Hatteras, Historically


There are many interesting times in the history of Cape Hatteras. Today I stumbled upon a little information regarding colonial times on Hatteras Island. In the colonial period around the 1700's the Island was collectively called the Hatteras Sand Banks and was divided into three sections. The first section was called Cape Hatteras Banks and consisted of the land from old Hatteras Inlet (now located on Ocracoke Island) to the cape. The middle section was Kinnakeet Banks from the cape to Chicamacomico Banks. The third section was named Chicamacomico Banks and was made up of the area from there to the New Inlet on Pea Island.

Early settlers populated the island in only a few of the habitable areas. Kinnakeet (modern day Avon) appears to have been the center of the early English settlement on Cape Hatteras. Settlers gardened, fished, hunted and raised livestock. Because of the proximity to the Gulf Stream and Labrador Current, cargo was often lost overboard ships in the dangerous shoals along the cape, washing up and unexpectedly providing for the people of the island. As in so many early American stories, the natives of Hatteras Island did not fare so well through the settlement of English colonists. Smallpox and tuberculosis claimed many. This combined with regular attacks from warring tribes drove the Croatan Indians to poverty, sickness and scant populations of what had been an over 1,200-year prosperous existence on the Island.

In the years to come the Island would see a small but gradual increase in population as more and more people moved over from the mainland. Perhaps even more significantly, these were the years in which many local names would wash up, shipwrecked on the beaches of Hatteras and find it a suitable place to set down roots that can be traced to many locals, neighbors and friends today. These names include Oden, Scarborough, Willis and more.

Hatteras history is always colorful, before and after this time period. Keep coming back for more dips into the past of these mystical banks we call "Paradise" (or "Home", if we're lucky) today.