History of Buxton North Carolina
take pages and pages for me to even get started with Buxton's
diverse and exciting history. This area was first utilized
for its fishing and seafood by the Native Americans but
it is a stretch to say that it was occupied by them. Although
this is a beautiful place most of the year, constant winds
and extremely harsh winters with little or no shelter made
this area a formidable task just to survive here. When European
explorers first found the area they considered Hatteras
Island as a sort of oceanic "filling station". Most of these
early funded explorations had small ships running ahead
of the main exploration to scout out the need for things
like safe harbor and the wood from our local live oak trees
to make hull repairs. At that time, the vastly wooded Hatteras
Island was a main stopping point for these explorers. Exploration
castoffs and animals (like the ponies at Ocracoke) were
the area's earliest European inhabitants.
even once had a train track running the length of the island
to haul out its huge supply of cut lumber mostly from the
Buxton Woods. You can still see the remnants of an old trestle
on the sound side as you pass an area called "New Inlet."
Yep, that was once an inlet that eventually filled back
in. That's why you will see signs entering the island from
the north that refer to Pea Island which was once a separate
island from Hatteras Island. Atlantic storms and the ever
shifting sands of this island are constantly slowly changing
its location similar to the slow turning of the tracks on
due to its early history most of the inhabitants were early
seafarers and lived and died by the sea. They fished for
their food and became so good at providing they realized
that selling their catch could eventually provide them with
due to the many shoals and large amount of boat traffic
that developed along the Atlantic Coast, locals became the
experts on safe navigation of these waters. Many were employed
to help rescue those sailors that weren't aware of the dangers
and ended up in peril of becoming a part of the Graveyard
of the Atlantic. The pirates which abounded in the area
sure didn't help the dangerous reputation of the area either.
Hatteras Lighthouse was erected to help steer passing ships
out away from treacherous Diamond Shoals near Buxton, NC.
This tallest lighthouse in the US has become a familiar
state and national symbol.
War on Hatteras Island!
there were no actual major battles fought in Frisco, Hatteras
Island is not without having its own history involved in
wartime. During the Civil War, the Confederates constructed
two forts east of the inlet: Fort Hatteras and Fort Clark.
Both these forts were attacked and surrendered to the Federal
forces in 1861 and are now just bare beach.
also possible that the citizens of Hatteras Island may have
been the closest non-military United States participants
during World War II. Hatteras Island residents were not
allowed to burn any home lights during the evenings because
German U-boats that were patrolling just off the island
would use the lights from the island to silhouette and torpedo
the allied cargo ships. Few people are aware that some German
spies were actually apprehended on Hatteras Island and eventually
executed. Did you know that there was also a secret radar
tower and radio station on the west side of Buxton that
was critical to the war effort?
brief tidbits are just a little bit of teasing information
intended to wet your appetite on the rich history of this
fantastic area. Buxton and Hatteras Island are well worth
visiting and getting to know!