The Community Square Revitalization Project (CSRP)

Watermen's Exhibit Photo by Bill Birkemeier, 2014.

Watermen’s Exhibit – Photo by Bill Birkemeier, 2014.

OCRACOKE, N.C.  On November 7, 2013 The Ocracoke Foundation acquired the Community Square, a 0.5-acre waterfront property in the heart of the Ocracoke Island historic district. The Foundation was able to purchase the property with generous financial support from Foundation partners and The Conservation Fund’s Land Conservation Loan Program.  Read original press release.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Community Square and Docks is located on Ocracoke’s Silver Lake and has served as a hub for commerce and social activity since 1918, beginning with the Community Store, the Will Willis Fish House, the Ice Plant, and the island’s first electric service.

Today, the Ocracoke Foundation, a local nonprofit organization, is restoring these historic buildings and docks to continue preserving the heritage and cultural activities that are the heart of Ocracoke life for visitors and residents alike.

The Ocracoke Foundation and its ‘Community Square Revitalization Project’ welcomes and needs your help to restore and rebuild.  Your sponsorship will help ensure current and future use of this historic and public place for generations to come!

Donations for the Community Square Revitalization Project (CSRP) and/or Operating Expenses for the Foundation  (OFI) can be submitted online.  Please specify CSRP or OFI.   For more information give us a call at (252)921-0365.           Thank you!



Outdoor Classroom Summer 2015 Programs

This summer marks the 4th season the Outdoor Classroom Summer Programs will be offered to the public. Designed by Elizabeth Hanrahan, parents and visiting children in grades 3-7 as well as island youth are welcome to attend. There is no cost. For 2015 four different programs will be offered: 1) How to read a NC Beach, 2) Wetland Metaphors, 3) Estuaries: where the rivers meet the sea and 4) The Incredible Journey ( a water cycle game).
Each activity based program follows the North Carolina Essential Standards for Science. All will be taught by Elizabeth Hanrahan who is a full time Ocracoke resident, an Ocracoke Foundation (OFI) Board member, a certified environmental educator and a licensed wildlife rehabilitator through the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Programs will begin at 10:00AM and are expected to last 90 minutes and will be held at the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) located on the harbor at the old Coast Guard Station.

CSRP – Will Willis Store & Fish House, 1930

Waiting for the Aleta ~~            Photo from Earl O'Neal, Jr.

Waiting for the Aleta – Photo from Earl O’Neal, Jr.

The following is an excerpt from:  The  Story of Ocracoke’s Historic Community Square by Pat Garber.

Sometime around 1930, Captain Will G. Willis had a dock and fish house built. The building was a one-story, two-bay structure with a hipped roof and several shed porches. Fishermen brought their boats, full of fish to sell to the local people, and docked here. It became an unofficial center of commercial fishing. According to Blanche Joliff, they sold big blocks of ice for use in homes and on fishing boats before 1938 when electricity and refrigeration arrived on the island. Ten years later Willis turned the business into a general store as well, selling commonly needed merchandise. Read More


The Ocracoke Foundation | P.O. Box 1689, Ocracoke, NC 27960 | (252) 921-0365 | login | sitemap | website design by LeGa Design Group