Ocracoke, North Carolina

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Ocracoke is a census-designated place (CDP) and unincorporated town located at the southern end of Ocracoke Island, located entirely within Hyde County, North Carolina. The population was 769 as of the 2000 census. It is also the reputed location of Blackbeard's death.

The Ocracoke area made headlines during the Independence Day weekend in July 2009 when a truck carrying fireworks exploded, eventually killing three, and injuring several more.[4]



The Outer Banks area was occasionally visited by Algonquian-speaking Native Americans, but was never heavily settled. Ocracoke, then called Wokokkon,[5] was used as a subsistence hunting and fishing ground for the Hatterask Indians. Yaupon Tea or Black Drink, made from the dried leaves of the indigenous yaupon tree was used ceremonially by the Native Americans in the area. A small village on Hatteras Island is said to have had forty fighting men. The area was first described in detail by Giovanni da Verrazzano, an Italian navigator, in 1524. Verrazzano was unable to navigate the tortuous channels leading into the Pamlico Sound and assumed that China lay beyond the Outer Banks.


In 1585, Sir Walter Raleigh's colony in their ship called the "Tiger", in their search of Roanoke Island, collided with a sand bar in Ocracoke Inlet and were forced to land on the island for repairs.[6][7]

An attempt at an English settlement was tried at Roanoke Island in the late 16th century, but it failed. This effectively halted European settlement until 1663, when Carolina Colony was chartered by King Charles II. However, remote Ocracoke Island was not permanently settled until 1750, being a pirate haven at times before then. It was a favorite anchorage of Edward Teach, better known as the pirate Blackbeard. He was killed in November 1718 in battle in Teach's Hole, a channel slightly west of the present location of Ocracoke village. The grounds of what is now the Springer's Point Nature Preserve were said to be the pirates hang-out during those days.

Throughout the mid-to-late 18th century, the Island was home to a number of pilots, who could get smaller ships through the inlet to the Pamlico Sound. As population increased on the mainland, demand for transshipment of goods from ocean-going vessels increased. The population was listed as 139 in the 1800 census. Warehouses were built to hold goods off-loaded from larger ships offshore and then loaded onto smaller Schooners to be delivered to plantations and towns along the mainland rivers.

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