One of The Worst Disasters in U.S. History Happened Right Here in North Carolina
Scores of people flock to the North Carolina coast each year, each expecting to enjoy the breathtaking views and a vacation filled with rest and relaxation. But few of those visitors realize the history of the popular spot. While North Carolina’s Outer Banks have become a vacation destination for many, it was once the site of one of the country’s very first tragedies.
In 1587, more than a decade before the success of Jamestown, and long before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, roughly 120 men, women and children came ashore to start what would become known as the Roanoke Island Colony.
The settlement was about 50 miles north of today's Hatteras.
After a few months, the colony’s governor John White set sail back to England to obtain more supplies for the settlement, but while he was there several factors including a naval war against Spain kept White in England much longer than expected.
Three years after leaving his family and the other colonists behind, White returned to the new land only to find the entire settlement deserted. All the settlers had somehow vanished. It looked as though the buildings had been pillaged and were now completely overgrown.
There were no signs of what may have happened to the settlers — except for a carving of the word ‘Croatoan’, which he found on a wooden stake and what looked like the beginning of the same word on a nearby tree, but the carver only made it through three of the words’ letters ‘CRO.’
Before the colonists could be found or the mystery of their disappearance solved, storms came through and forced White and his crew to evacuate the area.
Theories surrounding what happened to what's now known as The Lost Colony range from widespread disease to a Native American attack, to the settlers assimilating with a native tribe. Yet it still remains a complete mystery.
What do you think happened to The Lost Colony?
For more North Carolina history,
here are 11 hiking trails that lead to some incredible pieces of history.
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