We stayed on Roanoke island for our Outer Banks visit. Roanoke Island was one of the first places in North America to be settled by the English. It was first discovered by the British in 1585 by Richard Grenville on a mission organized and financed by Sir Walter Raleigh. When Richard left the island, he left behind several men with the promise of sending settlers soon after.
Here is the Wiki article on the rest of the history of Roanoke:
In 1587, Raleigh dispatched another group of 150 colonists to travel to Roanoke and preserve the newly found land of Roanoke. They were led by John White, an artist and friend of Raleigh who had accompanied the previous expeditions to Roanoke….On July 22, 1587, White and his men arrived back at Roanoke and set out on a mission hoping to find the Englishmen that Sir Richard Grenville had left behind the year before. They had found nothing except for what they thought may have been the bones of one of Grenville’s men. On July 23, 1587, White appointed his men to dive off of the North end of the Island in another attempt to find the remains or evidence of Grenville’s men. They were counting on these men to help with the affairs of the new colony, but when all of their efforts turned up nothing, they gave up without hope of ever seeing Grenville’s men living.
On July 30, 1587, White and his men traveled to the neighboring Island of Croatoan in an effort to determine the disposition of the people of that Island and to see if they could find an ally in them. At first, it seemed as though being allies was not an option, but as they began to converse and negotiate fine details of the history of relations between the two Islands, it became apparent that they would be able to trust and rely on one another.
On August 18, White’s daughter Eleanor gave birth to the first English child born in the Americas, Virginia Dare. Before her birth, White re-established relations with the neighboring Croatans and tried to re-establish relations with the tribes that Ralph Lane had attacked a year previously. The aggrieved tribes refused to meet the new colonists. Shortly thereafter, a colonist named George Howe was killed by natives while searching for crabs alone in Albemarle Sound. Knowing what had happened during Ralph Lane’s tenure in
the area and fearing for their lives, the colonists persuaded Governor White to return to England to explain the colony’s situation and ask for help. There were approximately 115 colonists—the 114 remaining men and women who had made the trans-Atlantic passage and the newborn baby, Virginia Dare—when White returned to England.
Because of the continuing war with Spain (Anglo-Spanish War), White was not able to mount another resupply attempt for three more years. He finally gained passage on a privateering expedition that agreed to stop off at Roanoke on the way back from the Caribbean. White landed on August 18, 1590, on his granddaughter’s third birthday, but found the settlement deserted. His men could not find any trace of the 90 men, 17 women, and 11 children, nor was there any sign of a struggle or battle. The only clue was the word “Croatoan” carved into a post of the fort and “Cro” carved into a nearby tree. All the houses and fortifications had been dismantled, which meant their departure had not been hurried. Before he had left the colony, White had instructed them that if anything happened to them, they should carve a Maltese cross on a tree nearby, indicating that their disappearance had been forced. As there was no cross, White took this to mean they had moved to Croatoan Island, but he was unable to conduct a search. A massive storm was brewing and his men refused to go any further. The next day, they left.
The end of the 1587 colony is unrecorded (leading to it being referred to as the “Lost Colony”), and there are multiple hypotheses as to the fate of the colonists. The principal hypothesis is that they dispersed and were absorbed by either the local Croatan or Hatteras Native Americans, or another Algonquian people; it has yet to be established if they did assimilate with one or other of the native populations.”
We stayed in the town of Manteo, named after early settler’s Croatoan guide. The town is in Dare County, NC, named after the first born British child in the colonies. The town was quiet as most things open up in the summer for the tourist season. The people of Manteo are a pleasant and friendly. Kris and I chatted for a good hour or so with one of the workers at Ye Old Pioneer Theater, an independently owned movie theater that has been in business since 1918. The marina we stayed at was right across the water from the replica of the Elizabeth II, the ship the colonists brought over to the new world. One thing is for certain, Manteo is filled to the brim with history.