Historical Markers in
Dare County, North Carolina

12 Seconds that Changed the World A hospitable people... All for Safe Passage America's 1st Attempt at Civil War Reunification Among Friends Andrew Cartwright Battle of Roanoke Island Big Kill Devil Hill Big Kill Devil Hill Billy Mitchell Bodie Island Light Station Bodie Island Lighthouse Bowser Family Cemetery Burnside Expedition of 1862 Burnside's Expedition Crossing Hatteras Bar/The Burnside Expedition at Hatteras Inlet Caffey's Inlet, U.S. Lifesaving Station No. 5 Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Charles Kuralt Trail Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Civil Air Patrol Commemoration Confederate Channel Obstructions Confederate Forts Dare County Veterans Memorial Dare County's Tribute to Veterans Diamond Shoals English Explorers' Earthwork Experiments Field for Flight Field Research Facility First English Colonies First Flights: December 17th, 1903 First Light of Freedom Fish & Wildlife Service Flagship USS Minnesota/Hotel de Afrique Fort Bartow Fort Blanchard Fort Clark / The Bombardment of Fort Hatteras Fort Forrest Fort Huger Four Powered Flights Freedmen's Colony Getting Off the Ground Giant Bluefin Tuna Gulls and Terns Home Away From Home Island Veterans of the Civil War / America's 1st Amphibious Assault of the Civil War Joachim Gans Jockey's Ridge Keepers of the Light Kill Devil Hills Kill Devil Hills Fire Rescue Memorial Life at the Light Manteo Weather Tower Maritime Casualties of the American Civil War/Loss of the USS Monitor Mitchell Demonstrates Air Power Monument to a Century of Flight Monument to the Impossible Naval Battle of Roanoke Island Paukenschlag Pea Island Lifesavers Pitch, Roll and Yaw Port Ferdinando Powder Ridge Club Propeller From USS Dionysus Purple Martin Bridge Roost R. A. Fessenden Radio Milestone Reconstructed Past Red Wolf Country Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse Spirit of Roanoke Island Storm Watch Take a Boy Fishing in North Carolina The 1901 Glider The 1902 Glider The 1903 Flyer The Camp The Chicamacomico Races / Exodus from Chicamacomico The Conquest of the Air The Fanny The First Flight The First Flight The First Successful Flight of an Airplane The New Fort in Virginia / Virginia Dare The Wreck of the Huron Thomas Hariot Trail To Virginia Dare To Walter Raleigh's Colonists U.S.S. Monitor USLSS/USCG Station Pea Island Memorial Welcome to captivating Hatteras IslandÂ… Welcome to Frisco Welcome to Hatteras Village Welcome to Kinnakeet... Welcome to Rodanthe... Wind, Sand, & Isolation Windmills on Roanoke Island Wreck of the U.S.S. Huron Wright Brothers Wright Brothers National Memorial Wright Brothers' Memorial "Mirlo" Rescue
North Carolina was the birthplace of both Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States, and Ava Gardner, the famous Hollywood actress.
Dare County, located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, has a rich and diverse history. The area was originally inhabited by Native Americans, including the Algonquian tribes, who lived off the land and coastal waters. European exploration and colonization began in the 16th century when Spanish explorers arrived seeking riches and claiming the land for Spain. However, it wasn't until the mid-17th century that permanent European settlement occurred.

In the early 1600s, English settlers arrived in Dare County, marking the beginning of the colonization attempts by the Roanoke Island Colony. Led by Sir Walter Raleigh, the first group of settlers mysteriously disappeared, leaving behind only the word "Croatoan" carved into a tree. This disappearance, along with subsequent failed attempts at colonization, including the ill-fated "Lost Colony," has captivated historians and researchers ever since, and remains an unsolved mystery.

Throughout the following centuries, Dare County developed as an agricultural and fishing community, relying on the abundance of natural resources from the surrounding waters and land. The area gained prominence as a stopover for ships traveling along the coast, and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was built in 1803 to guide these ships through the treacherous Diamond Shoals.

Dare County also played a crucial role during the Civil War. The Confederate Army took control of Roanoke Island, resulting in the Battle of Roanoke Island in 1862, a significant Union victory that marked a turning point in the war. The area's beaches, including the famous Kitty Hawk, gained attention in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as vacation destinations for the wealthy.

Today, Dare County continues to thrive as a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors with its beautiful beaches, outdoor recreational activities, and historical sites. The area's history, including the mystery of the Lost Colony, remains an important part of its identity, celebrated through various cultural events and attractions.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Dare County, North Carolina.

  • 1584 - Sir Walter Raleigh sends an expedition to Roanoke Island, making Dare County the birthplace of English colonization in America.
  • 1587 - The Lost Colony is established on Roanoke Island, but mysteriously disappears.
  • 1663 - Dare County becomes part of the Province of Carolina, under English control.
  • 1729 - Province of Carolina splits into North Carolina and South Carolina, with Dare County falling under North Carolina's jurisdiction.
  • 1870 - Northern part of Dare County is established as Currituck County.
  • 1870 - Dare County is officially formed, carved out of portions of Currituck, Hyde, and Tyrrell Counties.
  • 1873 - First lighthouse built on Cape Hatteras to aid ships navigating the treacherous Diamond Shoals.
  • 1930s - The Civilian Conservation Corps constructs the Oregon Inlet Coast Guard Station and Hatteras Village School.
  • 1939 - The Cape Hatteras National Seashore is established, protecting a large stretch of Dare County's coastline.
  • 1940s - Dare County experiences significant military presence and activity during World War II.
  • 1950s - Interests in tourism and beachcombing grow, leading to the development of beach towns and vacation rental properties.
  • 1963 - The Herbert C. Bonner Bridge opens, connecting Hatteras Island to the mainland.
  • 1999 - The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is moved inland to protect it from erosion caused by the encroaching Atlantic Ocean.
  • 2017 - Completion of the new Bonner Bridge, replacing the aging Herbert C. Bonner Bridge.