World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site

Article Id: WHEBN0003442488
Reproduction Date:

Title: Fort Raleigh National Historic Site  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Outer Banks, Dare County, North Carolina, Manteo, North Carolina, Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Forts in North Carolina
Collection: British Forts in the United States, Buildings and Structures in Dare County, North Carolina, Colonial Forts in North Carolina, Forts in North Carolina, Forts on the National Register of Historic Places in North Carolina, History Museums in North Carolina, History of the Thirteen Colonies, Museums in Dare County, North Carolina, National Historic Sites in North Carolina, National Register of Historic Places in Dare County, North Carolina, Outer Banks, Protected Areas Established in 1941, Protected Areas of Dare County, North Carolina
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site

'The Lost Colony' redirects here. For other uses, see Lost Colony.
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
Fort Raleigh during reconstruction (1950)
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site is located in North Carolina
Location Dare County, North Carolina
Nearest city Manteo, North Carolina
Area 14 acres (5.7 ha)
Built 1585
Architect Ralph Lane
Visitation 276,071 (2005)
Governing body National Park Service
NRHP Reference # 66000102[1]
Added to NRHP October 15, 1966

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site preserves the location of Roanoke Colony, the first English settlement in the present-day United States. The site was preserved for its national significance in relation to the founding of the first English settlement in North America in 1587. The colony, which was promoted and backed by entrepreneurs led by Englishman Sir Walter Raleigh (ca. 1554–1618), failed sometime between 1587 and 1590 when supply ships failed to arrive on time. When next visited, the settlement was abandoned with no survivors found. The fate of the "Lost Colony" remains a mystery.

The historic site is off U.S. Highway 64 on the north end of Roanoke Island, North Carolina, about 3 miles (4.8 km) north of the town of Manteo. The visitor center's museum contains exhibits about the history of the English expeditions and colonies, the Roanoke Colony, and the island's Civil War history and Freedmen's Colony (1863-1867).

More than a contraband camp, which was started for slave refugees when the Union Army occupied the island in 1862, the Roanoke Island Freedmen's Colony was founded in 1863 to be self-sustaining. Its free residents were allocated plots of land by household, paid by the Army for work, and educated with the help of Northern teachers. By 1864 the colony had more than 2200 freedpeople as residents. It had a sawmill, fisheries and 600 cabins. More than 150 freedmen from the colony were among the nearly 4000 freedmen from North Carolina who served with the United States Colored Troops.[2] The colony is commemorated with a marble monument erected at the fort site in 2001 by Dare County.[2]

The site is home to Paul Green's outdoor symphonic drama, The Lost Colony, performed in the Waterside Theatre during the summer since 1937, with an interlude during World War II. It is presented by the Roanoke Island Historical Association.


  • Administrative history 1
  • Elizabethan Gardens 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Administrative history

Waterside Theatre

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site was established on April 5, 1941, through a transfer of property to the National Park Service under a cooperative agreement with the Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA) and Acting Secretary of the Interior Alvin J. Wirtz, using authority provided under the Historic Sites Act of 1935. As with all historic areas administered by the National Park Service, the site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.

Fort Raleigh is co-managed with two other Outer Banks parks, Wright Brothers National Memorial and Cape Hatteras National Seashore. It is the location of the group headquarters at the northern end of Roanoke Island. The cooperative agreement of 1941 allows RIHA to stage theatrical performances in the Waterside Theatre, also on park property.

Elizabethan Gardens

The sunken gardens at the Elizabethan Gardens

Within the historic site are the Elizabethan Gardens, managed by the Garden Club of North Carolina, created as a memorial to the first colonists and as an example of a period garden. The gardens cover over 10 acres (4.0 ha) and include a replica Tudor gate house. There is a separate fee for the gardens.


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  2. ^ a b "6.4 The Roanoke Island Freedmen's Colony". North Carolina Digital History. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  • Binkley, Cameron; Davis, Steven (November 2003). Fort Raleigh National Historic Site Administrative History "Preserving the Mystery — An Administrative History of Fort Raleigh National Historic Site" (PDF). National Park Service. p. 154. Retrieved 2008-09-10. 
  • The National Parks: Index 2001–2003. Washington: U.S. Department of the Interior.

External links

  • Official NPS site: Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
  • dramaThe Lost ColonyRoanoke Island Historical Association:
  • The Elizabethan Gardens
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.