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The Old Ocracoke Hotel (1885-1900)
The old Ocracoke Hotel was built by a group of businessmen who decided that they needed a place where their families could have a summer vacation at reasonable rates. It became a place of much summer activity and social entertainment and was located near where the present day Coast Guard Station stands.
Mose Fowler was the hotel's first proprietor. The first year of operation, 1885, was so successful that eight rooms were added and the dining room was enlarged. The hotel was built in the shape of a Roman cross with the head fronting west. The year 1889 was considered the best year of operations in the hotel's history. The Spencer Brothers operated the hotel for the three years between the period 1889 and 1899. In 1899, the hotel's ownership was under George Credle of Hyde County and his brother Griff Credle of New Bern.
1899 was also the year of the big storm. On Thursday, August 17, during the "Old August Storm" there were twenty-five guests huddled in the hotel dining room when a terrible crash was heard. It was the roof of the upstairs verandah which was torn off. Much damage was done to the hotel, but it survived.
In the Spring of 1900, Mr. Credle and a boat captain were cooking a goose on top of a Wilson heater in the hotel and had no pepper. They decided to go out to the boat for some. During this time the pot in which the goose was cooking boiled over causing a fire which was out of control by the time Mr. Credle and the captain returned. The hotel was completely destroyed.
(Photo and information from Hyde County History published by the Hyde County Historical Society in 1976.)