In 1587, 117 men, women, and children arrived on the banks of Roanoke Island. The coastal colony soon became not just a village, but a home. As supplies began to run low, colonist John White decided to sail back to England and seek assistance.
Before he left for his journey, his granddaughter, Virginia Dare, was born – the first child born to English parents on American soil.
Three years later, on his granddaughter's third birthday, John White landed on the banks of Roanoke Island. To his dismay - the entire colony had vanished. The only trace left was the word 'CROATOAN' carved on a tree.
Due to an incoming hurricane, the search was halted and John White never learned the fate of his family or the other colonists. Today, this mystery is known as the Lost Colony.
While this still perplexes many, there's an even bigger mystery associated with Virginia Dare. A mystery that has transcended into a fact vs. fiction urban legend.
Maybe you've seen the white doe for yourself, maybe you've just heard the story. Many believe the white doe is actually Virginia Dare. But how did she become a white doe to begin with?
The story has it that soon after John White left, the village fell under attack. While the colonists attempted to escape, Virginia Dare's mother, Elanor, carved CROATOAN into the tree as a crying baby Virginia rested in her arms and arrows zipped past.
Virginia and her mother escaped safely and lived a peaceful life with the Croatan Indians. Virginia grew into a beautiful young woman, which in turn, attracted the attention of several suitors.
Yet no love story is complete without a love triangle - and this one involves an evil sorcerer named Chico and Virginia's true love, Osiko.
Virginia denied Chico's hand in marriage, and out of anger he turned her into a white doe. Osiko began to notice the appearance of a mysterious white doe around the time Virginia vanished and put two and two together.
As time passed, the white doe was spotted throughout the area. Yet it remained extremely elusive to hunters. Osiko, heartbroken, sought the help of a friendly sorcerer, and Chico's rival, Wenaudon, to help him construct a magic arrowhead made from the mother-of-pearl lining in an oyster shell. The arrowhead would turn Virginia back.
Of course, no story is complete without a little conflict. The village warrior, Wanchese, also heard news of the rare, impossible to catch white doe. He vowed to kill the doe with a silver arrowhead given to him by Queen Elizabeth.
One fateful afternoon, after Wanchese and Osiko had been separately tracking the doe for weeks, both saw the perfect opportunity to strike.
The doe calmly drank from a watering hole as both men, unaware of the other's presence, lifted their arrows and shot. Simultaneously, both arrows struck the doe in the heart. Osiko's arrowhead converted the white doe back to Virginia. But in a heartbreaking turn of events, she was dying from Wanchese's arrow.
Wanchese, ashamed of his actions, fled the island in fear. A devastated Osiko carried Virginia's body to an old fort built by her colony. He buried her at the center. Soon after her death, near the pool of water where Virginia died, a vine began to sprout. Grapes began to grow on the vine. The most sweet, delicious grape with juice the color of blood red. This was the Scuppernog grape, the first grape used to make North Carolina wine.
But several others don't believe the elaborate after-story and the ultimate hunter showdown for Virginia.
Several believe her spirit inhabits a white doe to this day. Many people have reported spotting a white doe along the coast. The doe remains ever elusive and extremely mysterious. Maybe it is Virginia Dare - who knows. But judging by the magic of North Carolina, I wouldn't be surprised.
What do you believe about the legend of Virginia Dare and the white doe? Have you seen it for yourself? Tell us in the comments!