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shell castle island = lost in obx history

When the world called upon Shell Castle Island.

At one time, Shell Castle Island, a small man made island in the middle of Ocracoke Inlet, was a center of international trade. Kip Tabb, writing for the Coastal Review Online, tells the story of human ingenuity and a surprisingly sophisticated marketing strategy.

Late 18th century Jonathan Price map showing Ocracoke Inlet and Shell Castle Island. Note that there was no Hatteras Inlet at that time.

Late 18th century Jonathan Price map showing Ocracoke Inlet and Shell Castle Island. Note that there was no Hatteras Inlet at that time.

“About two and a half miles north of Portsmouth Island, Shell Castle Island barely manages to rise above the waters of Pamlico Sound. Now owned by the Audubon Society, except for some nesting seabirds, there isn’t much there. The Cedar Island Ferry passes close by, taking advantage of Wallace Channel.

Wallace Channel, named for one of the island’s early owners, may be the last reminder of a time when that patch of sand was the center of maritime trade for northeastern North Carolina and the remarkable role it played in the early history of the United States.”

 

Check out the rest of the story in the Coastal Review Online.

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