Voters in the northern Hatteras Island villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, and Avon will go to the polls on Tuesday, July 12, to decide whether they want mixed drinks in restaurants. The organizers of a petition drive in those villages turned in their signatures to the Dare County Board of Elections last week. On Monday, […]

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Temple gathered information about building a boat from scratch, contacting and visiting other non-profit organizations that have done this. When he shared his ideas with a group of enthusiastic friends and community members, he realized he had started a building project. “This thing just took on a life of its own,” he said. “Everyone I’ve mentioned it to thinks it’s a great idea.” Ocracoke Foundation executive director Robin Payne encouraged Temple to put together a task force to explore the possibilities, then partner with local non-profits and Ocracoke School. The new schooner won’t be a replica of any particular boat, but it will serve as a tribute to the vessels and sailors that plied these waters for hundreds of years. Philip Howard has researched naming the new boat “Paragon” after an Ocracoke-built schooner that sailed from 1839-1885. Many stories have been passed down about the Paragon and her salty captain/owner, James Horatio Williams, including the interesting fact that they were in Charleston Harbor in South Carolina  when the Confederacy fired on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. Fearing that his vessel would be commandeered for the ensuing war, Capt. Williams slipped out of Charleston on a dark, rainy night and set sail for Ocracoke Inlet. He surprised his crew by sailing right past the island and on up the Roanoke River, where he buried the sails ashore and sank the schooner. Eighteen months after the war was over, he re-floated the Paragon and it sailed for many more years until it was lost on Frying Pan Shoal in 1885. With the upcoming sesquicentennial of the Civil War this year, there is renewed interest in Ocracoke’s wartime heritage, and the original Paragon’s story will be another source of visitor information. Jimmy Amspacher guided the group to the decision to build a traditional, gaff-rigged North Carolina sharpie schooner. Sharpies were popular boats in this area from their development in the late 19th century right up until World War II. The sharpie design that he suggested will be approximately 50 feet long and will be built to United States Coast Guard specifications to carry 20 to 30 passengers. Amspacher grew up in Atlantic, N.C., and is considered an authority on North Carolina traditional boatbuilding. He builds and restores wooden boats and travels the state for boatbuilding demonstrations. He has visited Ocracoke School several times to share his skills with students, helping them to build an authentic flat-bottomed skiff in just one week. He’s taught them similar building methods in a model boatbuilding class. Local builder Tom Pahl and Ocracoke School industrial arts teacher Roger Meacham are excited to help community members and students become a part of the building project. Philip Howard is donating the use of his property on Highway 12 for the duration of the building project. The task force plans to have signs, brochures, donation opportunities, and the beginnings of a shipyard in place by June. FOR MORE INFORMATION Ocracoke Foundation, Inc., please visit Ocracoke Island, please visit

By SUNDAE HORN By SUNDAE HORN A small group of Ocracoke residents gathered this spring to eat oysters and plan a community boatbuilding project. Among them were boat captain Rob Temple, local historian Philip Howard, local builder Tom Pahl, and Ocracoke School industrial arts teacher Roger Meacham. Last month, those four men met with Jimmy […]

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William ‘Bill’ Ray Snider

SALVO — William “Bill” Ray Snider, 73,  passed away onSunday,May 1, 2011.  Born on Dec. 4, 1937 in Sidney, Ohio, he was thesonof the late Kenneth Ray Snider and the late Ollie Christina Snider(Helman).  He had two siblings, which include his latebrother,Robert, and his surviving sister, Lois.  Bill graduated fromHouston High School, Class of 1956, […]

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