Skip to content
Vol. 13, No. 1: Spring 2007

Machelhe Island

by Bland Simpson

“Machelhe Island was, like the river itself, an inescapable daily sight in this old town, a swampy elongation stretching from Camden Way toward us in town, pinching the river at The Narrows and then letting it–maybe making it–spread out to the southeast and quickly widen and become a bay.”

One summer day some years ago, my son Hunter and I sat out on the broad deck of a Pasquotank River restaurant at Elizabeth City’s Narrows, upon a wide wooden planking stretched out over the dark waters from a brick warehouse where old-time produce agent R. C. Abbott once brokered potatoes and peas. A few slips, there to serve Betsy Town’s transient boating trade, lay mostly empty nearby. As the August evening deepened and the red-lit summer clouds faded to ash and it grew dusky dark, across the black river that snakes down out of the Great Dismal Swamp lights in the apartments and the topdecked marina restaurant twinkled on and shone through the far shoreline’s cypress trees.

This article appears as an abstract above, the complete article can be accessed in Project Muse
Subscribe today!

One South, a world of stories. Delivered in four print issues a year.