Weekend Roadtrip #7: Roanoke and Ocracoke

photo by Chor Ip via Creative Commons
Sunset on the Ferry (photo by Chor Ip via Creative Commons)

Don’t worry, just because I had another post this morning doesn’t mean I forgot that this is Thursday, the highly anticipated day of the weekend roadtrip post! Fear not, dear Tar Heel roadtrippers, we’ve got a special “oke”-alicious lineup for this last segment of our Beach Book Grab Bag series. We’re featuring two Outer Banks islands: Roanoke and Ocracoke.

Roanoke Island is accessible from mainland Dare County by the William B. Umstead Memorial Bridge. But be careful driving across the bridge! The structure is home to literally hundreds of thousands of purple martins. Okay, back to the books:

  • Stick-Roanoke-coverRoanoke Island: The Beginnings of English America, by David Stick – Another book from David Stick, our trusty authority on all things Outer Banks. Stick tells the story of the first English colony in America, from the first expedition sent out by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584 to the mysterious disappearance of what has become known as the “lost colony.”
  • Sloan-NewWorld-coverA New World: England’s First View of America, by Kim Sloan – This beautifully illustrated book reproduces in full the famous and rarely seen British Museum collection of drawings and watercolors made by John White, who in 1585 accompanied a group of English settlers to found the colony on Roanoke Island. Sloan’s introduction is followed by three specially commissioned essays covering John White himself, the indigenous inhabitants he depicted, and the historical context of his visit.  Oversized (8 x 11), with 250 color illustrations.
  • Click-Time-coverTime Full of Trial: The Roanoke Island Freedmen’s Colony, 1862-1867, by Patricia C. Click – In 1862, a Union victory at the Battle of Roanoke Island gave the hope of freedom to hundreds of slaves in surrounding areas, who streamed across the Federal line to establish a new free colony. Click tells the story from the colony’s contraband-camp beginnings to the conflict over land ownership that led to its demise in 1867.

Take the ferry to Ocracoke Island from mainland Hyde County at Swann Quarter. Limited accessibility has a way of crystalizing a community’s culture. This tiny fishing village now draws lots of tourists but is still home to just 800 year-round residents. Learn more:

  • Ballance-Ocracokers-coverOcracokers, by Alton Ballance – When tourists discovered this “unique fishing village by the sea” in the late twentieth century, things on Ocracoke started changing. In this book, Ocracoke native Alton Ballance pays tribute to the everyday life in the old village community — before it started drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

(photo “Sunset on the Ferry” by Chor Ip, via Creative Commons)