One colorful story on how this isolated island earned its name involves Blackbeard the pirate. Blackbeard and his crew were anchored near the island and on the run from the British Navy.
Resigned that a battle was imminent, Blackbeard called for the day to begin, pleading "Oh Crow Cock, O Crow Cock."
This one is sort of doubtful, but a great story nonetheless. After the American Revolution, General George Washington was on a tour of the new country. When he arrived at what is now Hamstead (near Wilmington), they were going to fete him with a shad bake. Unfortunately, the shad weren't running so they had ham instead.
Still, A Great Story. --RoadDog
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