The Ocracoke Preservation museum is located in the restored David Williams house. The museum consists of permanent and changing exhibits depicting island life from days gone by. The gift shop is located in one of the rooms of the museum.
The David Williams House is a substantial foursquare with deep hip roof, interior chimneys, asbestos siding, sawnwork eave brackets and hipped front porch with original boxed posts with sawnwork spandrels, two-over-two sash, one-story rear ell with recessed porch and central hall floor plan.
In order to save it, the Ocracoke Preservation Society moved this house in 1989 to its present location on land owned by the National Park Service from its nearby original location just north of the Anchorage Inn, facing the harbor.
The original site had been bought by the Anchorage Inn and the house became endangered so it was gifted to OPS and then moved to its current location, It is believed to have been built by David Williams (1858-1938) who served in the Coast Guard. Williams purchased the original tract from William H. Wahab for $10 in 1890 (DB 19, 497). He was married to Alice Wahab (1865-1953), sister of James Hatton Howard.
Currently we have several outdoor exhibits, The Blanche “roundstern” fishing boat in our backyard. An old Cistern that was commonly used for water before Ocracoke had a water filtration Tower(mid 1970’s). A Millstone that was part of a working windmill from Windmill Point, located on the southern side of The Ditch. A Ship’s Rudder from an old wooden ship found on the beach at South Point. Take a peek Here
Upstairs, our unique library has a growing number of historical, genealogical, photographic and other resources relevant to Ocracoke History. Here you can find out how to square dance Ocracoke Style, learn about the island’s historic 1823 Lighthouse. the British Cemetery, Wild Ponies, Hurricanes and Storms, & World War II Naval base.
These materials can be viewed by appointment by Contacting Us. A lot of information can be found on the Roots Web Hyde County Site. A good start for information about the Howard Family can be found at Philip Howard’s Blog, Ocracoke Island Journal. We look forward to welcoming you to our Museum in person.