The Ponder Hotel,1890

Some time ago I obtained a transcript of an 1890 advertisement on the back of the stationery for the Ocracoke Ponder Hotel (1885-1900). The hotel was located about where the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (the old US Coast Guard Station) is now. The transcript follows the photo of the hotel.

Ponder Hotel, 1899
Ponder Hotel, 1899


On the Atlantic coast bordering on North Carolina and which constitutes her Eastern boundary and immediately facing the Ocean, is one of the most beautiful Islands of this hemisphere. The earliest name we find for it is Ocracoke [see for earlier spellings]. It has always been noted for its health and


which is not surpassed by any Ocean resort, and has no equal, inasmuch as the breeze from the ocean is salt and if perchance the wind should come from the land, it must first be wafted from the bosom of Pamlico Sound, a salt water sheet, whose expanse is only commensurate with its life giving properties.


is easy and all delays are now laid aside, as the newly repaired and excellent steamer Beaufort has been chartered to make tri-weekly trips from Washington [see]. The comfort of the passengers was especially considered in selecting this boat and when by a few hours ride the island is reached, a


of excellent dimensions greets the eye, and the seeker after health and comfort will have all the heart desires The many


offered are various and of a kind to please anyone.


a beautiful sheet of water is immediately in the rear, and offers a sail for the timid who fear the sound or ocean, a bath for those who dread the surf, and fishing for any who prefer to angle for perch rather than trout or blue fish. [This may be the first time the harbor was referred to as Silver Lake, probably a marketing tactic. Traditionally, the harbor was called Cockle Creek (see]


is only a short walk from the hotel, and this can be reached by a tram railway at any and all times, if the walk seems tiresome [for more information see; the tram railway was operated by Baxter Johnson]. In fact no wish of a guest will be denied to insure ease and comfort.


is located at the extreme end of the hotel, so that the bustle and stir incident to a dance or promenade will not disturb the invalid.


will be furnished by a band of reputation and will be at the disposal of the guests.


will be under the supervision of an expert caterer and in addition to our home markets, Norfolk and Baltimore will assist in furnishing the food.


of every kind can be had at all times, the most exciting of which is probably blue fish trolling.


find game in abundance. It is remarked that the curlew and willet shooting surpasses the quail shooting of California. [The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1916 made hunting curlews and willets illegal.]


is directly under the control of Spencer Bros., so well and favorably known as hotelists, to whom all inquiries can be addressed at Washington, N.C.

Already the season is opened at this hotel and everybody will find not only a welcome and every wish gratified, but health, sport and a general good time, and we advise everybody to visit OCRACOKE this season.