Why a nonprofit trust took out a $5.3M loan for 1,000 acres in North Carolina

They're risking it all for some historical answers

New York Weekend Edition /
Apr.April 28, 2018 06:23 PM

A drawing of a carving which was one of the only clues explorer John White found to explain what happened to the Lost Colony. (Credit from left: Wikimedia Commons, GotCredit)

The North Carolina Coastal Land Trust is taking a big risk in the name of history.

The nonprofit trust is taking out a $5.3 million loan in order to buy a 1,000-acre property, according to the Associated Press, which it will preserve due to its history as the last-known location of the “Lost Colony”– a group of English colonists who set up England’s first settlement in North America in 1587 and disbanded by the time the explorer, John White, who returned to Europe for supplies, got back three years later.

It is believed some of the settlers joined Native American communities, but further archaeological research is needed.

“That site can tell a whole century of North Carolina history from 1584 to the Tuscarora wars of the 1700s. It’s a century of North Carolina history that’s often forgotten because there are no standing structures for people to see,” said Phil Evans, president of the First Colony Foundation to AP. Evans is leading a dig on the property.

The deal is the nonprofit’s first property buy, though it has worked to preserve about 70,000 acres since the early 1990s, and they plan to repay the loan using grants. [AP]Erin Hudson


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