Outer Banks, NC

Doctor’s Creek Journal, Fall-Winter 2018


Now that the members have received the Doctor’s Creek Journal, I can tell you it’s out!

One of the cool things I get to do is edit and design this great, twice-yearly publication of the Friends of Portsmouth Island. Portsmouth, of course, is just across the inlet from Ocracoke on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Now deserted, the “Ghost Village of the Outer Banks” still has many buildings standing from the old days, cared for by the FPI and the National Park Service. The stories are amazing.

In this new issue, we report on the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, including four pages of photographs. (Hurricanes on the Outer Banks are not so fun.) There are also four photo pages of Portsmouth decorated for the holidays, news of an old Portsmouth cistern given for display to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras, and news and photos of the FPI’s “work days” restoring the Babb House on the island. Caroline Brinson McKellar researches the fascinating story of Benjamin Robins Bragg and John V. Bragg, born in the late 18th century; it took real detective work to get the story. Meanwhile, Suzanne McWilliams shares her story of learning about her own Portsmouth ancestors — and a historical cup and saucer. The new issue also contains letters from FPI president Rosanne Penley, Superintendent Jeff West of the Cape Lookout National Seashore (which helps maintain the village), and yours truly — plus much more.

So here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Join the FPI. For only $15, you get two journals a year, the opportunity to attend two membership meetings (the next is May 18 in Ocracoke), and a chance to help make a difference in preserving the Outer Banks. For more, visit: http://friendsofportsmouthisland.org/fopi/.
  • And if you want to learn even more about Portsmouth, check out Ellen Fulcher Cloud’s classic book, Portsmouth: The Way It Was: http://www.beachglassbooks.com/titles/portsmouth.

You’ll enjoy them both,


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Ray McAllister, former columnist of The Richmond Times-Dispatch and former editor of Boomer Magazine, is the award-winning author of six books, including four on North Carolina’s islands. Through Beach Glass Books, he is also the publisher of 10 books by other authors.