"Hattie Creef" boat builder - George Washington Creef, Jr
The boat builder of the Hattie Creef, George Washington Creef, Jr of Dare County, NC was my 1st cousin 4x removed. Yea, that probably means were 'distant' cousins but who cares. If you could connect your family history to a 'history making' event - I bet you would - so I am. As a child growing up I remember the Hattie Creef very well. My dad operated a gas station at the foot of the Camden Co bridge leading into Elizabeth City. The boat was moored for many years across from the gas station in the Pasquotank River. When it was moved to Salvo, NC - I saw it there as a restaurant (drive in for burgers).
The Hattie Creef was a 55-foot-long vessel that was built as an oyster boat in 1888 by George Washington Creef Jr. of Nags Head. Creef constructed the vessel of heart pine logs that had washed ashore from a wrecked ship. He named it for his daughter, Hattie. Over her long life, the Hattie Creef would become a fishing boat, a mail boat, a passenger and freight vessel, a tug boat, a crabber, and a pleasure cruiser on the Dismal Swamp Canal. Her most famous passengers were Orville and Wilbur Wright, the Ohio brothers who invented the first powered aircraft. In her retirement years, the Hattie Creef, was sunk in the The Hattie Creef sails the Pasquotank River. The Woodley Grocery Company, the Burgess Street Wharf, and the old train yard are shown in the background. This is the location where the steamer Annie blew up in 1918. Pasquotank River, brought back up, and eventually put on display at Kill Devil Hills. In the 1970s, the boat was bought by a Hatteras businessman and was moved adjacent to the Hattie Creef Drive-In at Salvo. She was a popular historic attraction there until her demise in a fire in the 1980s.