Saturday, June 13, 2015

Wild Ponies of Shackleford Banks

Sheckleford Banks
My wife and I have been to the Outer Banks of North Carolina several times on vacation and also for me to visit some dead relatives in the area.

One of the unique places is the Shackelford Banks, a barrier island just offshore from Beaufort, North Carolina. It is currently populated only by wild ponies.

The original owner of the property was John Shackleford who acquired it in 1713. The Island was always sparsely populated, mostly by fisherman who lived there to be closer to the fish. The last community, Diamond City, was disbanded in 1902.

My Fulford family ancestors owned land on the coast facing the Island.
Thomas Fulford grave marker

The story of the ponies on Shackleford Banks is that they can be traced to Spanish explorers who somehow got off the ships as they passed the coast and swam to shore.

I don't know how they got there but there have been wild ponies on the Island for several centuries.

In the 1800s folks from the mainland would hold round ups to collect horses, they could then use on their farms and plantations.

I found this inventory record in the estate file of my gg grandfather Colonel Thomas Fulford.

Thomas Fulford died on April 20, 1854 and is buried in the Fulford cemetery on Piper Lane in Gloucester, NC.

NC Estate Files - Thomas Fulford
Stephen F. Fulford, his oldest son, was handling the estate and acting as guardian to three minor siblings. He had to provide regular accounting of expenses and inventories of assets.

One of the items he listed in May 1861 was three ponies on the Core Banks, valued at $526.93.

Thomas Fulford's estate inventory listed him as the owner of a 200 acre tract of land on Shackleford Banks.

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