Irvin GarrishIf you’ve ever wondered who Irvin Garrish was and why Ocracoke’s main road was named after him, then save the date for Saturday, April 16, to find out.

From 2 to 4 p.m., the Ocracoke Preservation Society will host a party celebrating Irvin Garrish’s 100th birthday (b. April 20, 1916) at Irvin and Elsie Garrish’s former residence at 43 Howard Street.

Along with house tours during the day, family members and island historians will tell stories about Garrish’s life and his impact on the island. 

Built in 1888, Elsie’s House is a typical Ocracoke story-and-a-jump design. Simon Garrish and Sarah Howard had it built for them when they wed, and it remained in the family for years, eventually belonging to Armeda O’Neal. She sold it to her nephew, Capt. Irvin Garrish, and his wife, Elsie.

Irvin was a ferry captain and the island’s first representative to the Hyde County board of commissioners. Elsie was the island’s nurse. They both grew up on Ocracoke, and lived other places, before returning to their island home. Irvin and Elsie’s daughters Agnes and Martha still live on the island, as does Martha’s son, Van O’Neal.

Bob and Kathy Phillips of Raleigh purchased the house in 2011 and had it restored.

Birthday cake and refreshments will be provided, and donations will be welcomed with proceeds benefiting the Ocracoke Preservation Society.

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