Located on North Carolina's Outer Banks, Buxton is a small coastal town with a rich history. Over the years, this area has witnessed several significant historical events that have shaped the region and left lasting impressions. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near Buxton, NC.
1. The Lost Colony (1587):
Nearby Buxton lies Roanoke Island, where the first English settlement in the New World, known as the "Lost Colony," was established in 1587. Led by Governor John White, this expedition mysteriously disappeared, leaving behind only the word "Croatoan" carved into a tree. To this day, the exact fate of the Lost Colony remains a mystery and a topic of intrigue.
2. Wright Brothers' First Flight (1903):
Approximately 60 miles north of Buxton, in Kitty Hawk, the Wright brothers conducted their historic experiments in flight. On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright successfully piloted their Flyer for 12 seconds, covering a distance of 120 feet. This pivotal moment marked the birth of modern aviation and forever changed the world.
3. The U-85 Submarine Encounter (1942):
During World War II, German U-boats patrolled the Atlantic Ocean, posing a threat to Allied shipping. Just off the coast of Buxton, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Icarus encountered the U-85 submarine on April 14, 1942. In a fierce battle, the U-boat was ultimately sunk, becoming the first German submarine to be destroyed by the U.S. forces in World War II.
4. Construction of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (1870):
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, located near Buxton, is known as America's "tallest brick lighthouse." Its construction began in 1868 and was completed in 1870. The lighthouse was initially located closer to the shore but was moved inland due to the threat of erosion. This feat of engineering stands as a symbol of maritime history and warns ships of the treacherous waters surrounding the Outer Banks.
5. Blackbeard's Final Battle (1718):
The notorious pirate Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard, met his end in nearby Ocracoke Inlet. On November 22, 1718, the Royal Navy vessel HMS Pearl, led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard, engaged in a fierce battle with Blackbeard's ship. Teach was killed, and his severed head was displayed on Maynard's ship, marking the end of his reign of terror along the coast.
6. The Pea Island Life-Saving Station (1880):
The Pea Island Life-Saving Station, in close proximity to Buxton, played a crucial role in rescuing shipwrecked sailors. Established in 1878, the station's all-Black crew performed numerous daring rescues, contributing to its reputation as one of the most heroic life-saving stations on the East Coast. The Pea Island Life-Saving Station serves as a reminder of the contributions and resilience of African Americans in the face of adversity.
7. Battle of Hatteras Inlet Batteries (1861):
During the American Civil War, the vicinity of Buxton witnessed the Battle of Hatteras Inlet Batteries, an early Union victory. From August 28 to 29, 1861, Union forces bombarded Confederate fortifications near Hatteras Island. The Confederate troops were ultimately overwhelmed and forced to surrender. This Union victory provided the North with control over the vital Outer Banks region.
Buxton, North Carolina, and its surroundings have witnessed numerous significant historical events, ranging from the mysterious disappearance of the Lost Colony to the pioneering flight of the Wright brothers. These events have each contributed to the rich tapestry of American history and make Buxton a place of great historical interest for visitors.
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