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American Auto Trail-North Carolina's U.S. Highway 17

American Auto Trail-North Carolina's U.S. Highway 17

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American Auto Trail-North Carolina's U.S. Highway 17

69 Seiten
57 Minuten
Apr 29, 2010


This edition of the American Auto Trails series travels the Ocean Highway, as U.S. 17 is also known as, through the Albemarle region of North Carolina, inland of the Outer Banks and Albemarle Sound. This territory is rich in American Colonial history, with many references to the sailing trade which once flourished here. A Driving Map and a list of GPS Coordinates for all listed historic sites.

Apr 29, 2010

Über den Autor

Caddo Publications USA was created in 2000 to encourage the exploration of America’s history by the typical automotive traveler. The intent of Caddo Publications USA is to provide support to both national and local historical organizations as historical guides are developed in various digital and traditional print formats. Using the American Guide series of the 1930’s and 40’s as our inspiration, we began to develop historical travel guides for the U.S. in the 1990’s.

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Mehr lesen von Lyn Wilkerson


American Auto Trail-North Carolina's U.S. Highway 17 - Lyn Wilkerson



This guide, along with the various others produced by Lyn Wilkerson and Caddo Publications USA, are based on the American Guide Series. Until the mid-1950’s, the U.S. Highway System provided the means for various modes of transport to explore this diverse land. To encourage such explorations, the Works Projects Administration under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Federal Writers Project created the American Guide Series. This series of books were commissioned by the Federal Government to capture the culture and history of the United States and provide the direction necessary for travelers to explore it. Each state created a commission of writers who canvassed their respective territories for content to submit. The preliminary works were then sent to Washington D.C. for final assembly in to a standard format. The result was a travel guide for each state. The series spread to include guides for important cities as well. After the State Guides were complete, the concept of a national guide was developed. However, it would not be until 1949, with the backing of Hastings House Publishing, that a true national guide would be created. Through several rounds of condensing, the final product maintained much of the most essential points of interest and the most colorful material.

To quote from the California edition of the American Guide Series, romance has been kept in its place. . . The intent of this guide is to provide information about the historic sites, towns, and landmarks along the chosen routes, and to provide background information and stories for what lies in-between. It is not our desire to dramatize the history or expand on it in any way. We believe that the character and culture of this state, and our country as a whole, can speak for itself. The guide has been created, not for just travelers new to the city, but for current residents who may not realize what lies just around the corner in their own neighborhood. The goal of Caddo Publications USA is to encourage the exploration of the rich history that many of us drive by on a regular basis without any sense it existed, and to entertain and educate so that history will not be lost in the future.

U.S. Highway 17

U.S. Highway 17, the Ocean Highway, runs through the ancient Albemarle region of Virginia and North Carolina. Possession of the section was wrested from the Indians by the English. Troubled times marked the regime of the Lord Proprietors (1663-1729) and that of the British Crown (1729-1776). Pirates sailed the sounds and rivers spreading terror in their wake. There was fighting here during both the American Revolution and the American Civil War.

The counties north of Albemarle Sound were long referred to as the Lost Provinces because of the difficulty of communication with the rest of the state. A majority of the people of this section are native-born. Families take pride in their descent from early settlers, and many trace their ancestry to the 17th century, when this was the scene of the first permanent settlements in North Carolina.

Virginia State Line

U.S. Highway 17 enters North Carolina alongside the Dismal Swamp Canal. The Great Dismal Swamp was named by Colonel William Byrd of Virginia, a member of the 1728 expedition that charted the dividing line between Virginia and North Carolina. George Washington, who with Fielding Lewis and others, surveyed the swamp in 1763, described the region as a paradise. Washington became one of the stockholders in the company which hoped to reclaim the land and to provide transportation facilities between Hampton Roads, Virginia and the rivers and sounds of North Carolina. The Dismal Swamp Canal, dug by slaves although authorized by the legislature, was constructed between 1790 and 1822 by private subscription. The Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal also connects Albemarle Sound with Chesapeake Bay.

The crossing at the state line is the site of the Halfway House. Built about 1800, half in North Carolina and half in Virginia, the house was a stagecoach stop. There was gambling in the tap room and the place was notorious as a dueling ground and hide-out. Fugitives from Virginia rested as contentedly on the North Carolina side as did North Carolina fugitives on the Virginia side. An unsupported legend is that while Edgar Allen Poe was visiting here, he wrote the Raven.

South Mills (8 miles south of the Virginia Line on U.S. 17)

This community was formerly known as Old Lebanon.

Side Trip to Sawyers’ Lane Battlefield (North Carolina Highway 343 South)

Sawyers’ Lane Battlefield (3 miles south on NC 343 at Nash Lane)

This was the scene of an engagement, on April 19th, 1862, between Union and Confederate troops.

Morgans Corners (3 miles south of South Mills on U.S. 17)


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