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By Peter Vankevich
Raising chickens for eggs on Ocracoke is popular these day. We found this advertisement by islander M.L. Piland in the Washington Progress (Washington, N.C.) printed 100 years ago offering to mail-order Indian runner duck eggs from Ocracoke.
Debbie Wells, author of The Back Porch Restaurant Cook Book, is very familiar with these eggs and thinks that with their thick whites and deeply colored yolks that they are far better than chicken eggs, including for baking.
Washington Progress, Thu. Mar 1, 1917 pg. 8
Eggs for sale
I have a fine flock of pure blood, milk white Indian Runner Ducks which I find to be the most beautiful, the hardest, best laying and the greatest money making stock I have seen or heard of anywhere.
I will be prepared about February first to begin filling orders for Eggs, at $1.00 per dozen, (cash with order) in good heavy corrugated boxes and guarantee safe delivery or money returned.
Also to fill order for the pure blood, single come white Leghorn chicken eggs at $1.00 per dozen by Parcel Post.
M.L. Piland Ocracoke, N.C.
Michael Lawrence Piland (1861-1920) was the postmaster on Ocracoke and ran a store in what was then Cockle Creek where Captain’s Landing is now located that was originally built by A.B. Howard, according to Philip Howard in his Ocracoke Newsletter. Piland’s gravestone is on British Cemetery Road.
The Ocracoke Observer did a feature on Indian Runner ducks on Ocracoke in the July 2010 issue. It can be found in the online archive and by clicking here .