Horn icon. This link bypasses navigation taking you directly to the contents of this page.


Inquiry Question

Historical Context





Table of

About This Lesson

This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file for "Little Kinnakeet Lifesaving/Coast Guard Station" and primary sources about the station's activities. Little Kinnakeet was written by Chris Eckard, former Historian at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The lesson was edited by Fay Metcalf, education consultant, and the Teaching with Historic Places staff. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.

Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: The lesson could be used in U.S. history, social studies, and geography courses in units on 19th-century commerce or transportation, civics, or the chronological period after Reconstruction. Little Kinnakeet will help students understand the need for the U.S. Lifesaving Service (U.S.L.S.S.), a government agency that often has been forgotten but was responsible for saving more than 175,000 lives during its 44 years of operation. In 1915 the U.S.L.S.S. merged with the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service to become the U.S. Coast Guard.
Time period: 1870s to 1910s
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12

Objectives for students
1) To understand why the Federal Government took an active role in protecting mariners by creating the U.S. Lifesaving Service.
2) To explain the nature of duty in the U.S.L.S.S., including the daily routine and rescue activities.
3) To describe how the U.S.L.S.S. was perceived by some of the Atlantic Coast sailors whose lives were saved.
4) To examine modern rescue methods in their community and to compare them to U.S. Lifesaving Service operations.

Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-quality version.
1) three maps showing North Carolina, the Outer Banks, and U.S.L.S.S. stations;
2) three readings about the U.S.L.S.S., providing instructions to mariners in case of shipwreck, and the personal testimonies from rescued crews;
3) four photos of Little Kinnakeet and its lifesaving crews.

Visiting the site
Located within Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Little Kinnakeet Lifesaving Station is 3.5 miles north of Avon, North Carolina, off NC Highway 12 on Hatteras Island. Although preservation work is planned for the station structures, and they are not presently open to the public, visitors to the site are still welcome. Year-round exhibits and summer interpretive programs about lifesaving history are presented at the National Park Service's Hatteras Island Visitor Center in Buxton, North Carolina. For more information, contact the Superintendent, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, 1401 National Park Drive, Manteo, North Carolina 27954, or visit the park's Web site.



Comments or Questions

National Park Service arrowhead with link to NPS website.