Visit Frisco Native American Museum on Next OBX Vacation
Posted On Monday, June 01, 2015
Many Outer Banks visitors don't know this, but there is a museum in Frisco on Hatteras Island that is devoted to the original Indian tribes that inhabited the area prior to the arrival of the English settlers in the late 16th century. The Frisco Native American Museum and Natural History Center showcases the lives of these tribes and is worth a visit while vacationing on Hatteras Island or for a day trip while staying in an Outer Banks vacation rental in any of the other wonderful OBX towns.
Native American Inhabitants of the Outer Banks
Hundreds of years ago there were other "residents” living on what is now Roanoke Island—the Native American inhabitants of the Outer Banks. It is estimated that there were between 5,000 and 10,000 Native Americans in the Croatan and Carolina Algonquian tribes living on the Outer Banks at the time.
Frisco Native American Museum
Open since 1987, the Frisco Native American Museum is a fascinating place to visit. It features exhibits, displays and artifacts from the Native American tribes that inhabited Hatteras Island. The museum tells the story of how they lived and accepted the English settlers who came to live here centuries ago. There is a gallery that is devoted to other tribes across the United States. The museum showcases how the tribes lived from what they wore to how they ate to how they survived.
In terms of artifacts, there are so many interesting items that have come to the museum. One such artifact was uncovered last fall on the beach in Rodanthe. A couple that was visiting was out on the beach and found an interesting item buried in the sand. When they discovered it, they took it to the Frisco Native American Museum where the Director of the Museum, Carl Bornfriend, determined that it was a small vessel used to hold medicines.
Over the years, through renovations, much has been added to make the museum more of a destination. Included are an observation area that looks over a bird yard, nature trails that wind through the maritime forest and lead to a Native American dance circle, and a pavilion looking over a saltwater marsh. In these areas, there are special events, classes and more that bring visitors to the museum.
History of the Museum
In 1987, Joyce and Carl Bornfriend realized their dream of a place where people could share their love of nature and Native American cultures. They opened the Frisco Native American Museum Natural History Center to showcase artifacts, displays and more for visitors and residents to the area to enjoy. At that point, Bornfriend was only able to open the museum Friday through Sunday during the school year (seven days a week during the summer) simply because he and his wife had to work full-time to offset the expenses needed to run the museum. Over the following few years, they were able to put all their efforts into the museum and begin adding to the museum with the trails and other features.
Today, while much of the OBX shuts down for the winter months, the Frisco Native American Museum Natural History Center is open six days each week throughout the entire year. For those who love reading about Native Americans, this is the perfect place to explore and see how they lived.
Take Some Time to Visit
When planning your next Outer Banks vacation, information on the sites and activities of the area are available with one phone call or email our office.
One thing we always suggest is that you take some time to visit the Frisco Native American Museum Natural History Center. It is fascinating to see the Outer Banks from a different an entirely different perspective.