1913 Visit to Beaufort & Bogue Banks

In a 1913 article in the Potsdam Courier, NY, Martin V.B. Ives described his visit to the Beaufort Life Saving Station, Bogue Island and the turtle hatchery in Beaufort; he also described the wild horses. Irving Bacheller was mentioned in the article; about 1909-10, journalist Bacheller, who founded the first modern newspaper syndicate in the US, owned the Blare House circa 1779, at 111 Marsh Street in Beaufort, later home to Nathaniel Hancock Russell, engineer on the first train to Beaufort. This article is transcribed as written. Old postcards and photographs were added to this post and not part of the article:

"...we visited the Beaufort life saving station with deep interest and were cordially received and entertained by the Captain in charge. He related to us many of his life saving experiences which were exceedingly thrilling to say the least. By referring to his log book the Captain informed us that his crew had saved the lives of 200 sailors and from other sources we learned that the bronzed old Captain himself held the honorable record of personally and alone at a wreck off Hatteras (his crew having refused to take the risk) having saved the lives of seven men. We could not help saying “God bless the men of the life saving stations. 

"The next day breaking fair, Capt. Palmer informed us that it would be a good day for us to visit Beaufort Fish Hatchery and the old fellow was as much if not more interested in the act that we were, for he could see at least one dollar for five minutes work taking us across in his sail boat to the small island on which the hatchery was located. However we were not sorry we went and felt well repaid for the visit. As its name would suggest we expected to see small sized fish of all grades, but nothing of the kind, as this particular hatchery was devoted to the propagation of shell fish only, but we were informed that class of fish culture was very popular and that students came from all over the United States to study shell fish culture.

"But there other attractions on that island that outclassed the fish hatchery for us far and away for in a station annex was situated one of the greatest wonders of the present age, namely Marconi’s wireless telegraphing. We were invited to inspect it by its scientific and gentlemanly operator, which we did with great pleasure and satisfaction. The noisy machine used for recording and sending the message was much the same as is used in any telegraph office only larger, but the machine that in some way transmits by an electric flashlight its signals hundreds of miles out to sea, performs an act far beyond an ordinary mind to comprehend. The operator, to exemplify, kindly sent a message and received a reply while we waited, thereby giving us the full view of the electric flashes in its transmittal and receipt. The operator also informed us that he had that morning received message from a wrecked vessel some four-hundred miles at sea, asking for immediate aid by the usual sign of S.O.S., which means “Save oh Save,” and that he had dispatched a revenue cutter to aid them. We came away fully satisfied that there were at least two institutions that were truly altruistic in character, the life saving station and Marconi wireless telegraphy.

"We were about to leave the island when Capt. Palmer informed us that there was still another annex connected with the fish hatchery plant that we must see. On inquiring of the Captain what his additional show was he informed us that the building was used for the hatching and raising of what he called “allegories and these doggone snapping turtles.” We inquired what sort of a fish an allegory was and he informed us that it was as he reckoned some sort of half fish and half snake grown in the swamps of Florida. However we found the exhibition in the annex very interesting. We were informed by the man who was in charge that his alligator pens were out of commission just at present, but showed us bushels of “them there snapping turtles” of all sizes from a ten cent piece to a silver dollar, of the so-called diamond back terrapin variety, which are used when they reach a proper commercial size for making soups in the first hotels and restaurants in the large cities. We made up our minds however that we would not take soup on our plate if it by chance had any of the flavor of that prison pen for mud turtles.

"One of the stocks in trade, in fact an important asset of Beaufort, is its so-called Beach Ponies, consisting of about 25 or 30 small ponies about one size larger than the Shetland brand, that are essentially as wild as any wild horse. They have pre-empted and practically own a small island situated about one mile out in front of the city and live there the whole year around and can be seen any hours during the day either quietly feeding or running and racing up and down the beach in plain sight of the people of the city of Beaufort. Their capers offer a continuous show especially to all the people who visit the city. These strange animals are not overlooked but usually receive some mention in all communications describing that watering place.

"Extending from Bogue sound inlet nearly or quite to Beaufort inlet, a distance of about 25 miles, is located a long strip of land, Bogue Island. It is densely covered with large tree growth, mainly yellow pine, but due to its location and from the fact that its east or sea shore is washed by the warm gulf stream which brings a warm current of air, its climate is subtropical and compares favorably with the Indian river section of Florida. In fact shrubs and trees such as palms or palmettos, rubber trees, and also native orange trees are found growing among the pines, making the island a veritable jungle except in places where it has been cleared and cultivated. One would scarcely believe it but as a matter of fact the average temperature of the island is at least ten degrees warmer than the main land on the west.
"The island is about one mile in width and contains about 10,000 acres of land. Several years ago a gentleman hailing from the state of Maine, for the benefit of his health, visited Beaufort mainly for rest and refreshment, but after spending a few months there and hearing that the island could be purchased, being a man of ample means he purchased the whole tract, neck and crop, and today if the writer is any judge he owns a paradise. He has already built himself a bungalow winter home on the island without cutting away any more of its trees and native shrubbery than was strictly necessary. The outlook and surroundings of his charming camp are far beyond my pen to adequately describe. His house or bungalow is plain, not very expensive but regal in its equipment and furnishings; perhaps not so costly but yet it will compare favorably with the palatial bungalows of Palm Beach, Fla.

"Having been given a letter of introduction to the gentleman, Mr. John Royal, by my friend Dr. Irving Bacheller, who became acquainted with Mr. Royal during the two winters Dr. Bacheller sojourned at Beaufort for his health. Mrs. Ives and myself were promptly invited to spend a day with the Royals at their home on the island some eight miles seaward from Beaufort. In fact they sent their motor launch over to the city for us.  

"We were met at their dock and escorted up to their camp by the whole family of Royals and were royally treated while there, and while Mrs. Ives visited with the ladies and talked about Christian Science, Capt. Royal and I talked business. After an elaborate luncheon had been negotiated we were invited to take a walk across the island to the sea shore, which we eagerly accepted. All went with not a single woman left behind, on foot of course. Mr. Royal had caused to be cut out and cleared up foot trails for miles around his camp, one of which was kite shaped in form, over to the beach one mile, up the beach one mile and back to camp one mile. We made it, ladies and men, apparently as easily as walking around the square via Town Hall at Potsdam, very likely stimulated by the glorious ocean breeze which has an exhilarating effect similar to a dose of champagne.

"The writer remarked that a walk of that distance up north would be considered something of a task, and the Royal ladies replied that that was nothing, that they made it every day and sometimes twice a day, which we had no reason to doubt, for their tanned complexions and vigor proved it and doubtless will add ten years to their lives.  

"But when we had arrived and climbed the great sand dunes, like breastworks guarding the seashore, and looked out onto old ocean’s broad expanse as far as the eye could reach in either direction, and viewed its hard white shell-covered and wave-washed sand beach, and had braced up and breathed in old ocean’s nectar of the Gods in great doses, I am prepared to say that as a lover of nature and woodman, I have never seen a more heart-lifting, getting-next-to-nature, making a man open his lungs to drink in deep draughts of health-giving ozone with the flavor of the pine, and “thank-God I was alive” place than the ocean beach opposite Mr. Royal’s place on Bogue Island.

"Our return trip to Washington was over another route than our advent to wit, over the Norfolk and Southern Railway to Norfolk, thence to Washington via steamboat. We very much enjoyed this trip but time and place will not admit of a description. We desire to add however that we can recommend the trip as on of the most pleasing one on this continent."
                                                                                                                             - Martin V.B. Ives