Brief History of Buxton North
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
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 a tank.
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
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
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!