After visiting Bodie Island Lighthouse, we headed to Roanoke Island to learn about the oldest American mystery. Do you remember the story from American History Class? The first English colonists were sent to Roanoke Island in 1585 by Sir Walter Raleigh. Shortly after arriving, Governor John White sailed back to England with the plan of returning later that year with supplies. Shortly, England went to war with Spain, the ships were comandeered by the English convernment and John White was not able to return to Roanoke until 1590. When he arrived the colonists were gone, the fort was dismantled, and the only clue left behind was the word “croatoan” carved in a tree. “Croatoan” was the name of present day Hatteras Island, but due to bad weather, White was unable to venture south and search for the colony. (wiki)
To this day, we do not know what happened to the colonists. We went to a ranger talk on the island where we discussed some of the theories: Did a hurricane wipe out the colony? Were they annihilated by disease? Did they assimilate with the nearby Indians? Did the colonists try to build a boat and return to England? Were they killed by the Indians? Or was it aliens? After returning home, we found this book by a 21st century anthropologist that gives a very compelling theory as to what happened to the first English settlers in the New World. Its too complicated to paraphrase, so I recommend you give it a read if you are at all interested in American history and what really happened at Roanoke.
Of course, when you’re in Roanoke, you have to see The Lost Colony! The drama is performed each summer on the site of the actual events. The drama just ended its 80th season which makes it the longest running outdoor symphonic drama in the U.S. Its the #1 thing to do in The Outer Banks on TripAdvisor and I highly recommend it too! The above photo is the only shot I took on Roanoke and is of the theater that houses The Lost Colony Show.
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