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Hatteras Island Museums

Discover the History of Hatteras Island

Visit a Hatteras Museum on your Hatteras Vacation

With such a rich and storied history surrounding the towns of the Outer Banks, it’s no surprise that there are several wonderful museums to visit in the area. The Croatan Native Americans were the first full-time residents of Hatteras Island, which is evident in the unique names of the different areas. Some time after, Europeans first landed on Hatteras Island in 1524 and began settling sometime in the 1700’s.

Frisco Native American Museum

The Frisco Native American Museum is a great way to learn more about the island’s history and native heritage, with a nationally recognized collection of artifacts. Native American artifacts can in fact still be found on Hatteras Island today.

The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum

During the 18th and 19th centuries, shipwrecks were very common in the waters off Hatteras Island. The offshore waters eventually earned the nickname “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” after 1,000's of ships went down in these waters. The first lighthouse was established on the island in 1802 to help prevent the frequency of shipwrecks. The Graveyard of the Atlantic museum is a wonderful place to learn about the rich maritime history of Hatteras Island and the Outer Banks.

The Graveyard of The Atlantic
Due to conflicting currents, unpredictable and often harsh weather patterns and various navigational challenges such as natural shoals, the coastal waters of North Carolina have claimed several ships and lives alike. With over 1,000 sunken ships since records began in the 1500's, the Outer Banks' coastline has been coined "The Graveyard of The Atlantic", keeping even the most experienced sailors and fishermen on high alert when coming through the area.
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Frisco Native American Museum and Natural History Center, located in Frisco, houses a nationally recognized collection of Native American artifacts as well as historical and educational displays.