“Portsmouth,” $19.95 with free shipping

Can’t get to the OBX or shops elsewhere in N.C. (see list below)? We can ship to you.


PORTSMOUTH & other books
Inscription desired on book(s)

NOTE: Portsmouth author Ellen Fulcher Cloud is deceased. Ray McAllister, who wrote the foreword, can sign if desired.

  • $19.95 retail price, ISBN: 978-0-9987881-0-4.
  • Published May 20, 2017, by Beach Glass Books in collaboration with Ray McAllister Books (1st edition, The Print Shop, 1996.)
  • Hardcover, 208 pages, 5-7/8 x 8-3/4 inches, 76 B&W illustrations

By mail: Send $19.95 to Ray McAllister Books, P.O. Box 72672, North Chesterfield, VA 23235.

Also online: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Portsmouth: The Way It Was


The Way It Was

By Ellen Fulcher Cloud

New edition
Foreword by Ray McAllister

* * *



The Outer Banks classic, Portsmouth: The Way It Was, by the late Ellen Fulcher Cloud, long almost impossible to find, has been republished in an enhanced edition by Beach Glass Books.

The $19.95 hardcover, which tells the true story of “the ghost village of the Outer Banks,” was launched May 20 at the Friends of Portsmouth Island annual meeting on Ocracoke Island, concurrently going on sale throughout the OBX.

A small, now uninhabited island southwest of Ocracoke, Portsmouth Island was once a thriving seaport serving the North Carolina coast.

In the award-winning Portsmouth: The Way It Was, first published in 1996, Ellen Fulcher Cloud recreates the island’s early history based on previously undocumented information: records of storms, wars, and Federal occupation during the Civil War, along with numerous personal letters and photographs. Here, too, are the stories of America’s first marine hospital, established on Portsmouth in 1820; of Dr. Samuel Dudley, the wealthy physician later in charge; and of John Wallace, the businessman “Governor of Shell Castle.” We meet the brave members of the Life-Saving Service, the island’s one black family, and Mrs. Mattie Gilgo, whose daylong interview describes Portsmouth life a century ago. We go inside the island’s mail service and village school – and learn why this flourishing village emptied out after two centuries of existence.

Portsmouth: The Way It Was, which includes a new foreword by award-winning coastal author Ray McAllister, is being republished in an enhanced edition. Included are more pages and photographs, enhanced photo reproduction and a keepsake hardcover binding.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ellen Fulcher Cloud is the author of three books, including Ocracoke Lighthouse and Old Salt. A native of Ocracoke Island, she was a local historian, preservationist and genealogist, as well as an accomplished sketch artist. Ms. Cloud, who was involved in the early phases of the project, passed away in December 2016. The book was completed with the assistance of her daughters.


My daughter, Jennifer, and son-in-law Bill recently gave me “Portsmouth, The Way It Was” (2nd Edition), and I have been enjoying it greatly! Thank you, for getting this great publication back into print!
Growing up in Eastern NC, in the immediate New Bern area, I am very familiar with the areas east of New Bern, the Neuse River, Pamlico Sound, and the history of the Outer Banks, including the even more isolated Portsmouth Island.
Thanks, again, for getting it back out, and I can’t wait to get “Topsail Island” in hand!

With highest regards,
David S.
Maryville, TN


Whenever possible, Beach Glass Books and Ray McAllister Books urge readers to buy from local book-selling stores.
Here are shops that will be selling Portsmouth after its May 20 publication. Check back, as other shops are added.


  • Books to be Red, Ocracoke
  • Buxton Village Books, Buxton
  • Downtown Books, Manteo
  • Duck’s Cottage Coffee & Books, Duck
  • Island Bookstore, Corolla
  • Island Bookstore, Duck
  • Island Bookstore, Kitty Hawk
  • Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum, Ocracoke
  • Variety Store, Ocracoke


  • Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center, Harkers Island
  • Emerald Isle Books and Toys, Emerald Isle
  • Scuttlebutt Nautical Books and Bounty, Beaufort


  • Barnes & Noble, The Streets at Southpoint, Durham, NC


Ocracoke Current
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Portsmouth Book Back in Print
Portsmouth: The Way It Was to be available on Ocracoke beginning May 20th.
The Outer Banks classic, Portsmouth: The Way It Was, by the late Ellen Fulcher Cloud, is being republished in an enhanced edition May 20th by Beach Glass Books. [MORE]

Ocracoke Observer
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Friends of Portsmouth Island spring meeting on Saturday
The Friends of Portsmouth Island will hold its spring meeting at Ocracoke on Saturday, May 20, in the NCCAT facility on the harbor.  The meeting begins at 10 a.m. and is open to the public. … Author Ray McAllister, the new editor of the Doctor’s Creek Journal, will unveil the reprinting of the late Ellen Cloud’s book, “Portsmouth the Way it Was,” … [MORE]

One Response to Portsmouth

  1. Ray says:

    Hi, Curt. Great. Let me know how many copies, store, address, etc.
    Thanks so much,