The Roanoke Island Maritime Museum located in the George Washington Creef boathouse is a working boat shop offering a look at local and regional maritime heritage through displayed watercraft, exhibits, restoration projects, and traditional skills workshops. Featured at the Museum is the North Carolina Shad boat Ella View built in 1883. The museum brings Roanoke Island boat building tradition to life in the working boat shop. Education programs focus on the use and construction of traditional watercraft and related maritime activities.
Also on the museum grounds is the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse an exterior reconstruction of the square cottage-style screw-pile lighthouse which stood at the southern entrance to Croatan Sound, near Wanchese. It was decommissioned in 1955. The lens in the lighthouse today is a 4th order Fresnel lens with a fixed white light. The lighthouse features historical and educational exhibits.
At the foot of the pier to the lighthouse is the Manteo Weather Tower an old U.S. Weather Bureau Coastal Warning Display tower. These towers were used to fly signal flags to warn mariners of wind shifts or approaching storms. You can still tell the approaching weather by the flags that are flown on the tower. The Manteo Weather Tower is believed to be one of only five towers still in use, and may be the only one with all of its original signal lights affixed.
The museums signature program is the Outer Banks Community Sailing program started in 2000 to make the adventure of sailing available to youth in Dare County and visitors. The program teaches youth ages 8 to 16 basic, intermediate and advanced sailing skills. Adult programs are also available. Instruction is based on US Sailing guidelines.
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