Hatteras in Dare County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Welcome to captivating Hatteras Island…
— Outer Banks National Scenic Byway —
Hatteras Island is surrounded by water that can be gentle and fun. That water in the Atlantic Ocean and Pamlico Sound sustained Native Americans and fishing families throughout centuries.
Islanders and visitors play in the ocean and sound waters. Some islanders captain charter fishing boats for visitor excursions to the warm Gulf Stream. Some ride surf boards through water barrels. In the spring and fall when winds are strong, kiteboarders and windsurfers soar over the sound. Kayakers can find peaceful, calm shorelines to explore.
The sound and sea and be dangerous too. Offshore, Outer Banks waters are called The Graveyard of the Atlantic because of the numerous shipwrecks.
Hatteras Island villages
The bounty of the sea and sound built seven separate communities spread along Hatteras Island. Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco and Hatteras. These communities maintain strong identities. Churches are bountiful
A frequent marker of historic areas of the scenic byway’s coastal villages is the Southern live oak tree, Quercus virginiana, an evergreen oak tree. Look for sentinel tree, native to North Carolina’s coastline, while driving the scenic byway. With short massive trucks, long limbs and an deep tap-root system, live oak trees survive strong winds, which shape the trees, like this one Buston’s Pamlico Sound shoreline. Historically, strong, heavy live oak wood was used for framing wood ships.
Hatteras village, 1964 | Open Parks, Cape Hatteras Nnattional Seashore (above)
Pamlico Sound sunset, Buxton | Liz Browning Fox (below)
In September 1892, the Dare County School Board created nine school districts on Hatteras Island. School Board minutes show two schools in Hatteras, one in Trent (Frisco), one at the Cape (Buxton), three in Kinnekeet (Avon), one in Clarks (Salvo) and one in Rodantha (Rodanthe). In 1893, 602 students attended these schools. Only the Rodanthe district schoolhouse remains. It functions as a community building.
In 1955, village schools were consolidated and all Hatteras Island students attended Cape Hatteras School in Buxton. On Aug. 20,2002, a new, stand-alone elementary school opened in Boxton. On Aug. 23, 2007, a new academic building and renovated spaces opened for Cape Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies.
Avon district school, around 1950. | Outer Banks History Center (above)
Aerial photograph of Cape Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies | Dare County Schools (below)
Commercial fishing was and is a vital part of the Hatteras Island economy.
Harbors in Hatteraas, Avon, Buxton and Rodanthe have been and three remain home port or working watermen and women. By 1948, Hatteras village had a thriving fleet of 40 fishing boats. Then, numerous fish houses packed islanders catches. Now, only a few fish houses operate on the island. Today’s Hatteras Island working watermen are members of Dare County’s commercial fishing community which brings to the docks the largest catch worth the most money in any county in North Carolina.
For Hatteras village, proximity to Hatteras Inlet helped build commercial and sports fishing. Working watermen follow natural patterns of various fisheries. Catches vary by season and are affected by major storms and market prices.
In 1952, fishing boats docked at the Hatteras harbor | Open Parks (above)
In 1986, a fishing boat and net skiff are in a choppy, full Rodanthe Creek as Hurricane Charley passes. | Michael Halzninski (below)
Waters off Hatteras Island provide outstanding recreation opportunities.
In the 1930s, Capt. Ernal Foster in Hatteras village had the Albatross I built in Marshallerg. In 1937, Foster had four fishing charters and that started the sports fishing industry. Today, an extensive charter fleet docks at marinas in Hatteras village. Since the 1950s, surfers have come to Hatteras Island to ride legendary waves and barrels. Some surfers stayed and created businesses. Two islanders are in the East Coats Surfing Hall of Fame for designing and manufacturing surf boards.
A universal joint on a surfboard allows flexible sail movement for wind surfing. The International Windsurfing Tour stops here.
In 1989, an inflatable kite was created. In 1997, an inflatable kite with tubes was devised. By 1999, kiteboarding or kiting was a mainstream watersport. The port with its colorful kites thrives in the spring and fall when winds are strong.
A Paddle Palooza promotes stand up paddle boarding and helps local charity.
Quiet waters can be found for exploring Hatteras Island by kayak and canoe.
A head boat comes in Hatteras Harbor where charter and commercial fishing boats are in slips for the Blessing of the Fleet in September 2006. | The Coastland Times (above)
Kiteboarding sends colorful kites skyward on Pamlico Sound and Atlantic Ocean. | Outer Banks Visitors Bureau (below left)
Windsurfing at the 2018 International Windsurfing Tour. | Epic Shutter (below right)
Hatteras Island evenings
Hatteras Island is famous for its Cape Hatteras Lighthouse which was first lit Dec. 16, 1870.
“Beacon at Dusk”, Jefrey Schall
Enjoy a Hatteras Island evening with a beautiful sunset.
Liz Browning Fox
Marvel at a sunset over the Atlantic Ocean from Frisco’s south beach.
Liz Browning Fox
Erected by Federal Highway Administration National Scenic Byways Program; Dare, Hyde, and Carteret Counties; Dare County Tourism Board.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Places.
Location. 35° 12.458′ N, 75° 42.149′ W. Marker is in Hatteras, North Carolina, in Dare County. Marker is on State Highway 12 north of Coast Guard Road, on the left when traveling north. Marker is located if front of the NCDOT Ferry Division. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 59063 NC-12, Hatteras NC 27943, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Confederate Forts (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Propeller From USS Dionysus (about 400 feet away); Flagship USS Minnesota/Hotel de Afrique (approx. 0.2 miles away); Maritime Casualties of the American Civil War/Loss of the USS Monitor (approx. 0.2 miles away); Burnside's Expedition Crossing Hatteras Bar/The Burnside Expedition at Hatteras Inlet (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fort Clark / The Bombardment of Fort Hatteras (approx. 0.2 miles away); America's 1st Attempt at Civil War Reunification (approx. 1.1 miles away); Storm Watch (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hatteras.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 1, 2022. It was originally submitted on February 1, 2022, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 148 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on February 1, 2022, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.