America Begins Here – Historic Albemarle Tour

English exploration and colonization of the United States started here more than four hundred years ago. In 1587, a party of colonists arrived who were destined to become Sir Walter Raleigh’s “lost colony” on Roanoke Island.

It was not until 1663 that serious efforts were once again made to settle this region. In that year, Charles II granted a royal charter for land in North America to eight influential supporters and appointed them the Lords Proprietors of Carolina.

So the Lords Proprietors were the 8 Englishmen to whom, by the charters of 1663 & 1665, King Charles II granted ownership of a New World tract called “Carolina.” These eight men had pledged loyalty to the English Crown or had helped Charles to restore to the throne.

In 1664, Albemarle County was created and within a few years, it had been split into four large, regional precincts: Chowan, Currituck, Perquimans, and Pasquotank.

The majority of early eighteenth-century settlers were English and came from neighboring Virginia. They usually came across overland trails and inland waterways rather than via the perilous coastal waters. North Carolina grew to become a royal colony in 1729.

Although the Albemarle’s wide rivers, sounds, creeks, and canals aided inland trade and transportation in the early years, the barrier islands (now known as the Outer Banks) have discouraged large-scale commercial shipping and development of large cities.

Because of the inadequate inlets and ports, the northeastern coastal region has long kept a strong rural tradition with an economy based primarily on agriculture and, in later years, tourism.

This area is known to be a sportsman’s paradise with bountiful hunting and fishing. Swimming, powerboating, sailing, and kayaking places are plentiful and the unspoiled, scenic landscapes and waterways are rightfully one of its greatest characteristics.

Take also a look at this article, as a look through time, with photos of American Presidential Inaugurations in The Commons. Most photographs are from the Smithsonian. All these photos are without any copyright restrictions. Later inaugurations, from Bill Clinton onward, will be still freshly available in our memories so there are no pictures from then.

In Albemarle County, many historical sites and buildings have been preserved due to the slower-paced growth of villages and towns. As you begin the Historic Albemarle Tour, which travels through 17 North Carolina counties along the coast and over two dozen sites, you’ll discover that the tale of this historic coastal region is the story of America’s own emergence and development.

You will meander along our rivers, waterways, and ocean beaches to explore plantations, historic downtowns, museums, living history exhibits, English gardens, and ancient lighthouses.

Many photographs of Albemarle buildings and historical sites were displayed during a Flickr pilot that involved the Library Of Congress (LOC) as well. See also this post about The Weeping Willow, such a beautiful and complete picture…

Flickr Pilot Review

Some time ago, the LOC published a rather detailed report written by Phil Michel, Michelle Springer, and Beth Dulabahn about the results of the Flickr pilot that showed images of the Library including several photos related to Albemarle County. The LOC’s verdict was that the Flickr pilot has exceeded expectations and consequently, silenced all early fears and criticism.

To assess the relevance and success of this pilot project, we need to consider what it achieved. So let’s take a closer look at some numbers to quantify the achievement The following statistical data cover the pilot’s first nine months:

  • On Flickr, there were almost 10.5 million views of the photographs
  • Almost 80 percent of the 4,600 photos were made “favorites” (i.s. they were put into personal Flickr accounts of bookmarked photos)
  • Almost 15,500 Flickr members made the LOL (Library of Congress) into a “contact,” so the images of the Library can be viewed as well from personal Flickr pages and Albemarle County is present as well.