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National Historic Site
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audience at play
The audience at one of the performances of Paul Green's play "The Lost Colony."

The National Historic Site

Fort Raleigh was transferred to the National Park Service of the United States Department of the Interior in 1940. On April 5, 1941, it was designated Fort Raleigh National Historic Site under provision of the act of Congress commonly referred to as the Historic Sites Act, approved August 21, 1935 (49 Stat. 666), to commemorate Sir Walter Raleigh's colonies and the birthplace of Virginia Dare, first child of English parentage to be born in the New World. The area of the site in Federal ownership is 18.50 acres and embraces part of the settlement sites of 1585 and 1587 and the fort site. By a cooperative agreement between the Roanoke Island Historical Association and the United States, the play, the Lost Colony, continues to be given each season in the Waterside Theater at Fort Raleigh. This arrangement provides for the unhampered production of the play with all of its creative folk qualities. The income from the play is dedicated to the maintenance of the theater, the next season's production, and the expansion and development of the historic site.

How to Reach the Site

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site is 3 miles north of Manteo, N. C. on State Route 345. It is 92 miles southeast of Norfolk, Va., and 67 miles southeast of Elizabeth City, N. C. From Norfolk, Va., take Virginia and North Carolina Routes 170 and 34 to junction of U. S. 158, then over U. S. 158 to Manteo. Manteo may be reached also from Elizabeth City, N. C., over U. S. 158.

Traffic from the south and west can reach the site by the route from Elizabeth City, or from Washington, N. C., over U. S. 264, or from Williamston, N. C., over U. S. 64.


Fort Raleigh National Historic Site is administered by the National Park Service of the United States Department of the Interior. Communications and inquiries should be addressed to the Superintendent, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Manteo, N. C.

Related Areas

Other historical areas in the East associated with early colonization of America, which are administered by the National Park Service, are Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, Fla.; De Soto National Memorial, Fla.; Fort Matanzas National Monument, Fla.; San Juan National Historic Site, Puerto Rico; Ackia Battleground National Monument, Miss.; Colonial National Historical Park (Jamestown, Yorktown, and Cape Henry Memorial), Va.; Fort Frederica National Monument, Ga.; and Fort Caroline National Memorial, Fla.

About Your Visit

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site is open the entire year. Information and literature may be obtained in the museum. Organizations and groups are given special service if arrangements are made in advance with the superintendent. The Lost Colony, pageant-drama, is produced in the Waterside Theater between June and September at night according to hours and dates fixed by the sponsoring Roanoke Island Historical Association.


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Last Modified: Mon, Dec 2 2002 10:00:00 am PDT

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