We got our NP passport stamped and then walked around the visitor's center and saw the videotape about the settlement, plus we looked at the display about the Lost Colony drama which is put on in the summer. Apparently Andy Griffith was in it when he was young, and we were told that he is coming back here on Friday to do the lighting of the Xmas tree and perform.
After that, we walked out to the 'fort' which is a puny thing - smaller than Fort Necessity!! And THAT was SMALL. Bob doesn't believe that it is the real fort - it isn't big enough to have even a small group of people in it. Fort Necessity at least had room for some buildings.
These were postcards mailed by my grandfather to my grandmother in 1908 from Manteo
The first card shows the granite marker (1896) placed by The Roanoke Colony Memorial Association. This was the result of an extended effort by North Carolinians to recognize the Lost Colony
During the 1870s and 1880s, Congress undertook its first serious attempt to commemorate historic sites since before the Civil War when they erected a monument at the Bunker Hill battleground in Massachusetts. North Carolina Senator Zebulon B. Vance introduced a bill in 1884 to fund the acquisition of a small tract at the site for the placement of a monument to Raleigh’s colonies. Vance’s bill died in the Library Committee.
An 1895 archeological investigation by Talcott Williams of the University of Pennsylvania confirmed the site as a European fort from the colonization era. In 1896, improvements to RCMA’s property began with the placement of granite posts marking all angles of the earthwork, and the erection of a tablet of North Carolina granite set upon a base of Virginia granite. The tablet, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, included an inscription about Raleigh’s colonies, specifically focusing on Virginia Dare’s birth. RCMA constructed an access road to the fort site and dedication ceremonies was held in November 24, 1896.
Fondest memory: Photo 3 is of a Scuppernong (vitis rotundifolia) grape vine. This is a variety of muscadine grape, and has the distinction of being the first grape ever actively cultivated in the United States.
The Roanoke colonists are credited with discovering the Scuppernong “Mother Vineyard,” a vine that is now over 400 years old and covers half an acre. Explorers for Sir Walter Raleigh in the 1580’s sent back reports from the Outer Banks of grape vines that “…covered every shrub and climbed the tops of high cedars. In all the world, a similar abundance was not to be found.