Roanoke Island, on the North Carolina coast, has been the dramatic setting for more than four centuries of history, including the site of the well-known “Lost Colony” of 1587. As visitors sometimes confuse the Roanoke Valley of Virginia with Roanoke Island, the Salem Museum is sponsoring a virtual talk and field trip to Roanoke Island to learn the story of this very different Roanoke.
Josh Nelson, a National Park Ranger at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site which includes Roanoke Island, will be the featured speaker and tour guide on Saturday, March 13, at 11 a.m. He will take an in-depth look at the complex history and mystery of England’s start in North America. This virtual presentation is free, open to the public, and will be held via Zoom. The Zoom link will be posted on the Salem Museum’s web site, https://salemmuseum.org/, on the morning of the talk.
Nelson will explore the events and unknowns surrounding the first English colony in North America. Beginning at the historic Waterside Theater, he will cover the multiple English voyages, the interactions between the English and Native people, and some theories about what happened to the Lost Colony.
The tour continues with a visit to the archaeology site of the 1585 scientific workshop and the earthen fort which is a reproduction of one from the 1580s. Continuing through the forest and ending at the north shore of the island provides an opportunity to discuss the yet-to-be-discovered location where the colonists built their homes.
The Fort Raleigh National Historic Site protects and preserves known portions of England’s first New World settlements from 1584 to 1590, as well as the cultural heritage of the Native Americans, European Americans, and African Americans who have lived on Roanoke Island.
- Submitted by Frances Ferguson, Salem Museum Executive Director