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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Kill Devil Hills in Dare County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Big Kill Devil Hill

Wright Brothers National Memorial

 
 
Big Kill Devil Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 19, 2017
1. Big Kill Devil Hill Marker
Inscription.
When the Wright brothers were here, Big Kill Devil Hill—the hill in front of you—was a massive sand dune. Thousands of times, the brothers trekked up this and three nearby dunes to conduct glider experiments.

Climbing the hill was strenuous. Deep, soft sand caused every step up the slope to slip part-way back down. The Wrights were also burdened with carrying their heavy gliders up the hill for each flight. Their tireless efforts paid off as they mastered their flying skills and refined their flight controls.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 36° 0.991′ N, 75° 40.097′ W. Marker is in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, in Dare County. Marker can be reached from Wright Memorial west of North Croatan Highway (U.S. 158), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located within the Wright Brothers National Memorial Park, overlooking Big Kill Devil Hill, near the site of Orville & Wilber's first successful powered flight. Marker is in this post office area: Kill Devil Hills NC 27948, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Experiments (within shouting distance of this marker); Wright Brothers National Memorial
Marker detail: Carrying glider up the dunes image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 19, 2017
2. Marker detail: Carrying glider up the dunes
Friends and surfmen from the nearby US Life-Saving Station helped the brothers carry their gliders up the dunes.
(approx. 0.2 miles away); The 1901 Glider (approx. 0.2 miles away); The 1902 Glider (approx. 0.2 miles away); The 1903 Flyer (approx. 0.2 miles away); Monument to the Impossible (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pitch, Roll and Yaw (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Big Kill Devil Hill (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kill Devil Hills.
 
Also see . . .
1. History’s first ground crew. Orville and Wilbur Wright would conquer the air with ingenuity, determination, and patience. But they couldn’t have done it without the men of the Kitty Hawk Life Saving Station – history’s first ground crew. (Submitted on February 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Wright Brothers, Coast Guard make history together. They were called Surfmen back then and lived hard by the Atlantic. Normally, they patrolled the four miles between their Kill-Devil Hills lifesaving station and the one in Kitty Hawk. But their desolate and sometimes lonely existence all changed in 1901 when two brothers arrived
Marker detail: The Wrights mastered flight controls with their 1902 Glider image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 19, 2017
3. Marker detail: The Wrights mastered flight controls with their 1902 Glider
from Ohio. Wilbur and Orville Wright came to North Carolina to fly. And over the next three years, the Surfmen became their friends. They delivered mail and groceries and helped the brothers with the gliders and flyers they built. (Submitted on February 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Coast Guard aid Wright brothers in first flight.
A casual friendship grew between the surfmen and the Wright brothers. The surfmen, fascinated with the brothers’ experiments in flight, would often volunteer by delivering the mail, assist in grocery shopping and help carry and assemble pieces of the gilders and flyers the brothers constructed and tested. Eventually, with Capt. Ward’s permission, the brothers would fly a simple red flag from their base-camp when they needed volunteer assistance. (Submitted on February 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

4. Building the Memorial. The Wright Brothers Memorial was designed by Rodgers and Poor, a New York City architectural firm; the design was officially selected on February 14, 1930. Prior to the memorial's construction, the War Department selected Captain William H. Kindervater of the Quartermaster Corps to prepare the site for construction and to manage the area landscaping. To secure the sandy foundation, Captain Kindervater selected bermuda grass to be planted
Marker detail: Planting grass to stabilize Big Kill Devil Hill image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 19, 2017
4. Marker detail: Planting grass to stabilize Big Kill Devil Hill
Starting in 1929, workers planted grass to stabilize Big Kill Devil Hill so the Wright Brothers Monument could be built on top.
on Kill Devil Hill and the surrounding area. He also ordered a special fertilizer to be spread throughout the area to promote grass and shrubbery growth and decided to build a fence to prevent animal grazing. 1,200 tons of granite, more than 2,000 tons of gravel, more than 800 tons of sand and almost 400 tons of cement were used to build the structure. (Submitted on February 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Air & Space
 
Big Kill Devil Hill Marker (<i>wide view; hill in backround beyond marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 19, 2017
5. Big Kill Devil Hill Marker (wide view; hill in backround beyond marker)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 1, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 78 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on February 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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