02/24/13

Stroll Down Memory Lane at the Outer Banks History Center

Located in Manteo within the Roanoke Island Festival Park complex is the Outer Banks History Center, a true gem for anyone who reserves a special place in their heart for the Outer Banks. The center came to fruition in 1986 when local writer and historian, David Stick, author of Graveyard of the Atlantic: Shipwrecks of the North Carolina Coast and several other works, donated his personal library and research materials to the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

The History Center is home to many collections including manuscripts, maps, photographs, books, personal and organizational papers, natural history, environmental sciences and so much more. Spend a day in the reading and reference room of the center where you have access to several worktables, an online catalog, audio-visual equipment, a microfilm reader-printer, and a photocopier. Each year the center responds to thousands of research requests from the general public to national media outlets, such as the History Channel, so contact them today!

During your upcoming vacation, make plans to attend the exhibit, “Dare County in the 1930s: Decade of Determination,” starting March 1st and running through October 14th!

The History Center is open Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm (excluding state holidays and weather emergencies) and be sure to visit the Outer Banks History Center Gallery 7 days a week from 9am-5pm. (Check with Roanoke Island Festival Park for up-to-date information and hours concerning the gallery).

Visit the Outer Banks History Center for a true understanding of the Outer Banks culture and its people!


02/21/13

Not just another day at sea…

On February 21, 1854, a 250-ton barkentine, Orline St. John, was dismasted in a strong gale off of Cape Hatteras. As heavy seas battered the large vessel and its crew, many people tried to seek refuge out of harms way. Concerned with their safety, several crew members tied themselves to the rigging in hopes of not being swept overboard. After the storm passed, the crew was left to fend for themselves for about 10 days before they were rescued. Unfortunately, four crew members did not return home.

Barkentine : a sailing ship of three of more masts with the foremast square-rigged and the others fore-and-aft rigged


02/12/13

Shipwrecks…UNCOVERED

It’s that time of year again! Days on end of a strong “blow”, as native islanders would call it, tends to expose treasures that have remained hidden from the salty elements for many years. Whether you are in search of miles of phenomenal shelling, a scattering of sea glass, or treasures washed ashore from shipwrecks of yore, the beaches of Hatteras Island are the place to be!

The waters that surround our barrier island are known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic due to the convergence of two strong ocean currents, the Labrador and the Gulf Stream, as well as the treacherous, ever-changing Diamond Shoals. Thousands of ill-fated boats and their crews are said to have been lost near Cape Hatteras. Other factors leading to the grim total of ships lost to sea were the Civil War, German submarine attacks, as well as pirate attacks.

Many shipwrecks have found their home on the sea floor but there are a few that have been laid to rest on our shores. These mysterious pieces of maritime history can occasionally be seen as the sand shifts to uncover these treasures.

Take some time to treasure hunt while you’re here and see if you can locate one or more of the following shipwrecks on Hatteras Island:

Oriental 1862
Located seven miles south of Oregon Inlet campground or 30 miles north of Buxton. Park at Pea Island Comfort Station. Wooden remains are occasionally exposed, as well as a wooden bow which is located on the beach 1 mile north.

G.A. Kohler 1933
Located off of Ramp #27 on the beach.

Altoona 1878
Turn down Lighthouse Road in Buxton. Follow the road 1.7 miles to its end in the gravel parking lot. Walk over the ramp to the beach, then south along the beach 1/2 miles and west 1/4 mile to the bow of the Altoona.

The Pocahontas
Look for the parking area on the east side of NC Hwy 12, just south of the last building on the south end of Salvo, and 4/10 mile south of mile marker 43. The visible part of the wreck can be seen in the surf at high or low tide, but more is visible during low tide.

For more information on maritime history, be sure to visit the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras!


11/28/12

Outer Banks Maritime Heritage Trail

Take a journey along Highway 12 and explore the dynamic marine environment and get a sense of how it has shaped the Island and the people who have called this sandbar home for centuries.

Click here to watch videos, view photos, and listen to stories shared by Outer Banks natives.

Happy Trails!


10/22/12

U. S. Coast Guard to perform Historic Breeches Buoy Reenactment

This Thursday, October 25 at 2pm, the USCG will perform the Historic Breeches Buoy Reenactment in a special post-season beach apparatus drill. The demonstration will be held at the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station and Museum in Rodanthe and will begin promptly at 2pm. Please allow plenty of time to park, get tickets, and get to the program start area. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for seniors (62+) or youth (6-17).

For more information, call 252-987-1552.


08/13/12

Meet the "Real" Taffy

Have you ever heard of the wildly popular book, Taffy of Torpedo Junction? If not, you are missing a real Carolina treat!
This fictional novel recounts the daring antics of 13-year old Taffy Willis during World War II on Hatteras Island. You will be swept along on a thrilling adventure with Taffy as she experiences life on a small sandbar during wartime.

“Taffy” is based on the real-life, Carol Dillion, a Hatteras Island native.

Join Carol on August 22 or 29th at 2pm at the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station in Rodanthe to learn more about her exhilarating adventures! Prepare to be enthralled by her tales of “Taffy.” You’ll find out how much of the novel was fiction and how much was actually fact!
Stop by Buxton Village Books to get your copy of the book today or order online, so that you’ll be able to throughly discuss the details with Carol on Wednesday! This is a great read for all ages!


06/13/12

Graveyard of the Atlantic Summer Programs

AHOY MATEY! The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras is offering a plethora of weekly summer programs and activities for all ages! It would be a pity to miss out on this amazing opportunity to explore and discover more about our maritime heritage.
Here’s a list of programs that you may be interested in attending…
Monday-Saturday 1st Mates Program
-For ages 8-12. Children will receive a certificate of rank and 1st mate’s wristband by doing a Museum search and attending two programs, or doing a Museum search, attending one program, and completing one written activity.
Monday and Fridays
Maritime Movies @ 11am and 2pm

-These shows include information about the U-85, Chicamacomico, the Alligator, the Battle of the Atlantic and more!
Tuesdays @ 2
-A speaker’s series on the people and events that shape our island’s history.
Wednesdays
Island Treasures @ 11am

-Talks and demonstrations related to or island’s heritage.
Civil War Mini Talks @ 3pm
Thursdays
Children’s Nautical Crafts @ 10:30-12pm

Canvasback Decoys @ 12-4pm
-Visit with a local decoy maker, Sam Green, as he demonstrates the art of creating various decoys.
2nd Saturday
-Come down to the Museum on the 2nd Saturday of the month and see what it’s all about!
Well shiver me timbers! I think the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum is the place to be this summer!
The Museum is open Monday-Saturday from 10am until 4pm.


05/10/12

Don't Miss The Boat!!!

On Monday, May 14th, starting at 10am, you will have the rare opportunity to witness a very special pre-season beach drill to be performed by the United States Coast Guard! This Beach Apparatus Drill is also known as the Breeches Buoy Reenactment and will presented by The Chicamacomico Live-Saving Station Historic Site and Museum located in Rodanthe at milepost 39.5.

Take a trip back in time to the site of the most-highly awarded maritime rescue in American history!

Click here to experience this daring rescue with the surfmen of the USCG!

The schedule for the day is as follows:
10-11am Instructions for flotillas
11-12pm Beach Apparatus Drill performed
12-2pm Cookout and Social

Admission is free with regular site admission. Adults: $6, Seniors 62+ and Youth 6-17: $4.

Be sure to bring your appetite for a delicious $5 hamburger or hotdog plate, which includes sides and a drink!

Don’t miss the boat, folks! Grab a buoy and hold on tight as you experience this amazing performance!

For more information check out:

Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station


04/23/12

The Civil War comes to Cape Hatteras at the Flags Over Hatteras Commemorative Event

Did you know that Hatteras Island played a role in the Civil War? Find out about our contribution during the FLAGS OVER HATTERAS Sesquicentennial Event April 26th – April 29th , 2012. There will be nationally known authors and historians speaking each evening along with living history events and historical exhibits at the Graveyard of the Atlantic museum. If you won’t be here during the event this week, the artifacts will be on exhibit at the museum through the end of July.

Three nationally known authors and historians: James McPherson, Ed Bearss and Craig Symonds
April 26, 27, 28

Each evening one of them will give their talk following dinner (included in registration fee) at the Hatteras Village Civic Center in Hatteras.

Attendance is open to the general public by registration only and is limited to 175 attendees on a ‘first come -first serve’ basis. The registration fee is $175 which includes 3 dinners, 3 nationally known speakers, refreshments, additional speakers and power point presentations, Civil War exhibits, collections, ‘Living History’ programs, Civil War music and ‘Monument Dedication’.

Additional speakers include:
Dr. Patricia Click (professor at the University Of Virginia), Harold (Harri) Jones, (Curator of the African American Civil War Memorial & Museum) KaeLi Schurr (Curator of the Outer Banks History Center), Joseph Schwarzer (Director of the N.C. Maritime Museums), Col. Gary Riggs, (CSA Medical Authority), Drew Pullen (local historian), Danny Couch (local historian), Gerald Roxbury (Civil War Confederate cutlasses authority) and Lee Oxford (historian and authority on “The Capture of the Fanny” and “The Chicamacomico Affair”).

Civil War Historical Marker Unveiling and Dedication: April 26 at 4 p.m. at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras

The Flagship USS Minnesota and the Hotel De Afrique will be recognized with the unveiling of a Dare County Heritage Trail / North Carolina Bugle Trails Marker in honor of the leadership, actions, and results during and after seven U.S. Navy warships bombarded Forts Hatteras and Clark, August 28 -29, 1861.

The dedication recalls the USS Minnesota was the flagship for the Atlantic Blockade Squadron commanded by Flag Officer Silas H. Stringham. Using Stringham’s innovative maneuver of having his ships sail in single file oval formation the fleet rained down several thousands of shells. Seven African American sailors who were mustered into service in Boston, Mass. manned the forward gun on the USS Minnesota during this engagement. This was the first time the U.S. Navy employed this tactic.

Dedication will include Ken Howard, Director, N.C. History Museums, LT Jason Rochester, Chaplain USN Elizabeth City/Sector NC, Superintendent Michael Murray, National Park Service, Outer Banks Group, Captain Anthony Popiel, USCG Sector Commander North Carolina, Allen Burrus, Dare County Commissioner, Lee Nettles, Managing Director Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, Skipper Hines, President of the Outer Banks Community Foundation, Danny Couch. Chairman of the Friends of the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, Dave Alberg, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, Harry (Hari) Jones, Curator of the African American Civil War Memorial & Museum, Mel Covey, Dare County Heritage Trail and Flags Over Hatteras Committee, and Johnnie Baum, The Hatteras Island Poet will speak briefly.

Placement of wreaths will include a US Coast Guard Color Guard from USCG Sector Cape Hatteras and Bernie Siler, Historian and re-enactor with the 54th Massachusetts. The public is encouraged to attend.

Living History Programs: April 28 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., April 29 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Re-enactors will present artillery demonstrations, encampments, drills and period music. In addition, a civil war era ladies fashion show will be presented as well as a Civil War era battery forge.

All programs are free of charge and are open to the public. A schedule of programs will be provided.

Ole’ Time Civil War Auction: April 28 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. at the Hatteras Village Civic Center in Hatteras

Come early to get your bid number and a front row seat. Donations of any and all auction items are welcome. They do not need to have anything to do with the Civil War. Items already on the auction block for lucky bidders to win range from rental cottage discounts to many other exciting items. Click here for a list of the auction items

All proceeds will go to the Friends of the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum to defray any costs of Flags Over Hatteras activities and the remaining or all will go towards the “Help Us Save the USS Monticello Ensign” Civil War flag restoration project.


Civil War Exhibit: Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras

“War Comes to Hatteras” Exhibit is open at The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, 59200 Museum Dr., Hatteras, NC. This special exhibit is open to the public, free of charge, in connection with the “Flags Over Hatteras” Conference (a ticketed event) and related events. Non-ticketed public will be subject to museum admission.

Exhibit open through July 31, 2012
Museum Hours: April – October
Monday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
November – March
Monday – Friday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

This exhibit will feature items and documents related to Eastern North Carolina activities and actions during 1861. The exhibit is focused around the Battle of Fort Hatteras and Fort Clark, Aug. 28-29,1861 and will also explore “The Capture of the Fanny” and “The Chicamacomico Races” in October of the same year.


12/7/11

The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum Is Decking Its Halls for a Holiday at the Museum

The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum is inviting everyone to a free Open House Saturday, December 10th from noon to 4pm. They have been busy decorating and are anxiously waiting to show off their festive spirit!

If you bring a donation for the food bank, you will receive a 5% discount in the Meekins Chandlery Gift Shop and each shopper will be given a special holiday bag.

When you stroll through the holiday village, you will be delighted by the vintage Santa Claus displays, and your eyes will sparkle at the sight of twinkling lights and ornamented trees. The animatronic dog and bear is sure to cause laughter to erupt from young and old!

Caroling and children’s activities will be held in the education wing. Open the doors to the Burrus Couch Midgett Gallery and learn Hatteras Island history by viewing: the “Flags Over Hatteras” Civil War exhibit with pieces assembled from collections around the nation; the “Pirates, Scalawags, and Brigands” display with actual artifacts from Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge shipwreck; recognize some familiar names and faces and learn about the cultural implications of shipwrecks in “Ship Ashore” ; and even view actual pieces from the dining room table of the U.S.S. Monitor.

Enjoy a variety of hot soups and holiday cookies for free! All events and exhibits are free and are appropriate for all ages.