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In 1967 Portsmouth Island and village had already been acquired by the National Park Service then incorporated into the new Cape Lookout National Seashore.Last two elderly residents, Marian Gray Babb and Nora Dixon, left the island in 1971 after the death of Henry Pigott, who although approximately the same age was essentially their caretaker.The Civil War was yet another blow as many people fled to the mainland when Union soldiers came to occupy the Outer Banks.
During the summer months in Portsmouth, a cooling afternoon sea breeze is present on most days, but episodes of extreme heat and humidity can occur with heat index values ≥ 100 °F (≥ 38 °C). potential natural vegetation types, Portsmouth, North Carolina would have a dominant vegetation type of Live oak/Sea Oats Uniola paniculata (90) with a dominant vegetation form of Coastal Prairie (20).
Portsmouth is prone to hurricane strikes, particularly during the Atlantic hurricane season which extends from June 1 through November 30, sharply peaking from late August through September.
The inhabitants of Portsmouth Village were heavily engaged in fishing and other maritime trades, like piloting and manning vessels, even building a small man-made island, Shell Castle, out of oyster shells for use as a shipping depot. Much of Portsmouth's population was African American descending from the slaves brought to the island.
After the Civil War most African Americans left Portsmouth but some families remained including Pigott family whose descendants were some of the island's last inhabitants: Henry and Lizzie Pigott.
The island homecoming has its origins in the early trips made back to the island by families who left prior to the 1960s and was originally affiliated with the Methodist and Primitive Baptist churches, primarily out of Cedar Island, North Carolina, where many inhabitants of Portsmouth had resettled.
The homecoming began as a church- and family-based event but has become increasingly a secular celebration of Portsmouth's heritage, under the aegis of the National Park Service.It is also accessible by four wheel drive vehicles, which cross Core Sound by ferry from Atlantic and use the beach and tracks on North Core Banks.Portsmouth Island lies to the east of North Core Banks, to which it is connected at most states of the tide.Portsmouth grew to a peak population of 685 in 1860.Though small, Portsmouth was one of the most important points-of-entry along the Atlantic coast in post-Revolutionary America.The town lies in Carteret County, was established in 1753 by the North Carolina Colonial Assembly, and abandoned in 1971.Its remains are now part of the Cape Lookout National Seashore.In 1846, two strong hurricanes cut Oregon Inlet and deepened the existing Hatteras Inlet to the northeast, making Ocracoke Inlet a less desirable shipping lane by comparison.The waters around Portsmouth's harbor also began to shoal up, hastening its decline as a port. Isolation of the power supply in Mercantile House will take place on 9 Sep.University House Cash Desk September opening hours Mon 2 Sep – Fri 6 Sep 10am – 1pm Mon 9 Sep – Fri 13 Sep 10am – 2pm Mon 16 Sep – Fri 27 Sep 9.30am – 4pm Mon 30 Sep onwards normal hours: Mon – Thu 10am – 4pm Fri 10am – 3pm More notices can be found here.