Dare County Celebrates Its 150th Anniversary–History and Culture Will Be Featured

Dare County Courthouse as it appeared in 1904 when it was built.
Dare County Courthouse as it appeared in 1904 when it was built.

The 150th anniversary of the founding of Dare County happened just a few days ago. There will be a full year’s worth celebrations to mark the event.

When it was created there wasn’t much here, which has a lot to do with why Currituck, Hyde, and Tyrrell counties were willing to give up small pieces of their land to form the new county.

Named for Virginia Dare, when it was created the new county was a far flung sliver of swamp, maritime forest and barrier islands. The closest town to a central place was Manteo, so it became the county seat.

It was smaller than it is today. When it was created the northern border was just about where Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills meet.

According to author and historian David Stick, the land that is now Kitty Hawk, Duck and Southern Shores was added in 1920 because the state legislature realized that area logically should have been a part of Dare County all along.

A more colorful tale was told by Pops Scarborough of Duck in a 1997 interview. Approaching 100 years of age at the time of the interview, according to Pops, Currituck County was going to start taxing fishermen on their catch. Local residents approached Dare County commissioners and asked if they planned to tax fishermen on their catch. The answer was no, so they petitioned the state to become part of Dare County.

A colorful tale but difficult to prove.

From the first English child born in the New World to the Wright Brothers first flight, Dare County is filled with remarkable firsts and fascinating pieces of history.

The county is planning a number of event in conjunction with its sesquicentennial celebration. One of the biggest will be Saturday May 2 at Island Farms with interpreters dressed in clothing of the era.

Take the time to explore the history and culture of the Outer Banks. Book your vacation today and stay in a Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates home.

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