Appreciating all that makes America special

Americana: The Lost Colony

The Lost Colony production was planned to last for one summer. But then FDR came to see the show, and it opened again the next year. It's now entering its 73rd season. Uploaded by

The people of Roanoke Island, part of the Outer Banks on North Carolina’s coast, were looking for the proper way to celebrate the 350th birthday of Virginia Dare. (Young Miss Dare, as you may remember, was the first child born in the Americas to English parents.) They decided to stage a play to run for that one year — 1937. They called the production they created The Lost Colony. It enjoyed a good summer, but then President Franklin D. Roosevelt came to see it. He loved it, word spread, and its popularity grew such that it ran another year.

And another. And another. Now, 73 years later, it’s still thrilling new generations of visitors.

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During its historic run, more than four million people have enjoyed The Lost Colony. It’s the story of settlers in the New World in 1587 who sent their governor back to England for supplies. He wasn’t able to return until 1590, and he found the settlement deserted. The only clue was the word “CROATAN” carved on a post.

If you make it to Roanoke Island in the summer, head to Waterside Theater any evening (except Sunday) to enjoy this remarkable piece of history. You won’t have any trouble finding it: Roanoke Island is only eight miles long by two miles wide…


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