skali” (shelter), meaning “shelter for goats.” Modern variations include Gaitskell, Gaitskill, Gaskill, Gaskell and Gaskall.

    James Barrie Gaskill
  • Harbor Cove Lane: Named by the residents along this road.
  • Horse Pen Road: At the time this one-lane unpaved road acquired its official name (in 1999), it terminated at the property of Jim and Jennetta Henning. Jim had served as Ocracoke Island’s chief National Park Service ranger, and was a tireless supporter of the island’s Banker Pony herd. He and Jennetta maintained a sizeable horse pen on their property.
  • Howard Street: At one time Howard Street was referred to as the “Main Road.” In 1835 what had been merely a foot path was widened by court order and made a public thoroughfare. It extended from close by the present-day “School Road” all the way to the Sound (in the vicinity of today’s National Park Service Visitor Center). Several stores were located in this area – Mr. Blackwell’s store, John Pike’s store, and Willis Williams’ store and tavern. The area “Around Creek” grew considerably, especially since the post office and mailboat dock were located there.Once the state of North Carolina took control of the ferry operations in the mid-1950s and decided to pave many of the island’s sandy lanes Ocracoke’s destiny began to change. Early on the pavement was extended around the harbor from the Navy’s concrete road. Where once there had been little more than a foot path, there was now a hard surface road (where Highway 12 is today).This meant that the western end of the “Main Road” (in front of the Community Store) was now paved. And that left the eastern end of the road still a one-lane sandy path lined by family cemeteries and embraced by cedars and gnarled old live oaks.It wasn’t long before Stacy Howard nailed a hand-painted sign to a tree in front of his house. “East Howard Street” it read. The new name stuck. Of course, most of the residents there were Howards, and it was the eastern end of what had been the “Main Road.” Today, the official name of this road is simply Howard Street.

    call Howard Street in Winter
  • Ikey D’s Road: Named for island native, Isaac D. O’Neal (1935-1978), who lived on this road. Ikey D was a master carpenter who worked for Sam Jones building “Berkley Castle” and other buildings. Ikey D is also the name of Sam Jones’s horse, buried beside him at Springer’s Point. Ikey D’s son, also named Ikey, still lives on this road.
  • Irvin Garrish Highway: Irvin Garrish (1916-1997) and his wife Elsie Ballance Garrish (1915-2003) were both born and raised on Ocracoke. Irvin’s mother was a direct descendant of Agnes Scott for whom Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, is named. For a time Irvin & Elsie lived and worked off the island, but later returned to their island home on Howard Street. Irvin was a ferry captain and the island’s first representative to the Hyde County board of commissioners. NC Highway 12 (Irvin Garrish Highway) is named for him. Elsie was the island’s nurse.

    Irvin Garrish
  • Jackson Circle: In about 1745 Francis Jackson (ca. 1723- ca. 1798) married Susannah Howard (ca. 1725 – 1830), daughter of William Howard, Sr., last colonial owner of Ocracoke Island. Francis Jackson was an inlet pilot, and the first Jackson to live on Occracoke. Jackson Circle is located in the area where the Jackson family lived for many generations. Jackson Circle was developed by Doward Brugh (d. 2016) and Nathaniel Jackson (1929-2007).
  • Lake Street: This unpaved road parallel to Central Drive is divided into two sections by a marshy lake near the Ocracoke Community Ball Park.
  • Lawton Lane: This narrow sandy lane runs from NC12 to Howard Street. This lane never had a name until the 1990s when Libby & Bill Hicks rented the Homer and Aliph Howard house on the lane and used “Lawton Lane” as their address, a tribute to their neighbor, Lawton Howard (1911 – 2002), who was born in the house.

    Lawton Howard
  • Lighthouse Road: This road was traditionally called Point Road since it led to Springer’s Point. When official Ocracoke street names were first introduced this was designated Point Road. Only because several residents objected was the current name officially adopted. They had already established their addresses as Lighthouse Road in recognition of the island’s most prominent structure (built in 1823).

    Ocracoke Lighthouse
  • Live Oak Road: This road, named by the residents along the road, pays tribute to the numerous live oaks (Quercus Virginiana) found on Ocracoke. Many of these trees, the dominant hardwood tree on the island, are hundreds of years old.

    Live Oak
  • Loop Road: The name of this road is simply descriptive. It “loops” around from the southwest end of Lighthouse Road back to the intersection of Lighthouse Road and Creek Road. However, in the 1960s this section of road was sometimes called Moonlight Valley Road. This more colorful name was inspired by a glamour magazine and coined by island teenagers.
  • Lumpy’s Road: Leslie and Kenneth (Beaver) Tillett live on this unpaved road. When Leslie was pregnant with their first son, Andrew (born 1996), Beaver would put his hand on her abdomen and jokingly comment on how lumpy it was. It didn’t take much before they were both referring to the unborn baby as “Lumpy.” And thus the name of the road where Leslie, Beaver, & Andrew (and now Kyle also) live.
  • Mark’s Path: This unpaved lane is named for William Marcus Gaskins (1858-1937) who lived on this lane. Family members still live nearby.
  • Martha Jane Lane: Martha Jane O’Neal Gaskins (1903-1971) lived on this short section of road that connects Lighthouse Road to Loop Road. Martha Jane was married to Gilbert Bryan Gaskins. Her house is the small cottage sided with cedar shakes. Many years ago Martha Jane was taken to Duke University hospital complaining of abdominal discomfort. She was diagnosed with a nervous stomach and sent back home. Some months later she took a snapshot of her “nervous stomach,” her newborn baby son, and sent it to the doctors at the hospital.
  • Mary Ann Drive: This short lane is named for Mary Ann Styron Williams (born ca. 1795). She was married to Francis Williams (1790- ca. 1865), grandson of John Williams who bought half of Ocracoke Island from William Howard, Sr., in 1759. Mary Ann and Francis lived on the shore of a shallow pond in this area that came to be called Mary Ann’s Pond. This pond was located just west of Northern Pond but the pond was filled in by the Navy during WWII.
  • Maurice Ballance Road: This road honors native islander, Edgar Maurice Balance (1927-2014), the son of the late Elisha and Emma Gaskins Ballance. He was a retired port captain with the NCDOT-Ferry Division, commercial fisherman, master carpenter, talented musician, veteran of the Korean Conflict, and a respected and beloved member of the Ocracoke community. The name for this road was suggested by a friend of Maurice Ballance who has a cottage on this road.

    Maurice Ballance
  • Middle Road: This road is located in the middle of “Wahab Village,” an area of Ocracoke developed in the 1930s and 1940s by Robert Stanley Wahab (1888-1967), island native and early promoter of Ocracoke. In 1936 Stanley established the Wahab Village Hotel (now Blackbeard’s Lodge) on Back Road, on the western edge of Wahab Village.
  • Miss Elecia Lane: Miss Elecia Garrish (1889-1978) was the second wife of Alexander Norman Garrish. They lived in the house on this lane which Alexander built in 1903 (it was remodeled in the 1940s). The house is a contributing member of the Ocracoke Historic District. Today it is a rental home. Miss Elecia was the island seamstress.

    Miss Elecia’s House
  • North Street: This street behind the Ocracoke Coffee Company intersects Sunset Drive. It was named by Lloyd Harcum. (See 1st Avenue)
  • North Pond Road: This road is adjacent to Northern (or North) Pond, a small cove located in Pamlico Sound, on the north side of the village of Ocracoke.
  • NPS Road: This road to the east of the National Park Service public parking area passes the NPS maintenance buildings and leads to NPS housing units.
  • Nubbins Ridge: This is a curious name for one of the island’s narrow lanes. Carrie, Elnora, and Delphin Williams, whose family home was located here, named this road years ago for an area they were familiar with in Richmond, Virginia.
  • Ocean Road: This short road between the back of the Island Inn (the old Odd Fellows Lodge) and the Boyette Condos at one time led to the “bald beach” and the ocean. (See also Ocean View Road.)
  • Ocean View Road: Prior to World War II this road was on the edge of the “bald beach.” Hence the name. After the construction of the continuous row of barrier dunes between the ocean and NC12 in the mid-twentieth century, numerous beach grasses, sea oats, myrtle bushes, yaupons, and other vegetation colonized the area between the dunes and this road. Houses and businesses followed. For many years it has been impossible to see the Ocean from Ocean View Road.
  • Odd Fellows Road: In 1897 islanders established Ocracoke Lodge No. 194, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a non-political and non-sectarian international fraternal order founded in 1819. The Lodge was built in 1901 by Thaddeus Scarborough about 600 feet closer to the harbor. The ground floor was used as a schoolhouse until 1917. The upper floor was the Lodge’s meeting room. After the Lodge was disbanded in 1925 the building was sold as a private residence and moved to its present location. Eventually it was turned into a coffee shop, and after World War II it was re-purposed as a restaurant and inn, eventually acquiring the name Island Inn. In 2018 the Ocracoke Preservation Society, with help from Occupancy Tax money, purchased the property.

    Odd Fellows Lodge
  • Old Beach Road: This was a former sandy path leading from the village to the “bald beach.” (See also Ocean View Road.)
  • Old Church Lane: This narrow lane carries this name because the property where Zillie’s wine store is now located was once the site of Wesley Chapel, a congregation of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1883 this denomination sent a preacher to the island because a schism had erupted in the local Methodist Episcopal Church, South (which was located on Howard Street), over the use of hymn books. From 1883 until 1939, when the national denominations merged to form the United Methodist Church, Ocracoke village was home to two Methodist churches. The two existing church buildings were demolished, and the materials used to build the present Methodist Church on School Road.

    Wesley Chapel
  • Old Pony Lane: This unpaved lane adjacent to Blackbeard’s Lodge which narrows to a footpath connects Back Road with the Ocracoke School property. The name harkens back to a time when semi-wild Banker Ponies roamed freely through the village.
  • O’Neal Drive: This road passes by an area of the village settled by members of the Ocracoke O’Neal family. An O’Neal cemetery on this road includes graves of several prominent and influential members of this historic island family. Some of the O’Neal (O’Neil, Neal, Neil, Neel, Neale) family from Ireland came to Virginia in the seventeenth century, and later to Hatteras Island. The first O’Neals settled on Ocracoke in the late 1700s. The O’Neal family has owned land in this area for many years. The final several hundred feet of this road (past the curve) was sometimes called John Gaskins Drive.
  • O’Neal Lane: This lane is named for members of the Ocracoke O’Neal family. (Also see entry for O’Neal Drive.) Named by the residents along this road.

    Walter ONeal’s Store
  • Pamlico Shores Road: This road in the Northern Pond area intersects British Cemetery Road,,and was named by Frank Wardlow (1917-1997) who developed this area in the 1970s.
  • Pilot Town Circle: This paved road loops around the back of the National Park Service Visitors Center. The name was suggested by Maurice Ballance (see Maurice Ballance Road). It pays tribute to one of Ocracoke’s earliest names, Pilot Town. Ocracoke’s first European settlers in the early eighteenth century acted as inlet pilots, guiding sailing vessels through the sometimes treacherous Ocracoke Inlet. Today, Pilot Town Circle serves as stacking lanes for the Cedar Island and Swan Quarter ferries.
  • Pintail Drive: This road is named for the northern pintail (Anas acuta), a large migratory duck that frequents Ocracoke Island. The male’s long central tail feathers provide the species’ common and scientific names. This road was named by Frank Wardlow (1917-1997), who developed this area.
  • Poker Players’ Road: Not surprisingly, this road was named to recognize a group of island men who gathered regularly in the woods nearby to play poker. Anonymous sources identified them as Ikey D. O’Neal, James Barrie Gaskill, Billy Garrish, James Garrish, Jr., Julius Bryant, and a few others.
  • Pompano Place: On Ocracoke Island pompano is a popular and prized marine delicacy and game fish in the genus Trachinotus, in the family Carangidae.
  • Rasche Lane: Named for Ocracoke native Horatio (Rasche) Willis O’Neal (1894-1981), who lived nearby.
  • Sand Dollar Drive: The Sand Dollar Motel is located on this road. Sand dollars, which are found frequently on Ocracoke’s beach, are extremely flattened, burrowing sea urchins belonging to the order Clypeasteroida.
  • Sand Dune Trail: This road off of Middle Road in the Wahab Village section of Ocracoke is named for the sand dunes that formed in this area before the erection of the man-made barrier dunes between NC12 and the ocean, when this area was on the edge of the “bald beach.”
  • Sarah Ellen Drive: Named for Miss Sarah Ellen O’Neal Gaskill (1879-1984) many years ago by her friend Susan Barksdale who owned property near this paved road “Up Trent.” (Susan Barksdale also owned the Capt. Bill Thomas house on the corner of Silver Lake Drive and Sarah Ellen Lane.) This is one of two roads honoring this much beloved island native. Miss Sarah Ellen was the daughter of Howard and Charlotte O’Neal, and she lived on the island all of her life. Her father was a fisherman and she grew up to marry a fisherman, Benjamin Gaskill, with whom she shared 46 years of marriage and five sons. (See also Sarah Ellen Lane.)
  • Sarah Ellen Lane: This unpaved lane off Silver Lake Drive on the south side of the harbor honors Miss Sarah Ellen O’Neal Gaskill (1879-1984) who lived at the end of the lane. Her descendants still live there. (See also Sarah Ellen Drive.)

    Miss Sarah Ellen Gaskill
  • School Road: The 1971 schoolhouse, which replaced the 1917 schoolhouse, sits at the end of this eponymous road, directly across from the circle.

    1917 Schoolhouse
  • Silver Lake Drive: This road travels around the south shore of Silver Lake harbor. The harbor, originally called Cockle Creek, is a tidal creek that is connected to Pamlico Sound by the “Ditch,” the narrow opening used by ferries and other water craft. In the 1930s, and again during WWII, the shallow Creek was dredged to provide a suitable harbor for larger boats and US Navy vessels. As early as the nineteenth century Cockle Creek was sometimes called Silver Lake. In an 1890 newspaper promotion in The Daily Journal (New Bern, NC) the Spencer brothers, new owners of the large Victorian inn, the Ocracoke Hotel (1885-1900), refer to “Silver Lake, a beautiful sheet of water…immediately in the rear and offer[ing] a sail for the timid who fear the sound or ocean, a bath for those who dread the surf, and fishing for anyone who prefers to angle for perch rather than trout or blue fish.”
  • Sound Road: This road is connected to Live Oak Road, and proceeds to the Soundfront Inn on the shore of Pamlico Sound. (See also Boos Lane.)

    Soundfront Inn
  • South Point Road: This two-lane sand road from NC12 at the edge of Ocracoke village to the South Point of the beach was created by the National Park Service in the 1980s to keep beach vehicles in one corridor, and to prevent destruction of vegetation in the surrounding sand flats.
  • Styron Lane: This road in the Oyster Creek development pays tribute to the Styron family of Ocracoke. George Styron, Jr. (b. ca. 1700) was the ancestor of all the Ocracoke Styrons. The family settled first in Virginia, then, after receiving land grants in Carteret County, moved to Portsmouth Island. By 1790 William and James Styron, sons of George, Jr., were living on Ocracoke.
  • Sunset Drive: The road directly across from the original Ocracoke fire hall was among the very first streets paved on the island. When the US Navy established their base here in July of 1942 they created an ammunition dump along the ridge that now connects the Oyster Creek development and Jackson Dunes, but they found the deep soft sand lanes unsatisfactory for efficient movement of vehicles. In short order they paved a one-lane concrete road from their base on the harbor to the dump. A few of the aprons that served the dumps are still visible on present-day “Cutting Sage Road” and “Trent Drive.” That section of the first road directly across from the original fire hall (now the Ocracoke School shop classroom and WOVV radio station studio) was dubbed “Ammunition Dump Road” by locals. Later on, after the fire hall was built, the road was sometimes called “Fire House Road.” In the mid to late 1960s Lloyd Harkum (1900-1971), from Norfolk, Virginia, purchased property along this road and divided it into small lots. He officially named this thoroughfare “Sunset Drive.” It is only in the winter that this road faces directly into the sunset. In the 1970’s, before the trees had grown so tall, the top of the lighthouse was clearly visible as you were driving west on this road. A few folks referred to it by its most confusing moniker, “Lighthouse Road.”

    Lloyd Harcum
  • Terrapin Drive: This road is named for the diamondback terrapin, a turtle native to Ocracoke which was harvested for many years to make turtle stew. The name is derived from the Algonquian word torope. Frank Wardlow (1917-1997), a native of Indianapolis, IN, moved to Ocracoke in the early 1970s and became manager of the Ocracoke Sanitary District. He developed this area and provided the name.
  • Tom Neal Drive: This Ocracoke street is named after Thomas Martin O’Neal, “Tom ‘Neal” (1866-1933). He was a master boatbuilder. He began construction of the boat now on display behind the Preservation Museum ca. 1929; Stacy Howard bought the boat a year or so later; Homer Howard completed construction of the boat, and it was launched in 1934.Tom ‘Neal was also an excellent fiddler who played for local square dances, and later was a founding member of an island band, The Graveyard Band. He had six children. Martin Garrish, Tom ‘Neal’s great-great-grandson, was named after him, and is recognized as one of Ocracoke’s finest musicians.

    Martin Garrish
  • Trent Drive: The southeast extension of Cutting Sage is called “Trent Drive” (sometime Upland Trent Drive). One historically major section of Ocracoke village included this area near Pamlico Sound and beyond the present-day community cemetery. It is called “Up Trent” or “Upland Trent” and, although all of the homes there today are relatively new, years ago quite a few islanders lived amongst the trees there. Hence, “Trent Road.” Interestingly, several other geographical areas in eastern North Carolina bear the Trent moniker. For example, there is the Trent River in eastern North Carolina (its origin is near Kinston, and empties into the Neuse River at New Bern).The small village of Frisco, on Hatteras Island, was at one time called Trent or Trent Woods. Although Algonquin Indians had established a village there centuries earlier, the first European settlers called the area Trent. In 1898 the U.S. Post Office renamed the village Frisco to avoid confusion with another town on the mainland called Trent. Because the majority of early Outer Banks settlers came from the British Isles, the name Trent most likely indicated a connection with the small English village of Trent in northwest Dorset. Unfortunately, details of that connection have been lost over time.
  • Tuttles Lane: This unpaved road is named for the Tuthill (Tuttle) family who moved from Long Island, NY, to South Creek, NC, in the 19th century. They became close friends of the E.D. Springer family, and married into that family. E.D. had purchased a large tract of Ocracoke land that came to be called Springer’s Point. Effingham Tuthill (1834 – 1917), a former carriage maker, established a “hotel” (several buildings and apartments) along this lane. In 1895 he advertised The Tuthill House this way: “the reputation of this house for good food, well prepared, and general comfort of guests goes without saying. Rates Reasonable.”

    Effingham Tuthill
  • Water Plant Road: Not surprisingly, this road passes by the island’s elevated water tank and the buildings that house the Ocracoke Sanitary District. The District was established in 1972. In 1977 the plant commenced operation of a newly developed reverse osmosis desalination municipal water system. The plant has been expanded and upgraded several times. Prior to 1977 islanders relied on rainwater collected in individual water cisterns for their drinking water.
  • West End Road: This unpaved lane (along with Central Drive) across from the Variety Store was named by Myra Wahab (1903-2002), widow of Robert Stanley Wahab (1888-1967), native islander, entrepreneur, and early promoter of Ocracoke. Myra developed this area in the late 20th
  • Widgeon Woods Road: This unpaved road in the Widgeon Woods development is named for the American wigeon (Mareca americana), a dabbling duck formerly called the baldpate by ornithologists. The road forks to create North Widgeon Woods Road and South Widgeon Woods Road.
  • Winnie Blount Road: Winnie Blount (affectionately known to islanders as “Aunt Winnie”) was the only native black person to return to Ocracoke after the Civil War. She married another former slave from the mainland (Hercules [Harkus] Blount) and they raised two children on the island, Jane and Annie Laura. Jane eventually met and married Leonard Bryant from Engelhard while she and Winnie were working at the old Doxsee Clam Factory which was located near the entrance to the harbor. Annie Laura also lived on the island with her husband, but they moved to Elizabeth City, NC, soon after their little boy fell off the back porch into the water barrel and drowned.  Aunt Winnie worked as a domestic; Hercules was a boat builder and carpenter. (also see the entry for Bryant Lane).
    Winnie Blount

    (Additional information about several roads was added July 25, 2018.)