Category Archives: Homecoming 2014

Homecoming Report

Homecoming 2014 was a huge success!  It was a most blessed day with good weather, good people, good food, and good memories.  We counted approximately 450 in attendance , and with 65 wonderful volunteers, we got it done!  We wish to thank everyone who made the effort to come and be with us during this special day.

The day’s events began with a ribbon-cutting at the Washington Roberts House, the first time the house has been open to visitors.  Jean Webber, a Roberts descendent, and Michael Rikard, NPS, welcomed the visitors and discussed the history of the house.  Other houses and buildings open were the Theodore and Annie Salter House (Visitor Center), the Post Office, the School, the newly renovated Henry Pigott House, the Gilgo House, the McWilliams/Dixon House, and the Lifesaving Station.  We were pleased to have descendents from the families at most of the houses and buildings to greet visitors and answer questions.

The Post Office was open for canceling mail, and we had a t-shirt booth, a notecards and postcard booth, and a membership table for those who wanted to join FPI or renew their memberships.

At  10:30 everyone gathered in front of the church for a group photo before the Homecoming Program began under the tent.  The invocation was held by the Reverend Gil Wise, Beacon District Superintendent.  Richard Meissner, President of FPI, gave the introduction and recognized the guests, descendants, and first time visitors.  Patrick Elijah Eugene, the great grandson of Theodore and Annie Salter, led the group in the Pledge of Allegience.  The hymn ” Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me” was sung by all.

Pat Kenney, Superintendent of Cape Lookout National Seashore, greeted the crowd. Connie Mason sang an old favorite, “Marian’s Song” for us.  The Words of Reflection were given by Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, Resident  Bishop, North Carolina Conference.

David Quinn, the grandson of Dot Salter Willis, told the story of the history of Portsmouth Island, just as she had done in the past.  The hymn “Sweet By and By” was sung by all.  Reverend Linda Taylor, Sound District Superintendent, gave the closing prayer.  The tolling of the church bell was in memory and honor of all descendents, those living and those who are no longer with us.  We closed with the hymn “God Be With You.”. Reverend Laura Stern, Pastor of the Ocracoke United Methodist Church, gave the dinner blessing , and the line formed at the food tent!  There was ham , chicken, salads, beans, breads, vegetables, and plenty of desserts!  At 1:00 the buildings and booths reopened until the passenger ferries began returning to Ocracoke.

Thanks to everyone who came out.  We hope you were able to relax and enjoy the village, as well as visit with friends and relatives.  Even though the church was not open due to hurricane damage, she still looked beautiful decorated with fresh flowers by Chester Lynn.  Happy 100th Birthday to the Portsmouth Methodist Church!

Let’s do it again in 2016!

Homecoming 2014 Information

If coming for the day on the Cedar Island Ferry, you will need to make reservations with the North Carolina Ferry Service  at 1-800-BY -FERRY. The ferry prices and schedules are subject to change before April, so make your own plans and reservations.  At this time, walk-ons do not need reservations.  From Ocracoke to Portsmouth, you will need reservations with Rudy Austin.  If coming from Hatteras or if already on Ocracoke, you will still need reservations with Rudy.

Reservations to Portsmouth from Ocracoke should be made with Rudy at 252-928-4361 ($20 per person, round trip).  Do not call Rudy until the first of AprIl.

4WD owners might drive from the Long Point Camps.  Catch the vehicle ferry from Atlantic, then travel 17 miles up the beach to Portsmouth.  Contact Morris Marina at Atlantic for reservations (252-225-4261).

You may, of course, travel in your own boat!

1. Dress for the weather and the boat ride.  Bug spray, water, and good walking shoes are important.  Your picnic items, chairs, etc, will be loaded onto an ATV cart to be carried into the  village for you as you walk in.

2.Portsmouth t-shirts  and notecards will be available for a donation.  The Portsmouth post office will be open and a special cancellation will be available for that day only.

3.  The Portsmouth Methodist Church building is 100 years old in 2014 .  This will be the focus of Homecoming this year.  The Methodist Bishop of North Carolina will be our special guest.  Due to damage From Hurricane Sandy, the church may not be open, but we will still celebrate her birthday!

4.  After Homecoming services,  “dinner on the grounds” will be served.  Be sure to bring a dish that will be shared with others.  Paper products, tea and ice will be provided by FPI.

5.  Major buildings will be open.  FPI  members, many of whom are family members related to each building, will be on-site hosts at those buildings. The Washington Roberts house  will be open for the first time.

6.  At the Henry Pigott house, James and Celestine Carter, Elaine Clark , and Phillip Howard will be there to greet you.

7.  At the Washington Roberts house, Jean Webber (Roberts descendent) and Dr. Michael Rikard of CLNS will be at the ribbon cutting ceremony which will be held at 9:00 a.m.

8.  Lionel Gilgo (son) and Gregory Gilgo (grandson) will be at the Lionel and Emma Gilgo house.

9.  James Charlet and Linda Malloy of the Chicamacomico Lifesaving station will be at the Portsmouth Lifesaving station.

10.  At the Annie & Theodore Salter house, Barbara Gaskin-Eugene (granddaughter), Debbie Gaskins Penny ( Granddaughter), and Patrick Eugene  (great grandson)  and Phillip Gaskins (great grandson) will be there to meet you.

11. Available in the tent will be Carolyn Erwin  (daughter of Dorothy Bedwell) and Chester Lynn  (church information), David Quinn, (grandson of Dot Willis),  Robert McWilliams, Cornelious Styron, Susanna McWilliams, Anna McWilliams Shipstedt, and James Barrie Gaskill.

12.  The Portsmouth post office will be open for business.