United States Portsmouth Village

5 images 1 contributors

T. Kirkendall and V. Spring

About This Spot

Portsmouth Village lies at the northern end of Portsmouth Island and is officially part of Cape Lookout National Seashore. The village has an interesting history of growth and decline. In 1770, it was the largest settlement on the Outer Banks. For the next century the town was a major port. In 1846, a hurricane opened up a new, easier, route to Hatteras and trade at Portsmouth ended. The population that remained became fishermen. As the fishing trade dwindled, the town's population slowly moved away. The last two remaining residents left in 1971. Today the town is taken care of by the volunteers of Cape Lookout National Seashore. Several of the old building have been cleaned up and display historical artifacts. The park volunteers and employees plan to continue the work of preserving the buildings and showcasing the lifestyles of the original settlers on the Outer Banks.

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