The Odd Fellows Lodge renovation begins with a new roof after recently removing dormers. Photo by Richard Taylor

Observer staff report

Renovation of the Odd Fellows Lodge, located at the corner of Irvin Garrish Highway and Lighthouse Road, most recently known as the Island Inn, has begun with the roof.

Ken DeBarth, president of the Ocracoke Preservation Society which owns the property, said that work has begun removing the dormers on the west side which will return the roof to its normal original configuration.  

Workers also will check out upgrading all of the structural members and removing the old tar shingles and replacing it them with ice guard, a waterproof underlayment, until the OPS can get cedar shakes, which were the original roofing material.

“Part of the historic restoration is to make it look like it did originally,” DeBarth said.

Cedar shakes, while more expensive than shingles, conform to the historic accuracy of the renovation, which is critical for the OPS to get tax breaks.

This phase, which will take a couple of months, is being funded by a grant from the Cannon Foundation and by a grant from the Outer Banks Community Foundation, DeBarth said.

Scrub brush on the back side of the property will be removed and there are plans to plant a fig tree garden there with all the types of fig trees found on Ocracoke.

Also pending is the installation of a public restroom. The Ocracoke Civic & Business Association was awarded $201,900 for this project and expects to purchase a ready-made, unisex bathroom sometime this year.