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Posts Tagged ‘the Lost Colony’

Looking to get started on your summer reading, but not sure where to start? Look no further, than North Carolina Historical Publications!

From general overviews of historical topics to detailed histories of specific places and people to primary documents and maps, Historical Publications has something for everyone, and between now and the end of the June, most of Historical Publications’ more than 160 titles are discounted between 50 and 90 percent!

As part of series of blog posts we did last year, Historical Publications recommends checking out the following titles if you’re specifically interested in looking for a light summer read:

  1. The Lost Colonists: Their Fortune and Probable Fate by David Beers Quinn: A discussion the composition of the Lost Colony of 1587, the conditions on Roanoke Island, and the activities of the English colonists after landing there.
  2. The Pirates of Colonial North Carolina by Hugh F. Rankin: Originally published in 1960, this paperback is the most popular title ever published by the Historical Publications Section and has never gone out of print.
  3. Gold Mining in North Carolina: A Bicentennial History by Richard F. Knapp and Brent D. Glass: The first documented discovery of gold in the United States was in 1799 at John Reed’s farm in Cabarrus County. This book traces the history of gold mining in North Carolina from that discovery to the 20th century.
  4. North Carolina Legends by Richard Walser: North Carolina is a place where history has been enriched by legends and folklore. The 48 colorful Tar Heel tales in this volume include well-known stories like “Virginia Dare and the White Doe” and “Old Dan Tucker” and some less-familiar ones, too!
  5. North Carolina as a Civil War Battleground by John G. Barrett: This popular title presents an overview of Civil War North Carolina, with information on secession, preparations for war, battles fought in North Carolina, blockade-running, and the coming of peace.

Conveniently enough all five of these titles and many, many more are significantly marked down, so head on over to the Historical Publications online store and order your copy today!

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Remembering former UNC President William Friday, who passed away this morning at the age of 92. He was a strong supporter of arts, culture and heritage in North Carolina. He served for many years on the Roanoke Island Historical Association Board (the organization that produces The Lost Colony), and was the first chair of the N.C. Museum of History Foundation Board. He was awarded a North Carolina Award for Public Service in 1975.

The photos in the slideshow below come from the State Archives and depict Friday over time between 1956 and 1983:

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The Lost Colony is produced each summer at the Waterside Theater in Manteo. Image courtesy of The Lost Colony.

Chances are if you grew up in North Carolina or even if you vacationed here as a kid, you probably went to see an outdoor drama or two with your family: sitting in an amphitheater with your parents, and your siblings, and your sunburn, in no particular order of irritation.  Most of our outdoor dramas mix history with musical elements—with the end result a fun-filled summer evening.

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A scene from Unto These Hills at the Mountainside Theater in Cherokee. Image courtesy of Unto These Hills.

Did you know that this summertime tradition got its start North Carolina?  The nation’s very first outdoor drama was Paul Green’s The Lost Colony, launched in Manteo in 1937.  Intended as a single season celebration of the 350th anniversary of the first English settlers’ arrival on the continent, it has remained in continuous production with the exception of the World War II years.  As his master’s thesis under Paul Green, Kermit Hunter wrote Unto These Hills about the history and traditions of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians.  The play, rich in pageantry, was first produced in 1950.  Hunter followed up in 1952 with Horn in the West.  The story of Daniel Boone and other mountain settlers in the 1770s is staged each summer in Boone.

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A scene from Pathway to Freedom, courtesy of the Snow Camp Outdoor Theater.

With so many North Carolinians involved with the developing entertainment form, the Institute of Outdoor Drama was established in 1963 as a clearinghouse for information and advice about outdoor drama production.  The Institute, now based at East Carolina University, serves outdoor dramas around the country and assists communities considering their own productions (of which there are generally thirty to forty at any given time).  North Carolina is now home to fifteen outdoor dramas, eleven of which are historical.  Subjects are as varied as the Halifax Resolves, the Underground Railroad, and even an infamous murder.  Take in some history under the stars this summer!

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