Friday Five – Currituck Trivia

April 20, 2012
When you come to the Currituck Outer Banks for your vacation, it’s likely you want to concentrate on having fun at the beach. We certainly don’t blame you – we like to spend as much time on the shore ourselves. There’s something to be said, though, for injecting a bit of learning into a trip. As kids, we may have blanched at the idea of going to a museum on our vacation, but in truth you can learn quite a bit about the area and have fun doing it. There’s more history here than you realize, and some of it may amaze you.

So for today’s Friday Five, we’re going to talk about things you may not know about our wonderful beach destination.

1) The name Currituck is derived from the Indian work Coratank, meaning “wild geese.” Now, it’s not uncommon to see wild geese in the area during peak seasons. The Currituck area is a haven for many winged friends (check out our blog on area birds for an idea of what you will find here).

2) The majestic Whalehead Club, one of our area’s more popular attractions, could be considered a symbol of equal rights. It is said that while the club was built as a vacation by Edward and Marie Louise Knight, one motivation for its construction was to allow Mrs. Knight to enjoy her favorite outdoor activities – hunting and horseback riding. In the early 1920s, when the club was built, many hunt clubs in the region did not permit females to join, so the Knights created their own place.

3) The wild horse you may see frolicking in the surf or cantering down smaller roads in Currituck are descended from herds native to the area since the 1500s! As they are wild and protected, it’s important to abide by the law and admire them from a distance.

4) Among the oldest buildings in Currituck County: the Courthouse (1842), the old Currituck Jail (ca. 1820), and the Jarvisburg Colored School (ca. 1867).

5) When you visit lighthouses, you will notice that many are painted with stripes and with bold colors in order to be seen. The Currituck Lighthouse, on the other hand, was left unpainted after construction to set it apart from other such structures along the coast. Today it remains as breathtaking as it certainly did when completed.

If you want to learn more about the Currituck Outer Banks, we invite you to come to the Visitors’ Center and we’ll be happy to share more about our favorite place!

Kathryn Lively