Hatsell, Willis and Others Rowed to the Lab from the West End of Front St.

1950s - Willis' Pier - West End of Front Street - Note the sandy area beyond turntable

Duncan House - Pier at End of Front St.
In the first years of the 20th century, a Federal Biological Laboratory was constructed on Piver's Island. At that time the only access to the island was by boat. Charles Ives Hatsell and others rowed back and forth until the bridge to Piver's Island was finally built in 1934.
Neal Willis wrote, "my Dad, known as Captain Jack, had a small building near the turntable at the west end of Front Street. He rented out rowboats, fishing lines, took out fishing parties and also carried tourists over to what was at that time 'The Laboratory.' My brother Jack and I grew up helping him. There was no bridge and we charged 15 cents round trip to row tourists to the laboratory dock...the people who worked there had to go to and from the island in small rowboats. These were tied to a dock next to ours." Captain Jack Willis also worked part time at the laboratory.

Hatsell retired in 1947, after 45 years of service at the laboratory, and several months later was presented with a citation and bronze plaque from the Department of the Interior for his “long faithful and highly distinguished service.”
Hatsell's Retirement*
Capt. Jacks' Fishing Shack & Pier

*1947 Retirement photo - From left to right: Dr. Herbert F. Prytherch, Charles Hatsell, Vance Fulford, Alonzo Thomas and Charles Hawkins.
 See: 
Charlie & The Terrapins
Marie Ella and Charles Ives Hatsell
Captain Jack - An Early Entrepreneur 


In the 1950s, another Beaufort resident John Costlow rowed back and forth to the Duke Lab on Piver's Island, sometimes late at night to finish work. On one occasion, a particularly dark night during the fall when the menhaden fleet was filling the waterfront, he was almost run over - not telling wife Ann, home alone in their Manson House apartment with two little girls.