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Saturday, April 21

“There’s hardly a day goes by that I don’t miss that place … It’s the peace and quiet that’s there, and it’s home.
        Marian Gray Babb, “One of the last to leave.”

Every two years, descendants, family and friends gather on Portsmouth Island to celebrate homecoming with a traditional homecoming celebration complete with dinner on the ground, visits to the family cemeteries and time to revisit old memories along the sandy paths of Portsmouth Village.

Sponsored by the Friends of Portsmouth and hosted by Cape Lookout National Seashore, the theme for the 2018 Homecoming is “A Step Back in Time,” focusing on the simple times and activities that were common to the people of Portsmouth. 

“I am honored to host the 2018 homecoming at Portsmouth Island. Having seen first-hand the love, work, and dedication the heritage and history of Portsmouth village inspires in people, I can say that it is a truly amazing place both physically and in the hearts and minds of people. I hope everyone can make time to come and be a part of the celebration on April 21.”
            Jeff West, Cape Lookout National Seashore Superintendent

“We hope everyone will take this opportunity to tour the houses and visit with our descendants. The Park is working hard to make the houses accessible this one day. We won’t do this again until 2020. Come be a part of this special day! Everyone is welcome!
            Rosanne Penley, Friends of Portsmouth President

Schedule

9:00 am

Buildings Open

        Visitor Center (T-Shirts sales)
        Post Office (stamp cancellation)
        School
        Cecil Gilgo House (next to school)
        Henry Pigott House
        Washington Roberts House
        Roy Robinson/Gilgo House (descendant displays)
        U.S. Life-Saving Station
        Styron-Bragg House
        Wallace/Grace House
        Jesse/Marian Babb House
        Dennis Mason House
        Carl Dixon House
        Tom & Lucy Gilgo House
        McWilliams/Dixon House

10:00 am

        Hymn singing in church led by Connie Mason

11:15 am

        Church bell rings to begin the Homecoming Celebration

11:30 am

        Homecoming Program will feature David Quinn, grandson of Dot Salter Willis,         who will offer the Island’s history, other island family members

12:30 pm

        Dinner on the Grounds
        (Ice, paper products and tea will be provided. FOOD to SHARE)

1:30 pm

        Time to visit/tour all the open buildings throughout the village

2:00 pm

        Passenger ferries begin returning to Ocracoke (ferries will run as long as needed)

Transportation logistics:

Reservations to Portsmouth should be made by calling in early April:
Rudy Austin at Ocracoke — 252-928-4361 ($20 per person, round trip)
 If coming for the day on the North Carolina ferry from Cedar Island or Hatteras:
The North Carolina ferry service often changes schedules. You should contact them at the following number for the latest information, including schedules and prices. (Ferry Number – 800-293-3779 or www.ncferry.org). The boats to Portsmouth load at the NPS docks at Ocracoke. Park your car and follow the crowd! Return reservations should be made on the last state ferry to Cedar Island or Swan Quarter unless you are spending the night at Ocracoke. If coming from Hatteras you will want to be on a very early ferry as the ride is now an hour long.

In case of inclement weather, Homecoming will be held at the Assembly of God Church at Ocracoke on Lighthouse Road. Please check www.friendsofportsmouthisland.org and Friends of Portsmouth Island Facebook page for any news or updates to this schedule.

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