Away from the sporty fishing boats with teak decks and sportsman fishing chairs, and hidden from view from head boats that charter hopeful fishermen offshore, lies the village of Wanchese. Located on the south end of Roanoke Island, this village appears as a sliver of Outer Banks lifestyle that froze in time over 50 years ago.
It’s well known that the Outer Banks has a love affair with pirates, which is based more on imagination than reality. The truth is that pirates, by nature of their business, were not often revered in this manner.
If there’s one pirate who stands out as an Outer Banks original, it would definitely be Blackbeard who met his demise on November 22, 1718 off of Ocracoke Island. Angered by the support the pirate was receiving from North Carolina officials, Governor Spotswood of Virginia sent Lt. Robert Maynard of the Royal Navy to hunt down the pirate.
British forces were moving in strength against the Patriots, intent on seizing strategic positions. The rebels were brave but seemed unaware of the forces rallying against them. The only hope was a midnight dash by horse to warn fellow countrymen of the danger. Yes, it sounds like Paul Revere, but this is actually the Outer Banks version, and this story features a young heroine named Betsy Dowdy.