DIALECT Transcripts

Middle-Aged Ocracoke Female (age 54)


EC: And I was over a couple days after my brother came and, K- works at the Variety Store came over, too, and, J- R- and- I took them in parts of Portsmouth that people don't usually see and wouldn't know about if somebody didn't take 'em, like-- There was what we call the Middle Settlement, which was, you know, there's the Village of Portsmouth, and then further south there was another settlement and then a southern settlement. And there used to be a road that went all the way down. And we've been working on clearing that road.
FW1: Oh, wow!
EC: So, uh, last year we cleared about half of it. And then this year we cleared a bunch more and got past the Middle Settlement. And, uh, in my research I had interviewed older people that had lived on Portsmouth, and they told me about things that were down there. So we set out to find 'em. And just a couple weeks ago we found the sheep dipping vat.
FW1: Oh, wow!
EC: And it was in a thicket of woods you'd not believe. But it's all made out of cement and everything. It's-it's just wonderful!
FW2: What is that used for?
EC: It was for, uh, uh, dipping the sheep and the cattle that run wild on the island. You know, they had this tick war? And the ticks were so bad that the law made 'em dip 'em.
FW2: Wow! They would just drop 'em into this big thing?
EC: Well, they had like a corral, and they'd run 'em in it, and then there was this big sheet- matter of fact, I just got back pictures on it. I took pictures of it. And, uh, they had like a ramp going up to the thing, this big cement thing filled with some kind of stuff with dip in it, you know. And they would run off of the ramp into it. And it was so deep that they would go under, so that it completely covered 'em. And it was on a slant, and they would come out the other end. And they'd run 'em through that to kill the ticks. And, I mean, the park didn't know about it and didn't an- I mean, we find something that they didn't know about and we could tell them, and that's pretty exciting.
FW2: That's pretty cool!
FW1: That is exciting.
EC: So we were really excited when we found that. And somewhere near that in another thicket, there's supposed to be a big vault where somebody was buried hundreds of years ago, with a big cement slab on it. So, now we're looking for that. We haven't found it yet. But we know it's there.
EC: And then, uh, in what they called the Middle Settlement we have found, uh, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven ruins.
FW1: Hmmm.
EC: And last week when we were over there, C-L- and I went, and we just went to this place, it was a thicket on high ground, so we knew there had to been a house or something there, you know. 'Cause Portsmouth is real marshy, and everywhere there was a high piece of land, there was a house. So, we started cutting our way in that and came right up on this big fireplace and chimney, still standing in there. And it was just- Completely covered with vines and thickets. So we cleared that off there. So that's what I do when I'm over there.