"Roanoke Island Ready for its Noted Visitors", The Independent (Elizabeth City, N.C.), 13 August 1926
ROANOKE ISLAND READY FOR ITS NOTED VISITORS
Over Six Thousand People Expected to Visit Spot Where Many National
Notables Will Gather August 18
Home Coming To Last An Entire Week
By D.V. Meekins
Everything is in readiness for the crowds who will set pail, beginning
Monday, and continuing thru the week to attend the Dare County Home coming
the principal event of which will lie the celebration of the birthday of
Virginia Dare on Wednesday, August 1st beginning at 11:30 o'clock and
lasting an hour and a half before luncheon begins.
Transportation men in Elizabeth have assured ample steamer service four
large vessels will set sail from this city on August 18, leaving here At
seven o'clock for the four-hour ran to Roanoke Island. Four large power
boats will leave Point Harbor, beginning at six o'clock, taking cam 6f
those who come from Currituck and Norfolk by Automobile, where parking
space has been provided.
The exercises at the fort will begin about 11:30 a.m. after-all the
visitors have come ashore. For the first time in history, since Sir Walter
Raleigh's colonists last dropped anchor in Roanoke Sound and went Ashore
to build their Fort on Roanoke 339 years ago, a representative a of the
English Government will set foot on the Island's historic soil, when Sir
Esme William Howard, British Ambassador to the United States, who is to
arrive the day before, on the Coast Guard butter Apache will go ashore at
Fort Raleigh, to make the principal speech of the day.
With their smoke showing On the, horizon on every hand, the many vessels
coming from all points of consequence, will steam into the placid waters
off Fort Raleigh. Here they will drop anchor. The rattle of chains in the
hawse pipes, and the roar of a cannon from a Government ship will resound
from the wooded shore and towering sand dunes and if a little louder, just
as they sounded when Ralph Lanes first colony in 1584 cast anchor and was
met by friendly indians [Indians].
As the vessels approach the anchorage, a hundred years or so off Fort
Raleigh, dozens of rim fishing craft of the natives, will swiftly emerge
from the shore, led by power surfboat, and two life boats manned by the
famous Nags Head Coast Guards, under the direction of Capt. Walter
Etheridge, who will hasten o meet the visitors. The boats carrying 25 to
30 passengers apiece will take the thousands in short order from the
steamers to Fort, where along a shady roadway over a hillside the visitors
will make their way for a short distance to the wooded glen where Virginia
Dare was born and baptised under the towering oaks and pines that
sheltered the Colony so mysteriously lost.
Here under friendly trees on the sold where began out American civilization
where the first celebrations of a Christian sacrament in what is not the
United States took place, where mankind learned to smoke the pipe, and the
humble Irish potato became the friend of civilized man, will gather more
dignitaries of high and mighty rank, state, national and international,
than have ever met before in Eastern North Carolina, and many of these
distinguished visitors will learn for the first time, of the scenic
beauty, charm and enchanting atmosphere of their romantic and historic
section of the coastland.
After the visitors have made their way past the long tables and refreshment
stands under the oaks and pines of the cool, green, forest the ceremonies
of the day will open, presided over by the Rt. Rev. Joseph Blount Cheshire
of Raleigh. The strains of patriotic airs, by the Hampton Roads Naval Band
of Norfolk, will float thru the trees. From hundreds of throats patriotic
songs and hymns will rise, as the flags of two countries flutter out on
the breeze and to the top of the tall flagpole on a hillside near the
Fort. Here is the only place in the country where the Elizabethan flag of
old England may be flown. A special feature will be the singing of
"Carolina," led by Hubert M. Poteat of Raleigh.
Over six thousand people are expected to make their way to Roanoke Island
on august 18, and the three days to be present at the ceremonies, to hear
the music and speeches, and to see the historic site of the nation's
birth. Many of these will be former residents, mostly sons and daughters
of the country, back on their native soil for the first time in many
years, for the celebration at Fort Raleigh is the biggest event, of a
Countywide Homecoming lasting an entire week: August 15 to 23, a week of
many celebrations and fetes of special interest to the people of the
county. A thousand former residents, with their wives, husbands and
children, have been invited to return for the week to meet old friends,
exchange reminiscences, and observe the changes wrought by the years, on
familiar landmarks of their native health.
Government Recognizes It
The celebration will also mark the official announcement of government of
Fort Raleigh. Thru the efforts of Representative Lindsey Warren, an
appropriation of $2, 500 has been made by congress for a marker to be
erected on the Fort, but this will not be ready for unveiling at the
celebration. It was upon invitation of Mr. Warren, that Sir Esme Howard
agreed to come to Roanoke Island to make the address. In coming to the
Island, the famous diplomat made an exception to his custom of never
making speeches outside of Washington. But because his countrymen settled
Roanoke Island, and because he thought it high time that more than local
recognition be given the historic spot, he agreed to make the address.
President Coolidge has written a letter recognizing the event, and this
will be read as part of the probram [program].
Sir Esme and his party will be brought to Roanoke Island direct from
Washington on the Case Guard Cutter Apache, one of the larger patrol
vessels of the service. His ship will come thru the Albemarle and
Chesapeake Canal, the famous waterway that traverses the celebrated
wildfowl country of Currituck and Dare Counties.
Officials Sail from this City
The Coast guard Cutter Pamlico, Commander Jensen in charge, will sail from
Elizabeth City at the head of a fleet of excursion steamers and yachts,
early on the morning of Wednesday, August 18th, leaving here about 7
o'clock and heading down the Pasquotank River, and across the Albemarle
Sound, the shores of which present na [an]
ever changing panorama of natural beauty, on the right hand the forests
where roam the bear and deer, on the left hand the wildfowl marshes of
Currituck and dare, and further down, Kill Devil Hills where the first
airplane was built and flown by Orville and Wilbur Wright in 1903, and
Nags Head, traditionally famous Eastern Carolina watering place, and
fishing resort, four miles from Fort Raleigh.
The Pamlico will take many distinguished guests from Elizabeth City,
carrying former-Governor Morrison and O. Max Garder of Shelby. Others who
will attend are former Representatives John H. Small of Washington,
Charles L. Stengle of New York, Bishops Cheshire, Darst, Horner and
Penick, the four Episcopal Bishops of North Carolina, and other Episcopal
notables, while the following members of the North Carolina Delegation in
congress have signified their intention to be present. Representatives
Lindsay C. Warren, Major Charles M. Stedman, john H Kerr, Charles L.
Abernathy, Homer L. Lyon, A.L. Bulwinkle and Zebulon Weaver, and other
members of the delegation including Senators Simmons and Overman and
several congressmen from Virginia are expected. Rear Admiral R.E. Coontz,
Commandant of the Fifth Naval District will be present with a small naval
contingent from Norfolk, also former Secretary of the Navy Josephus
Daniels and other noted men.
The Coast guard supply vessel at this city will carry an aggregation of
local notables together with members of the Boys Band as guests of Capt.
Jas. A. Price, Superintendent of the Seventh district.
The entire Fisheries Board of North Carolina, which meets in Morehead City
on the 17th, will embark on the commission's yacht Atlantic, and sail for
the island en masse. the first time the present personnel of the board
will have visited North Carolina's principal fishing county together, and
will hold two executive meetings of especial importance in the County. The
most important one being on Wednesday night, August 18th, where measures
of vital interest to every fisherman will be taken up.
The program for the day will be conducted by Bishop Cheshire of Raleigh,
and president of the association that owns Fort Raleigh. Invocation will
be by Bishop Darst, Congressman Warren, will present the distinguished
visitors at the old Fort and welcome to North Carolina, Sir Esme who will
deliver an address of international interest. At the close of the
exercises, the visitors will lunch under the trees, and those who do not
desire to stay over for the night, will prepare to board the steamers, and
make ready for departure. Many who go down on august 18, will stay over
for the final exercises two days later, and homes for these, are being
secured with citizens of the island.
While many of the vessels will sail direct from Elizabeth city, many small
passenger boats will leave for the island from Point Harbor at nine and
ten o'clock in the morning, hundreds of people driving their cars to the
end of the Currituck peninsula, where parking facilities have been
provided and taking the shorter boat trip. Others will take advantage of
the ferry service recently inaugurated between Point Harbor and Fort
Raleigh, and go over to spend several days, to enjoy the hunting and
fishing of the island where free camp sites are available. But all
Homecomers are urged to come early, for the Homecoming Week begins Aug. 15
and lasts until the 23 [23rd].
|Citation:|| "Roanoke Island Ready for its Noted Visitors," The Independent (Elizabeth City, N.C.), 13 August 1926.|
|Location:|| North Carolina Collection, Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858 USA|
|Call Number:||NoCar Microfilm EcIw-1-18 Display Catalog Record|