Ocracoke Working Watermen's Association
Ocracoke Working Watermen's Association
OWWA logo:
An old-style Ocracoke
shrimp boat coming in.
Ocracoke Working Watermen's Exhibit

The Watermen’s Exhibit
is located at the
Community Square
on the docks.

Photo left: Oysters at the fish house
and dessert at the exhibit.
December 29, 2009
Located in the former Will Willis Store & Fish House, a National Register Historic Structure - The exhibit will seek to provide a better understanding of the real Ocracoke and how heritage is still alive in many ways. Travelers too often leave a museum or exhibit with an understanding of only what is gone. It is uplifting for people to see the roots of this maritime community still present even under such tremendous present day challenges. The mission of the exhibit is to highlight how fishing – past and present – plays an important role in connecting community, environment, traditional workplace, and the local economy. Take your time at the exhibit – enjoy the breeze, watch the boats, and read up on the watermen.

Present Day Willis Store and Fish House on Ocracoke IslandThe exhibit has short video clips on many topics, current printed materials from NC organizations and is the depot for classes and special events – birding excursions, small group meetings, hands on classes. Bulletins are posted weekly during the peak summer season.

Exhibit Topics

  • Mullet
  • Pound Nets
  • Family Tradition
  • Ocracoke Fresh
  • Challenges facing the watermen
  • A day at the fish house
  • Crabbing
  • Youth
  • Tourism
  • Boats in the Harbor
  • History of Fish Houses on the Island
  • Waterfowlers
  • Nets
  • Shrimpers
  • Educational Outreach
  • How the Fish House was Saved
  • Clamming
  • Oysters
  • Old Drum