• Dogwoods in bloom during the spring

    Fort Raleigh

    National Historic Site North Carolina

Fire Destroys The Lost Colony Support Buildings Waterside Theatre Saved

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Date: September 11, 2007
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111 ext 148
Contact: The Lost Colony, (252) 473-2127

In the early morning hours of September 11, 2007, a resident of Villa Dunes spotted a fire across the Roanoke Sound on the northern end of Roanoke Island and called 911. The famed Lost Colony’s maintenance shed and Irene Rains Costume Shop were in flames. All fire departments north of Oregon Inlet responded. The swift reaction of the fire fighters and Dare County Emergency Management saved the Waterside Theatre and remaining structures but the maintenance shed and costume shop were completely destroyed.

Approximately 80% of the active costumes used in the summer production of The Lost Colony drama, stored in the costume shop, were lost. There has already been a tremendous outpouring of support from the State of North Carolina, the Outer Banks community and fellow Outdoor Dramas from across the country. "Whenever there is a disaster of this magnitude, you put one foot in front of another and keep going. You don’t look behind, you look to the future. The Lost Colony has rebounded from tragedy before and the show will go on next season. This dream will live forever," said John Tucker, Chairman of Board of Directors for the Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA), producer of The Lost Colony.

No other structures were damaged and the Waterside Theatre was unharmed. After a site assessment with Lost Colony managers, Outer Banks Group Superintendent Mike Murray stated, "The National Park Service and Carl Curnutte, Executive Director and Producer of The Lost Colony, are very appreciative of the response of the many Outer Banks Fire Departments and firefighters whose efforts contained the fire and prevented it from spreading. This is a tragic setback for The Lost Colony, a valued partner of the National Park Service at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. Our goal is to assist RIHA in any way we can to recover and get ready for the 2008 operating season."

The official cause of the fire is still under investigation and is undetermined at this time. A relief site is located on The Lost Colony website at www.thelostcolony.org.

Did You Know?

John White's map of Roanoke Island

Roanoke Island was meant to be a brief stop for the 1587 Colonists, but was never planned to be their new home. Their final destination was meant to be the Chesapeake Bay, two days sail further north.