Marshallberg, NC Events

When Core Sound Froze

These conditions existed as late as the early part of this century, after we had bridges. In 1917-1918 we had one of the worst blizzards in our history. V. B. Salter, Jr. was the school principal at Marshallberg (his wife, Janie Arthur Salter was also a teacher) and after a Friday school session, he and Mr. Walter Chadwick went to the Outer Banks duck hunting and taking only a few provisions, expected to be back by the next morning. That night came the storm. The snow flew and the temperature dropped! This kept up all night and by morning Core Sound was completely frozen over and stayed so for two solid weeks. The men had killed all the fowl they needed. The ducks and geese were so cold, they were just sitting there! They (the men) reported it was even a sin to kill them, sitting like that. Well, the two used up all the rations taken and burned all the wood they could find (they were in a hunting cabin belonging to someone from up state) so they decided to walk to the Lookout Coast Guard Station at the Cape. Captain Fred Gillikin was there and Mr. Salter had a cousin there, but even if the Coast guardsmen had not known the men they would have given them food and lodging and been hospitable to them. They remained there for the rest of the week. They reported as they were going to and from the station (a distance of about three miles) they saw some very sad sights! The marsh ponies were grazing on the marsh when the storm came in (and it was a very swift one) and the temperature dropped so rapidly they couldn’t get out, so there they were, stuck in the mud, their feet so heavy with that they had no possible way of escape. They were standing frozen to death and those that were not dead, surely did die. However, the two men made it back to their skiff and Mr. Salter built (from boards he was able to find) skids for the bottom of the skiff. They loaded their game, buns and ammunition in the skiff and started walking across Core Sound on the ice, after a whole week.

They made it! And a welcome sight it was to Mr. Salter’s family and the neighbors around. The sound still stayed frozen over for another week. The mail boat (nor any boat) could not run, which meant the people had no food supplies coming in and by that time were almost at the point of being desperate when the thaw began. That thaw was a happy sight!

Source: Thumbnail History of Carteret County; Compiled by Reba Hellen Salter Singer. Dedicated to The Morehead city Chapter of The Daughters of the American Revolution; 1976. Pp. 3.

Down East Community Tour
Core Sound Waterfowl Museum