We found the Lost Colony.. or Our Visit to Roanoke Island



I knew we were starting our year off with the colonies and early American history. For several years I had wanted to take the children down to Roanoke Island when they could see the Lost Colony. The production is only preformed during the summer, so rather than wait until we started back to school we went ahead and made the trip back the end of May. It was a great way to end the school year and get the children excited about this year.

While we were on Roanoke Island we had the opportunity to explore Roanoke Island Festival Park. They do a great job showing how both the Native Americans and the Colonist would have lived. Our favorite is probably a replica of the Elizabeth II. It really brings home the size of their average ship and the conditions in which they would have traveled across the ocean. Crossing the ocean in a big cruise ship makes me nervous so thinking about the crossing in such tight quarters with so little protection is terrifying and amazing.  They also often have a blacksmith working and explaining his trade. There is a pedal lathe that folks can try working on and making table legs and other needed materials. The children can also pretend to haul buckets of water, try on some soldier equipment, and take a turn in a dug out canoe.

In addition to all of the colonial history outside at the park, they have a great museum which has costumes to try on, information about the Lost Colony, CSI style, and lots of other history from that area. The CSI style Lost Colony information is a computer program that people can use to study what we know about the lost colony and possible clues to what happened to them.



Another great site on the island is Fort Raliegh. It is a national park site so don’t forget to bring your national park passport if you have one to get those stamps! This site has a museum as well as preserving the remnants of the original settlement. This is also the location for the Lost Colony play.

In my title I mentioned finding the Lost Colony. We of course didn’t solve the mystery, though my children now have their theories. We had the chance to watch the Lost Colony theater production. It is an excellent play and I highly recommend it. I was a little concerned about the late start time but it was so engaging that even the three year old stayed awake and enjoyed watching it.  There are a few scary scenes that might be a bit intense for younger children but it is well done and an excellent addition to time spent on the island.  This production is so popular that it was in its 80th year of production this year and is scheduled to start back up the end of May 2018.

It still amazes me to think about the great lengths the colonist had to go to start this country. They endured difficult journeys, tough living conditions, leaving their families, sickness and many other hardships in order to settle this great land. They made plenty of mistakes but their sacrifices paved the way for the creation of this nation. I feel that by starting here in our history it gave us a great perspective to begin out journey. We have also talked about the Spanish Colonies in Florida, the native Americans who were already here, and even Viking explorers, but for us the Lost Colony is close to home and gives us  great starting point for further study.

If you are interested in learning more about the Lost Colony and Roanoke Island you can check out these books: Roanoke The Lost Colony, Roanoke Island, The Beginnings of English America, or The Lost Colony of Roanoke by Jean Fritz.

If you would like to join us on this journey through US History, join our mailing list and get access to our free library. Each month I’ll post a list of resources and ideas for the time period we are going to cover the next month. You can learn more in our post Our Journey Through History.  Colonial and Revolutionary resources are currently posted.

When you sign up for our free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

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