Island Farm Living History Site | North Carolina Weekend | UNC-TV


– It’s a game of catch. You toss the hoop back and
forth using your sticks to throw and catch
the hoop and just by crossing and sliding apart. – [Narrator] More than a
century and a half ago, this farm on Roanoke
Island, owned then by the Etheridge
family, might have had a game of catch, or graces,
being played in the yard, but the family also had
crops to tend and livestock. His name is Charlie. – [Man] Hey, Charlie. Don’t you mess up my lens. – [Narrator] And there
are always chores to do, pretty much the same things that still go on here every day. – This is a type of rug
called a toothbrush rug, that’s one of the names for it and it would be
from a toothbrush where the bristles
had come down, or come off, and then
you would file it down and make the hole
a little bigger and that becomes your
needle and you make a rug. – There’s always something
you have to repair, always something that breaks, always something that
you just have to make. It’s like, oh, we need that. – [Narrator] Back in
1847, there was no local hardware store, so in
this historic working farm, they continue to do things
in the old fashioned ways. Gene and Charlene Staples
are the site managers for Island Farm and they
are totally immersed into the 19th century
mindset in a region where the prominent history
occurred centuries earlier when the Lost Colonists arrived and perished without a trace. – And when the early
colonists came, they had not too
much interaction with that Native Americans, so they
weren’t introduced to corn. They couldn’t even grow a carb. You could live off
of bread and water, but if you can’t grow wheat
to have flour to make bread, but by this time, these
families had figured out how to make it here in
this harsh environment. – [Narrator] Gene and
Charlene still work the farm successfully,
just like the Etheridges, who prospered. – And so we’re portraying
daily life here as it was in the
late 1840s, 1850s. We have all the outbuildings
they would have had, have been reproduced. We grow a lot of the same crops. We have all the same
livestock represented that were recorded
here by the 1850 census of the United States. – There’s nothing roped off. You can pick up things
and touch things and you don’t get that too often at a lot of living
history sites, so it almost feels like
you’re visiting family or visiting a grandparent’s farm and that’s what we want,
we want people to feel like that they have just come
and stepped back in time, but yet can interact with it. – [Narrator] North
Carolina has a rich history and much of it happened within
a few miles of this location. It’s possible to see
and learn quite a bit about the Outer Banks without
traveling far from here, but Island Farm is
a worthwhile visit to link it all together. – You know, we have
a live oak tree that’s estimated to
be over 400 years old. We’re kind of a
connecting rod between the Lost Colony and
the Wright Brothers, the things that the Outer
Banks are known for. We have that tree that
may have been alive here when the Lost Colony was
here and one of the grandsons buried in the family
graveyard was a witness to the Wright Brothers flight. We make it as close as possible to stepping back into that time. Seeing, feeling, and smelling,
tasting in some cases, exactly what it was really
like to live on a farm on Roanoke Island in
the 1840s and 50s. – [Deborah] Island
Farm is located at 1140 US Highway 64
just north of Manteo on Roanoke Island
and they’re open from 10:00 a.m. to
4:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday
until November 30. For more information,
give them a call at 252-473-6500 or go
online to theislandfarm.com.

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