Tag Archives: Outer Banks History Center

Champney Sketches Added to NC Digital Collections

We are constantly adding new materials to the North Carolina Digital Collections, but one recent addition of note includes the Civil War sketches of soldier and artist, Edwin G. Champney, from the Outer Banks History Center.

OBHC_33GRF_104_10

Juniper Bay, Hyde County, N.C. Civil War sketches by Edwin G. Champney, Civil War Collection, NC Digital Collections

This collection includes sixty unpublished pen-and-ink sketchbook drawings of coastal North Carolina between 1862-1863 illustrated by soldier and artist, Edwin G. Champney (1843-1899). Champney was a native Bostonian and Union soldier. Champney enlisted as a private in the 5th Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, Company G at the time he sketched the drawings. He arrived in Eastern North Carolina in October 1862 and took part in the Goldsboro Expedition. Champney was stationed at Cape Hatteras from February 23, 1863 until the close of his North Carolina tour on June 22, 1863. The original artwork include scenes showing landmarks, landscapes, and Union military activity from or in the vicinity of Hatteras Island, New Bern, Kinston, Plymouth, and Hyde County. The sketchbook was donated to the Outer Banks History Center in Manteo, which is the permanent home for the drawings.

These materials are now part of the Civil War Collection in the North Carolina Digital Collections.

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The Scary Truth Series, Pt. III

This is the third of three entries in a special Halloween-inspired blog series highlighting a collection of ghost stories, legends, folklore, and facts from North Carolina. Like sweet tea and college basketball, folklore is a major part of North Carolina’s cultural heritage. Legends and stories passed down from generations keep the state’s history alive and ultimately help us remember life as it once was. 

The Scary Truth Series, Pt. I
The Scary Truth Series, Pt. II

The Ghost Ship: Carroll A. Deering

Another quintessential characteristic of North Carolina culture is its rich maritime history, from shipwrecks as common as today’s car accidents and epic pirate tales that are almost beyond belief. Over 5,000 historic shipwrecks have been documented along the North Carolina coast, giving it the appropriate nickname, the “Graveyard of the Atlantic.” This leads us to one of the most legendary maritime mysteries in the state’s history: the wreck of the Carroll A. Deering, otherwise known as the “Ghost Ship” of the Outer Banks.

Deering-NPS

Carroll A. Deering, built in 1919 in Bath, Maine – National Park Service Collection, courtesy of the Outer Banks History Center.

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Family Traditions of Service: Women’s Air Corps servicewomen marching in a military parade in Paris, circa 1942-1945

[This blog post was written by Matthew Peek, Military Collection Archivist for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

America’s involvement in World War II saw enlistments in unprecedented numbers in various branches of the U.S. Armed Services. There were new opportunities for women, as it became apparent that the military could free up more men to fight worldwide. Over 400,000 women enlisted to serve in America, Europe, and Asia as ambulance drivers, pilots, aircraft mechanics, nurses, and other non-traditional roles. More than 400 women lost their lives, while 88 were captured and held as prisoners of war.

This photograph comes from the World War II service of Mary “Brockie” Daniles of Manteo, N.C. Mary Brockwell “Brockie” Daniewomen_air_corp_paris_wwiils (1912-2007) was born in Manteo, North Carolina to Edward and Mary Wescott Daniels. She was n the Women’s Air Corps in both the United states and Europe during World War II. During the war, she was sent to Paris, France, as a member of the 29th Traffic Regulating Group. This group was responsible for controlling and regulating traffic in the Military Railway Service, in Marine Operations, and Motor Transport throughout the European Theatre for the Allied forces. After the war, Daniels remained in the one of five children. Daniels received her BA in English in 1935 from the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina. From 1936-1939, Daniels taught English and history in Hertford County, North Carolina. She also served as recreational director for a reform school in Hertford County and was the Hertford County supervisor of adult education. Shortly afterwards, Daniels enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, serving iAir Force until her retirement in 1964.

The photograph was taken or collected by Brockie Daniels while she was stationed in Paris. Daniels took photographs of women and men marching or walking through the streets of Paris, coordinating traffic flow and transportation, and sightseeing with her comrades in France.

Credit line: Women’s Air Corps Camp, France, World War II Folder, Brockie Daniels Papers, Outer Banks History Center

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This blog post is one in two-week series of posts sharing the items used in the exhibit titled “The Family Traditions of Service:  A Historical Tribute to Veterans.” This exhibit, on display from November 3 to November 13, 2015, at the Dare County Arts Council building in Manteo, N.C., is sponsored by the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center, the exhibit serves as a historical tribute to over 100 years of military service of North Carolina residents and their families, with particular emphasis on coastal North Carolina. The goal of the exhibit is to honor the role of North Carolina veterans and their families during peacetime and war. The items from this exhibit come from the holdings of the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina and the Outer Banks History Center.

Family Traditions of Service: Mary Brockwell “Brockie” Daniels surrounded by her WAC colleagues, circa 1942-1945

[This blog post was written by Matthew Peek, Military Collection Archivist for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

America’s involvement in World War II saw enlistments in unprecedented numbers in various branches of the U.S. Armed Services. There were new opportunities for women, as it became apparent that the military could free up more men to fight worldwide. Over 400,000 women enlisted to serve in America, Europe, and Asia as ambulance drivers, pilots, aircraft mechanics, nurses, and other non-traditional roles. More than 400 women lost their lives, while 88 were captured and held as prisoners of war.

danielssurroundedbysoldiers_wwiiThis photograph comes from the World War II service of Mary “Brockie” Daniles of Manteo, N.C. Mary Brockwell “Brockie” Daniels (1912-2007) was born in Manteo, North Carolina to Edward and Mary Wescott Daniels. She was one of five children. Daniels received her BA in English in 1935 from the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina. From 1936-1939, Daniels taught English and history in Hertford County, North Carolina. She also served as recreational director for a reform school in Hertford County and was the Hertford County supervisor of adult education. Shortly afterwards, Daniels enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, serving in the Women’s Air Corps in both the United states and Europe during World War II. During the war, she was sent to Paris, France, as a member of the 29th Traffic Regulating Group. This group was responsible for controlling and regulating traffic in the Military Railway Service, in Marine Operations, and Motor Transport throughout the European Theatre for the Allied forces. After the war, Daniels remained in the Air Force until her retirement in 1964.

In this image, Mary Brockwell “Brockie” Daniels (foreground) is pictured surrounded by her WAC colleagues outside of their U.S. Army tent on an unidentified beach.

Credit line: Military Troops and Women’s Air Corps in Europe, World War II Folder, Brockie Daniels Papers, Outer Banks History Center

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This blog post is one in two-week series of posts sharing the items used in the exhibit titled “The Family Traditions of Service:  A Historical Tribute to Veterans.” This exhibit, on display from November 3 to November 13, 2015, at the Dare County Arts Council building in Manteo, N.C., is sponsored by the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center, the exhibit serves as a historical tribute to over 100 years of military service of North Carolina residents and their families, with particular emphasis on coastal North Carolina. The goal of the exhibit is to honor the role of North Carolina veterans and their families during peacetime and war. The items from this exhibit come from the holdings of the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina and the Outer Banks History Center.

 

Family Traditions of Service: Caffey’s Inlet Station, early 1930s

[This blog post was written by Matthew Peek, Military Collection Archivist for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

In 1848, U.S. federal government funds were committed to limited lifesaving operations along America’s coastline. Volunteers staffed scattered facilities for over twenty years before a professional lifesaving service was created in 1871, as a unit within the U.S. Treasury’s Revenue Marine Bureau. In June 1878, the U.S. Lifesaving Service was made an independent unit of the U.S. Treasury Department. It went on to build an extraordinary history of service and heroism before becoming part of the new U.S. Coast Guard in 1915.

Caffey'sInletStationThe following description of the operation of a lifesaving station comes from the National Park Service:

“When a new station was established, the head lifesaver, called the ‘Keeper,’ was selected first and given charge of the station. He would then seek out appropriate candidates, often from the local community, for the other lifesaving positions. These men, called ‘surfmen,’ were given a numerical ranking based on experience, which assigned them specific duties. Surfman #1, for example, was usually a veteran lifesaver and the Keeper’s second in command, while Surfman #8 was often the newest man and given more menial duties. This pecking order was essential to the station’s smooth operation. Training was, by necessity, the lifeblood of the service. Each day of the week was set aside for a particular drill. Without the proper knowledge and skills, the lifesavers would have little control over a rescue attempt and could endanger everyone involved, including themselves. A shipwreck was often a chaotic scene requiring immediate action in severe conditions. Men were better prepared to deal with the merciless ocean, raging storms, and their own fears if they were well-trained.” (http://www.nps.gov/caha/learn/historyculture/lifesaving-service.htm)

Caffey’s Inlet derived its name from George Caffee, who in 1788 purchased a hundred acres of land north of the present village of Duck in Dare County. Not long after the purchase, a small inlet cut through his property. This inlet was known as Caffee’s Inlet at the time (also as Providence Inlet). The site of the Caffey’s Inlet Station was deeded to the U.S. Treasury Department by Hodges Gallup of Dare County in 1874. After falling into disrepair in the late 1890s, a new station at that location was constructed. Following the reorganization of the Lifesaving Service into the U.S. Coast Guard in 1915, Caffey’s Inlet Station continued to serve as a valuable operation for shipping along coastal North Carolina. The station remained functioning throughout World War I and the 1920s. By 1939, the number of shipwrecks and vessels in distress in the station’s region had decreased, and the station was no longer needed. The Coast Guard abandoned Caffey’s Inlet Station in the late 1950s.

Pictured here at Caffey’s Inlet Station in the early 1930s are: (left to right) [station] keeper, Truxton Midgett, Aubrey Harris, Walter Beacham, Doc Fulcher, and Melvin Tillet.

Credit line: United States Coast Guard and United States Lifesaving Service Portraits Collection, formerly displayed in the Keeper’s Galley Restaurant, Sarah Owens Collection, Outer Banks History Center.

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This blog post is one in two-week series of posts sharing the items used in the exhibit titled “The Family Traditions of Service:  A Historical Tribute to Veterans.” This exhibit, on display from November 3 to November 13, 2015, at the Dare County Arts Council building in Manteo, N.C., is sponsored by the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center, the exhibit serves as a historical tribute to over 100 years of military service of North Carolina residents and their families, with particular emphasis on coastal North Carolina. The goal of the exhibit is to honor the role of North Carolina veterans and their families during peacetime and war. The items from this exhibit come from the holdings of the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina and the Outer Banks History Center.

Family Traditions of Service: Lifesavers of the Chicamacomico Life Boat Station receiving medals for rescue of British tanker Mirlo crew, July 1930

[This blog post was written by Matthew Peek, Military Collection Archivist for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

The following description of the 1918 rescue of the crew of the British tanker Mirlo comes from the National Park Service:

“[A] famous surfboat rescue occurred during World War I, when enemy submarines operated in American coastal waters. On August 16, 1918, the British tanker Mirlo struck a German mine a few miles offshore and blew up. Keeper John Allen Midgett and his crew from Chicamacomico [Life Boat] Station launched their surfboat and steered it into a fiery seascape of burning oil, seeking survivors. Maneuvering their way through a hellish environment that blistered paint on their boat, burned their skin, and singed their hair and clothing, the lifesavers emerged with 42 rescued crewmen. Both the United States and Great Britain awarded Keeper Midgett and hiChicamacomico_MirloRescies surfmen medals for their gallantry.” (http://www.nps.gov/caha/learn/historyculture/lifesaving-service.htm)

This is the original photograph of the lifesavers of the Chicamacomico Life Boat Station receiving in July of 1930 “Grand Crosses of the American Cross of Honor” gold medals for their heroic rescue in 1918. Pictured here are: (left to right) Surfmen Leroy Midgett, Prochorus O’Neal, and Zion S. Midgett; [two unidentified civilians]; RADM Frederick C. Billard, Commandant of the Coast Guard; Keeper John Allen Midgett Jr.; and, surfmen Arthur Midgett, and Clarence Midgett.

The tradition of Coast Guard service was so strong in the Midgett family that the service on Hatteras Island was referred to as the “Midgett Navy.”

Credit line: United States Coast Guard and United States Lifesaving Service Portraits Collection, Sarah Owens Collection, Outer Banks History Center.

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This blog post is one in two-week series of posts sharing the items used in the exhibit titled “The Family Traditions of Service:  A Historical Tribute to Veterans.” This exhibit, on display from November 3 to November 13, 2015, at the Dare County Arts Council building in Manteo, N.C., is sponsored by the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center, the exhibit serves as a historical tribute to over 100 years of military service of North Carolina residents and their families, with particular emphasis on coastal North Carolina. The goal of the exhibit is to honor the role of North Carolina veterans and their families during peacetime and war. The items from this exhibit come from the holdings of the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina and the Outer Banks History Center.

Family Traditions of Service: Paul Gamiel’s Hill Station, 1914

[This blog post was written by Matthew Peek, Military Collection Archivist for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

In 1848, U.S. federal government funds were committed to limited lifesaving operations along America’s coastline. Volunteers staffed scattered facilities for over twenty years before a professional lifesaving service was created in 1871, as a unit within the U.S. Treasury’s Revenue Marine Bureau. In June 1878, the U.S. Lifesaving Service was made an independent unit of the U.S. Treasury Department. It went on to build an extraordinary history of service and heroism before becoming part of the new U.S. Coast Guard in 1915.

The town PaulGamielHill_Stationof Southern Shores was founded as a resort in 1946, and became incorporated as a municipality in 1979. This area of Dare County included portions of the Kitty Hawk Woods and Duck Woods forests. In 1878, the United States Lifesaving Service constructed and commissioned the Paul Gamiel’s Hill Lifesaving Station in the area. It was reconstructed in 1909, and was operated by the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II. The Coast Guard abandoned the station in 1949, and the building burned down in the 1960s.

The following description of the operation of a lifesaving station comes from the National Park Service:

“When a new station was established, the head lifesaver, called the ‘Keeper,’ was selected first and given charge of the station. He would then seek out appropriate candidates, often from the local community, for the other lifesaving positions. These men, called ‘surfmen,’ were given a numerical ranking based on experience, which assigned them specific duties. Surfman #1, for example, was usually a veteran lifesaver and the Keeper’s second in command, while Surfman #8 was often the newest man and given more menial duties. This pecking order was essential to the station’s smooth operation. Training was, by necessity, the lifeblood of the service. Each day of the week was set aside for a particular drill. Without the proper knowledge and skills, the lifesavers would have little control over a rescue attempt and could endanger everyone involved, including themselves. A shipwreck was often a chaotic scene requiring immediate action in severe conditions. Men were better prepared to deal with the merciless ocean, raging storms, and their own fears if they were well-trained.” (http://www.nps.gov/caha/learn/historyculture/lifesaving-service.htm)

This photograph speaks to the role of North Carolina families’ military service in coastal operations and rescue services during World War I. In World War I, Coast Guard service individuals responded to distress calls from ships attacked by German submarines along the North Carolina coast. Pictured here at Paul Gamiel’s Hill Station, located between Kitty Hawk and the village of Duck, North Carolina, in 1914 are: (left to right): Capt. Tom Harris, Andrew Scarborough, John Beacham, P. D. Beals, Alfonzo Tillett, Joe Crank (the cook), Rob Sanderlin, Bannister Hines, and Marshall Nelson.

Credit line: United States Coast Guard and United States Lifesaving Service Portraits Collection, Sarah Owens Collection, Outer Banks History Center.

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This blog post is one in two-week series of posts sharing the items used in the exhibit titled “The Family Traditions of Service:  A Historical Tribute to Veterans.” This exhibit, on display from November 3 to November 13, 2015, at the Dare County Arts Council building in Manteo, N.C., is sponsored by the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center, the exhibit serves as a historical tribute to over 100 years of military service of North Carolina residents and their families, with particular emphasis on coastal North Carolina. The goal of the exhibit is to honor the role of North Carolina veterans and their families during peacetime and war. The items from this exhibit come from the holdings of the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina and the Outer Banks History Center.