Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Roanoke Island, North Carolina

Our second stop before leaving the North Carolina coast behind was on Roanoke Island.  The Fort Raleigh National Historic Site...

We toured the Visitor Center:  watched the film, read all of the informative boards, checked out the artifacts, and the kids filled out their Jr. Ranger books.

We could see a cat hanging out just outside the window and the kids really wanted to go pet it.  As soon as we were done with our books, we went out to see if the kitty was friendly.  It ran away :(.  Instead, we found a daddy-long-legs.  We didn't want to pet it!

Just past the vc, we came to a monument honoring the freedom that former slaves were granted once they reached the island.  During the Civil War, a Freedmen's Colony was established as a safe refuge for those that could get there...

Following the path, we entered the trees and came to another monument.  This one told of a baby that was born on August 18, 1587, a girl that was named Virginia Dare.  This baby, Virginia, was the first English child to be born in America. 

Her parents had arrived just a few days before her birth with a group of colonists from England.  The group had been sent over by Sir Walter Raleigh to establish a new colony.  They were basically dropped off with the promise of a ship's speedy return that would bring much needed supplies.

Well...three YEARS later, a ship finally made it back over to the colonists, only to find them gone.  Disappeared without a trace. 

There are many different theories as to what happened, but no one knows for sure.  The structures were all dismantled, suggesting that they moved.  But to where? 

The only clue to the direction of the "Lost Colony" was a word carved into a fence post:  Croatoan.  A massive storm forced the searchers to return to their ship before they could find the colonists.  More than one hundred men, women, and children...vanished.

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