OUTER BANKS LIGHTHOUSE SOCIETY TWENTY-NINTH KEEPERS’ WEEKEND
-- April 27th-30th, 2023 on OCRACOKE ISLAND & PORTSMOUTH ISLAND
We are excited about seeing you for our FIRST spring members’ meeting. Because of your vote to move our annual event from the fall, during the midst of hurricane season, to the spring, we will hold our Keepers’ Weekend April 27-30 this year. We have a lot of exciting activities planned. Our registration form has been broken down into the events you wish to participate in as some of you may not be able to join us for everything, but we hope you will! We will send an updated itinerary, directions and a map to registrants as the time gets closer. So, pack your bags and join us on Ocracoke Island to help celebrate Ocracoke Lighthouse’s 200th anniversary!
Thursday evening, April 27 at 6:30, congregate at the Village Craftsmen for a walking history tour, led by Amy Howard. Philip Howard, Ocracoke historian and Amy’s father, has shared his knowledge and lore with Amy, and she will share it with us. We will learn about the island and many of its residents through some fascinating stories as we saunter a little over a
mile through the village. The walk takes about 1 ½ hours and will finish by sundown.
Friday morning, April 28 at 9:30 we will gather at the Ocracoke General Store and depart for a boat trip to
Portsmouth Island, a quaint village whose last two residents left in 1971. An interpreter from Cape Lookout
(NPS) will guide us through the village, and the newly restored Life-Saving Station will be open for us to visit
as well. There will be an additional opportunity for shelling on the island. This will likely be a 4 or 5-hour trip
in order to soak it all in. It can be broken into two events, one only to the village, or one to the village AND the
beach for shelling which is a bit further.
Box lunches will be provided and are reasonably priced at $10/sandwich. Choices are listed on the registration
form. If you choose to bring your own sandwich, that’s fine.
Friday evening at 5:30, we will gather at the Ocracoke Community Center for an informal Barbeque dinner
(hand chopped pork, slaw, mac ‘n cheese, cornbread, tea and banana pudding) followed by a FREE dramatic
and informative presentation. Joseph Smith, Living History portrayer of one man’s fascination with “finding the
solution to the many questions in the inexhaustible range of science” will become Augustin Fresnel, the inventor
of the Fresnel lens. Joseph’s unique sharing of history is both entertaining and educational. We are very excited
about his participation in our weekend. Joseph (Augustin) has joined our Society in the past to help celebrate
our 25th anniversary and also the 150th anniversary of the first lighting of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Learn
more about his presentation at https://raisinghistory.com/augustin-fresnel.
Saturday, April 29 at 9:30 AM we will visit Ocracoke Lighthouse and tour the grounds with a knowledgeable ranger
from The NPS Outer Banks Group. We will be given a history of the light station, and a presentation about the
proposed restoration and repairs to the buildings and lighthouse itself. After a break for lunch (YOYO). We will
visit the British Cemetery with Amy Howard as our guide. She will explain to us the fascinating story of the men
buried there. After our tour of the cemetery, there is ample time for shopping, visiting the Ocracoke Preservation
Society, browsing through the Village Craftsmen and area shops, Howards Pub, or just relaxing on the beach.
Saturday evening at 5:30 PM, the Keepers bar will open at the Ocracoke Community Center. Our annual Keepers’
Dinner will consist of herb-roasted chicken, sliced roast beef, seasoned green beans, multi-colored pasta salad
(cold, served with lite Italian dressing), creamy mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, rolls, BJ’s ‘must have’
southern cornbread, iced tea, sheet cake and lemon bars. Dinner will be preceded by our brief annual meeting,
raffle drawing and awards. Following dinner will be our short but lively auction which is always fun and is our
major fundraising event for the year.
Sunday morning, time to be determined, those who wish can meet at the Pony Island Restaurant to bid farewell
to friends and lighthouse family until next year.
Our dinners will be catered by BJ’s Catering who have prepared meals for OBLHS for several events. Their
food is delicious. We have never been disappointed!
There are three ferries to Ocracoke Island: Swan Quarter, Cedar Island (both of which take reservations and
cost $$) and the Hatteras Island ferry (which is free and is first come, first serve). Learn more: https://www.
We have blocks of rooms on Ocracoke reserved at two hotels. The Pony Island Inn has rooms for us at $144/night, plus tax. These reservations cannot be made online, and guests must call 252-928-4411 to book. Also, the Silver Lake Motel and Inn has rooms for us at $102/Friday and Saturday nights, $91/Thursday night. They also have suites for two parties
with kitchens and porches. Call 252-928-5720 to book. Be sure to mention you are with OBLHS in order to get the
good rate. Please, make reservations no later than March 20. There are many other things going on in Ocracoke
Village that weekend. Don’t wait to make reservations as our blocks will run out and rooms will be scarce.
Questions can be directed to Bett, 919-264-3075, firstname.lastname@example.org or to Aida Havel, 919-740-7031, email@example.com.
To register, please click on the BLUE BAR above and fill out the online registration form.