In the 19th-century the United States Weather Bureau established several weather stations and observation posts throughout North Carolina and along the coast. The earliest coastal station was established in Wilmington in 1871, and has been in continuous operation since. A second station was built at Cape Hatteras in 1874, followed by five others up and down the coast. These stations played an important role in early storm and hurricane tracking and were the first weather warning systems for coastal residents. Harrison recounts the history of the Cape Hatteras Station.