In This Issue  
Home    |    About Us    |    Meet Debbie    |    Meet Friends    |    Prayer    |    Contact Us
Share Print this page Print Email to a friendEmail

< Back to Travel

Manteo, North Carolina

Manteo is a town located on Roanoke Island. 

     Roanoke was named after the historical Roanoke Carolina Algonquian people who inhabited the area in the 16th century at the time of the English exploration.  Roanoke Island is best known for its historical significance as the site of Sir Walter Raleigh’s attempt to establish a permanent English settlement in 1585 and 1587. It was located in what was then called Virginia, named in honor of England’s ruling monarch and “Virgin Queen,” Elizabeth 1.  Two groups of settlers attempted to establish a colony there, and both failed.

     The first attempt was headed by Ralph Lane in 1585.  Sir Richard Grenville transported the colonists to Virginia and was to return with supplies.  His return was delayed and when Sir Francis Drake arrived at Roanoke, the entire population abandoned the colony and returned with Drake to England.

     In 1587, John White must have felt as though this would be a safe expedition and let his daughter, Eleanor Dare, be among the next returning settlers. Eleanor gave birth to a daughter, Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the New World.


     John White, grandfather to Virginia Dare left the colony to return to England for supplies.  He fully intended to return to Roanoke Island within three months.  He could not return because England was at war with Spain, and all ships were confiscated for use in the war.

     John White’s return to Roanoke Island was delayed until 1590.  All the colonists had disappeared, the settlement was abandoned and the only clue White found was the word “CROATOAN” carved into a tree. “CROATOAN” (Hatteras Island) was the name of an island to the south where a friendly native tribe was known to live.  Colonists might have tried to reach that island but foul weather kept White from venturing south to search for the colonists on Croatoan, and he returned to England, never to return.  The fate of the colony was never known and it became known as “The Lost Colony.”




     This historical event is re-enacted in the summer months as a play in an outdoor theater. The play is not only educational but extremely exciting to watch.  The play was written by Paul Green.


      The Elizabethan Gardens designed by landscape architect Richard K. Webel are also on the Fort Raleigh grounds.


     The plants in the garden celebrate and honor the colonists and show off their Elizabethan as well as English roots. The design team of Umberto Innocenti and Richard Webel wanted to create an Elizabethan pleasure garden that the Queen and colonists would have appreciated in their day.

     While in the Elizabeth gift shop I was pleased to see a gentleman I recognized as Andy Griffith (Mayberry RFD, Mattock, etc).  One of Andy Griffith’s first acting roles was in the Lost Colony and everyone knows Andy lives in Manteo.

     Okay, so it wasn’t the REAL Andy but a gentleman by the name of Art Fettig, the only Andy Griffith look-a-like (he has researched). His business card reads: ALMOST ANDY.


     This driveway leads to the real Andy Griffith. Everyone on the island respects his privacy.

     As I was leaving my encounter with “Andy,” I was still amazed at the likeness, so I asked a couple, “Didn’t you think he looked like Andy Griffith?”  They had no idea who Andy was because they were on holiday from Coventry, England.  I did have a lovely chat with these new acquaintances, Christine and Jim Davoile. 


     We searched out the Mother Grapevine located on the northern end of Roanoke Island.  Its grapes may have been among those that Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe spotted in 1584 during their American expedition, sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh.


      An interesting stop for us was the Island Farm. You can actually experience life as it could have been in the mid-1800s.  The Etheridge farm house was built about 1847.  The home is the oldest restored house on Roanoke Island and is furnished reflecting the style of the mid-19th century.  Some furnishings are original to the house.  As you walk around the grounds, you are encouraged to visit with the farm animals, watch the blacksmith, and help a farmer hoe his corn or carry water to the garden.  In the cookhouse, you can even help the cook make corn cakes.  You will be interested in how laundry was done then, in a steaming iron pot over a hardwood fire and you can help, if you wish, or just relax, look around and be more appreciative of the life style you have now.


     When you are in the water-side town of Manteo, one of the many impressive sights is the Elizabeth 11, a full-size replica of the 16th-century sailing ship that was designed and named after one of the seven ships used by Sir Walter Raleigh’s fleet when he first brought colonists to Roanoke Island in 1587. The ship is a square-rigged bark with three masts, and 69 feet long, 17 feet wide and draws 8 feet of water.

     The Dare County Court House built in 1804.

      The homes in Manteo are so quaint and reminiscent of years gone by.  It is a pleasure to take a walk around and just enjoy all the sights that are so appealing to the eye and the senses.

     There are also unique shops, wonderful restaurants and many water-side benches, all to ensure a wonderful visit.

Copyright © 2008-2015 DeeDee MacDonald

Post Your Comment...

First Name
Last Name
e-mail   (We will not re-distribute your e-mail.)

Share on Facebook Share
Print this page Print This Page
Email to a friendEmail Article to a Friend

< Back to Travel

More Great Articles

My Friend Debbie - Turn Old Man Winter Into A Breath of Fresh AirHome & Hospitality

Turn Old Man Winter Into A Breath of Fresh Air
My Friend Debbie - Chicken and Rice CasseroleKitchen Keeper Recipes

Chicken and Rice Casserole
My Friend Debbie - Sabbath in the Busy SeasonA Better You

Sabbath in the Busy Season