Our Museum


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 Gaurd. 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.

Ocracoke Preservation Society
Inside the David Williams House
As you enter the front door, to your left you will find our Museum Gift Shop, Originally the Parlor, to the right starts the self guided tour. Our rooms are filled with authentic Ocracoke and Portsmouth Island items including Artwork, Navy Uniforms, WWII antiques, Quilts and many other gifted and loaned treasures that make up our Museum. The Rooms are set up just as they may have looked back in the early 1900’s. There are five rooms downstairs that feature unique themes/exhibits and these change each year so be sure to stop by on your return trips!. Upstairs we have our offices and research library which house most of our vast book and photo collection. Take a peek inside Here.

Outdoor Exhibits

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

Museum Gift Shop
We have a nice variety packed into The Parlor area of the DW house, you will find replica coins, vast collection of Books including local authors, Cookbooks, Historical Books and several Children’s Titles. We also have local bird carvings, Posters, Local Music CD’s, Note Cards, Fig Preserves just to name a few. Don’t forget, if you become a Member while visiting, you will receive an immediate 10% discount on your in store purchase!

Research Library

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.

In the Winter and Spring, while we are seasonally closed, we are continuing to work on digital archiving as well as refreshing our Museum rooms.