Established in 1936 as the Wahab Village Hotel, Blackbeard’s Lodge has been a favorite vacation destination to thousands seeking rest and relaxation. Located on the remote barrier island of Ocracoke, NC, it is the oldest operating lodge on the Island, by more than 20 years. Ocracoke and Blackbeard’s Lodge also are favorites of Stanley “Chip” Stevens, proprietor, and great grand-nephew to the original owner, Robert Stanley Wahab. Chip and his wife, Helena, brought the Lodge back into the family in January, 2007.
Stevens’ family history and connection to Ocracoke goes back to the earliest settlers. The family has been in continual residence on the Island since 1742 when Stevens’ ancestor, William Howard – the fourth and last colonial owner of Ocracoke – purchased the Island from King George III. Stevens’ mother, Patricia Williams Stevens, was born on the Island and is the daughter of Stanley Russell Williams. Stanley Williams is the son of Lola Howard Wahab Williams – sister of the original owner, Robert Stanley Wahab.
Uncle Stanley was a local entrepreneur, developer and visionary. He saw the Wahab Village Hotel as just a part of his envisioned Shores of Contentment – a unique place for tourists. He brought many comforts and firsts to Ocracoke, including: the first electric power on the Island at the hotel, first telephone switchboard, first electric and ice plants, and first airplane commuter service. He also lobbied for ferry service from Hatteras and Cedar Island; he was instrumental in getting the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge and dike Silver Lake; and he was responsible for getting paved roads, telephone service and mail service from Hatteras.
His original hotel boasted a movie theater, skating rink and the kitchen served family-style meals, consisting of fresh local seafood and vegetables – Ocracoke specialties. In 1941, a room with meals was just $3.50 per day!