A Chronological History of Knotts Island

This page is a running history of Knotts Island. The dates and events collected here are accounts from the residents and historical resources around the web.

To add your event, send an e-mail to history@knottsislandonline.com. Include your name, the date of the event, a description of the event, and any links to sites or other resources that will help make the account more detailed. Photographs are useful too. Any event submitted will be posted. Your name will be included as the source of the entry.

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8000 B.C.

The Outer Banks are formed after massive continental glaciers melted, depositing silt at the shore as the rivers of ice-melt made their way to the ocean. Sand washed over the piles of earthen debris to form the beaches. Thomas Yocum

One of the piles probably became Knotts Island. Shaun Kane


May 18, 1728 Commissioners drove the first stake to mark the Carolina-Virginia border. It was placed three mile northeast of the island. This left the northern tip of the island in Virginia and the rest in North Carolina. Read about it here.  Historic marker at the entrance to the island.


1811 The first building of the Knotts Island United Methodist Church was erected.  www.visitnc.com


March, 1846 A Nor'easter blew in from the North Atlantic.  Currituck Banks (Carova) was buried and salt water intruded the Currituck Sound.  The salt water killed off the fish and the grasses so the marsh birds had nothing to eat.  The storm drowned livestock, salted the fields, and killed the pines.  This dealt a terrible blow to the islanders.  60 years later, Knotts Islander Henry Ansell wrote, "From this loss to this day the island has not recovered, nor can it ever recover." 

Quoted from "The Waterman's Song", by David S. Cecelski, published in 2001 by the University of North Carolina Press.


1876 The first Baptist church was built.  Knotts Island Elementary School site

1902 The current building of the Knotts Island United Methodist Church was erected.  www.visitnc.com


1920 Approximately 75 acres of land, located on the Virginia end of the island was purchased from Walter W. Craft and the Knotts Island Gunning Club was formed. Officers from Norfolk were R. D. Cooke, president, John D. Gordan, vice president and T. S .Garnett, secretary and treasurer.  A house on the property was used as a club house and members hunted from stake blinds on Back Bay. The charter was dissolved in 1926.


December 30, 1960 Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge was established by Congress.


August 26, 1998 Hurricane Bonnie, a Category 3 storm, made landfall on southern North Carolina near Cape Fear.  She loses strength, but after passing over the Albemarle Sound is again upgraded to a hurricane and passes Over Knotts Island, damaging homes and leaving the islanders without power for five days.  The North Carolina National Guard set up field kitchens and a generator so that residents could use the school for showers and water.  Shaun Kane from internet sources.


September 18, 2003

Hurricane Isabel made landfall south of Cape Hatteras. As she drove northward toward western Maryland, she left a path of severe damage.  Knotts Island received widespread damage and lost power for four days.  Shaun Kane from internet sources.


April 26, 2005 A young girl was evacuated to a hospital for emergency medical treatment by Nightingale Air Ambulance using the helicopter landing pad located on the grounds of the community park.  Read about it here.


Today Another web surfer visited the Knotts Island Site. Knotthead

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