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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  12 reviews
North Carolina's Ocracoke island has produced a remarkably cohesive community of islanders. For more than two centuries, these Ocracokers lived in relative isolation, enjoying the beauty and battling the destructive forces of the Atlantic. In the past two decades, tourists discovered this unique fishing village by the sea, and the tiny island was forever altered. Alarmed a ...more
Published August 1st 1989 by University of North Carolina Press
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  57 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Paul Haspel
Aug 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ocracoke
Ocracoke Island is truly a unique place, even in the context of the North Carolina Outer Banks of which it is a part. It is more isolated than other Outer Banks islands – to this day, travelers must board a ferryboat to reach the island – and for much of its history, Ocracoke was home only to fishermen, lighthouse keepers, “wreckers” who sought to salvage valuables from offshore shipwrecks, and the occasional pirate. Nowadays, however, Ocracoke is home to a sizable tourism industry that sometime ...more
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, 2015
My family has vacationed in Ocracoke--an island in North Carolina's Outer Banks--a couple of times. I was fascinated with the island's unique history and purchased this book on our last trip. The author is a local Ocracoker, so this book truly has an insider's perspective on the island. While published in 1989 (so not exactly recent), it has a lot of interesting insight into the daily lives of Ocracokers and how the island has developed over its long history.

What struck me the most as I was read
David Ward
Jun 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ocracokers by Alton Ballance (University of North Carolina Press 1989) (975.6). Ocracoke Island is one of the most remote and harder-to-reach places on North Carolina's Outer Banks. The Outer Banks are the series of barrier islands which line much of North Carolina's coastal region. It's not far from Cape Hatteras and from Kill Devil Hills where in 1903 a couple of tourists from Ohio named Wilbur and Orville made the first powered flight from atop a massive sand dune. One hundred years ago, this ...more
Carr Cody
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
An account that blends memoir, history, folklore, and culture seamlessly.

Ballance's text elegantly paints the history of North Carolina's Ocracoke Island and its' inhabitants on the eve of great demographic and economic changes to the island in the 1980s. A teacher by trade; Ballance serves at the oral history chronicler at the forefront of the story. His experiences, anecdotes of childhood, and adulthood configure the narrative's shaping of the island.

The material of the book covers topics as v
Dave Pier
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I didn't expect much from this, but it turned out to be a great read, not just about Ocracoke, but about the way people live, or used to live, in small, out of the way, communities.
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great history of Ocracoke Island as told by an Ocracoker. Special to have a copy autographed by the author.
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book and learning about the history of the island and the people.
Paul Haspel
Ocracoke Island is defined in large part by its isolation, and Alton Ballance in Ocracokers describes well how that isolation has shaped the society that has developed on that very small island at the south end of North Carolina's Outer Banks. An Ocracoke native who left the island to study at Chapel Hill, returned to teach at the Ocracoke School, and eventually served as a Hyde County commissioner, Ballance can look at Ocracoke's history and society from the perspectives of native-born citizen, ...more
Robert Maier
Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
The well-told story of the island I'd want to be stranded on. Small, isolated communities have their own breed of fascinating stories nurtured by eccentric folks who choose not to be a part of the mainstream culture, and are so much better off as a result. This book is a true gem of that literature written by a Pulitzer-prize caliber author.
Timothy Swartout
Oct 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting historical perspective of the history of my family's favorite vacation spot. Could use an update. It was published in the late 1980's. Still fun to correlate the spots we have been to with its history.
David Richardson
Mar 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Great book about coastal North Carolina!
Laura Ballance
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Some good history and anecdotes. Though I still don't know when the Ballances arrived on the Outer Banks.
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