Wanchese Fishing and Tradition

Wanchese Mack Etheridge Fishing
Photo Courtesy of the Outer Banks History Center

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.

Chief Wanchese gave the town its name. One of two tribal chiefs who went to England when the first Lost Colony ship sailed home, he returned disillusioned with European culture and civilization. The belief is that he was at the heart of the tribal push to force the colonists out, although Governor Lane’s heavy handed approach to these indigenous people contributed heavily.

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Lesser Known Facts about Blackbeard the Pirate

Blackbeard FactsIt’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.

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The Midnight Ride of Betsy Dowdy

Betsy Dowdy OBXBritish 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.

It was early December of 1775 and Lord Dunmore, the Royal Governor of Virginia, had moved south from his base in Norfolk to fortify Great Bridge, the only crossing of the Elizabeth River, effectively isolating eastern North Carolina from the only port available to transport goods.

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