For a peek into Ocracoke’s past, visit Ocracoke Preservation Society’s Museum. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to preserving the island’s history and cultural heritage and to protecting its environment. Housed in the turn-of-the-century home of Coast Guard Capt. David Williams, the museum lets visitors glimpse island life in the early to mid-1900s. Many of the architectural elements are intact, and a bedroom, living room and kitchen are decorated with period furnishings donated by island families. The museum has photographs, artifacts and exhibits that pertain to island life and culture. A favorite is a video on the Ocracoke brogue. The museum also houses special rotating exhibits and a gift shop. Upstairs is a small research library that can be used by appointment. In the yard of the museum you can find outdoor exhibits including an old-style cistern and the traditional fishing boat, Blanche, circa 1934. During the summer, OPS hosts free porch talks and museum tours with a variety of islanders sharing their knowledge, stories and history. The museum also offers a mid-week Create-a-Craft program for kids. This interactive program is fun and informative and the children leave with a handmade island souvenir. Stop at the OPS gift shop for a schedule of these events. It’s free to visit the museum, though donations are encouraged. It’s open from the end of March through the first week of December.
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