Harkers Island , NC Stories / Story Tellers

“MY LITTLE ISLAND ..."

Mr. Jimmie Guthrie, born on Cape Lookout, began writing for The Beaufort News in 1936. These excerpts are from old newspaper research and brought to The Mailboat by his granddaughter, Carrie Ann Guthrie Styron.

December 19th, 1940 -Again the Island school played Smyrna, and again Smyrna was the winner, but the local team plans to keep playing Smyrna at every opportunity until they win. Under the able and efficient leadership of the Island principal our school is liable to take all the pennants before the year has ended.

The young men of the Island are playing their part with the government. A total of 52 are off serving their country at various places. Walter Collins Willis is in Bermuda and James Guthrie (Carrie Ann's Daddy) on the "Lydonia" is in Puerto Rico today and he may be going through Panama Canal and to God knows where no so long from now.

State cutters "Hatteras" and "Pungo" surely sailed the salty seas last week checking on the small mesh netters. Mine were too large so they turned me loose. It must be the dealers at Beaufort who encourage the breaking of the small mesh law because they often have fish which are too small to ship. If enforced the small mesh law will save fish for our future generations instead of killing the fish when they are small.

Oh yes, I had forgotten. We'll soon have a bridge over here when we will get our own fish trucks at the door. Everything is fine. Wish you all a happy Christmas and lucky January 1941 . Let's join the Coast Guard Reserve Corps and give ourselves and boats over to our Uncle Sam and tell him to do anything he pleases with us.

March 15, 1945 - "Our Father" was born at Cape Lookout near the Light house and was named "James Bryant Guthrie." As I understand he grew to be quite a husky young fellow, some how, and in some way he attained a first class education, especially for that day, he taught school quite a lot there on Cape Lookout, and too, his offsprings are all proud to state beyond a doubt that he knew his God, he was a Christian man to the day he died.

In later years he proved to be a sailor who could, and did sails the high seas in sail vessels. For so many years he sailed the coast from Jacksonville up to Boston which was the usual trading points in that day. First he sailed the two topmast schooner named the "Martha Thomas" and Later he took the "T. M. Thomas" both owned by Capt. Tom Thomas of Beaufort, NC. The latter on which he was come up North from Florida a storm struck him and a topsail halyard block gave way and struck him, but making it ok, further down the coast he was stricken with small pox and had to be taken in port at Charleston, SC where he stayed till the doctors made him well. "Our Father Who Art in Heaven, Hallowed by Thy Name."

In his declining years he retired from his sea going, and held a continuous position with one Mr. Latham from New Jersey who owned some sort of establishment at Cape Lookout. On October 9th, 1886 he went to his death leaving with us children $100.00 in money. Myself being eighteen months old at the time. He gained the greatest victory that man can expect to gain, he was a Christian!
We can only say, Our Father Thou Who Dwellest in That High and Glorious Place. When Shall I Regain Thy Presence and Again Behold Thy Face.

I understand that the big preacher from up North is to be here this week to help the Chesson Mission in a revival.

Crabbing is still good here, Capt. Joe Davis buys an average of 30,000 pounds a week. Clammers are doing as usual, and the fishing is still on the bum. It has gone dead since Christmas.
That big fat Sheriff was here again last night, standing on the way side big as Cuffy. That's right, Beaufort has no right to keep a sheriff all the time, just because its Beaufort.

Capt. Fred Lewis is very ill at his home now, he was taken with one of the February colds 'bout the first of March, we hope he soon gets it off and come out.

Capt. T. Gillikin of the Way fish establishment Beaufort, was a visitor here yesterday.
Our people in almost innumerable groups work at Cherry Point, not so very interested in fishing as they have been heretofore.

Our light system has been ok for a long time now, but Mr. Earl Davis feels somewhat older than he was last year this time.

The Island is expecting very early, a Government survey on the project here in Johnson's Creek, at Harkers Point. Such a project would open a valuable and much needed harbor for small boats, at least.

The whale that Capt. McKinley Lewis saw aground near the sea wall at Cape Lookout pulled her own self off and left the Cape for quite a while. He bypassed her of course, but later when he arrived at the spot the big varmint had got her own release, and gone on another job.

Reprinted from the MAILBOAT, Winter 1991, Vol. 1, No. 4

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