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All About the History of Cape Hatteras

Cape Hatteras is steeped in rich maritime history and natural beauty. Its story is woven into a tapestry that includes threads of Native American heritage, ambitious explorers, clever pirates, and so much more. Read on for a brief glimpse into the history of Cape Hatteras:

Native American Heritage

Beautiful Cape Hatteras and its nearby areas were first inhabited by Native Americans such as the Algonquins, Chowanog, and Poteskeet tribes. These tribes lived off the abundant resources provided by the land and sea and excelled at fishing, hunting, and growing crops long before the first European explorers set foot on Cape Hatteras.

European Settlers

The Spanish were most likely the first Europeans to set their sights on Cape Hatteras in the early 16th century, but it was the English who tried the first permanent settlement in the late 16th century. Despite the fact that the iconic Lost Colony of Roanoke vanished, it opened the way for future colonies in the region. It is now believed that the inhabitants of Roanoke didn’t simply vanish, but instead assimilated into the local Native American culture.


Because of the increase in maritime activity in and around Cape Hatteras, pirates took notice and frequented the area. The infamous Blackbeard met his end near here in 1718.

Civil War Era

Because of its closeness to critical trade routes, Cape Hatteras was an important strategical location during the Civil War. Union forces rapidly took Forts Clark and Hatteras in 1861, giving them control of these shipping routes.


The treacherous shoals off Cape Hatteras have caused numerous shipwrecks over the years, earning the area the nickname “Graveyard of the Atlantic.” This legacy resulted in the formation of the United States Lifesaving Service, a forerunner of the United States Coast Guard!

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was built in 1870 to aid seafarers in navigating the dangerous waters. This lighthouse is one of the area’s most recognizable monuments. For over 150 years, this towering beacon, the highest brick lighthouse in North America, has served as a symbol of the region’s strength and fortitude.

Creation of the National Seashore

In 1953, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore was established, making it the first national seashore in the United States. This protected the area’s natural beauty and ensured the preservation of the rich history of Cape Hatteras.

Come learn more about Cape Hatteras, this historic landmark that has played an important role in American history. Stay in a vacation home that keeps you central to it all with Lighthouse View Oceanfront Lodging!

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