Dare County Library Adult Speakers Series:  Freedman, Surfmen, Heroes presented by the Pea Island Lifesaving Station Preservation Society 

By on January 20, 2023

Freedman, Surfmen, Heroes: The Unique Story of Keeper Richard Etheridge and the Pea Island Lifesavers presented by Joan Collins, Coquetta Brooks, Doug Stover, and Dr. Michelle Lewis

Tuesday, February 7
Noon to 1 p.m.
In-Person Only
Registration is required to attend this free programming event as in-person space is limited.
Kill Devil Hills Library, 400 Mustian Street, Kill Devil Hills

Please join us Tuesday, February 7, 2023, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Kill Devil Hills Library Meeting Room.

A program about Keeper Richard Etheridge and the Pea Island Lifesavers.  Etheridge, who was once enslaved on Roanoke Island, became the nation’s first black Keeper in the US LIfe-Saving Service when he took command of the Pea Island lifesaving station in January 1880.  The station, most known for the heroic October 11, 1896, rescue of the nine on board the shipwrecked schooner ES Newman during hurricane conditions on the North Carolina coast, was the only one of 300 US Life-Saving Service stations in the nation manned by an all-black crew.

The presenters will be Joan Collins, Coquetta Brooks, and Doug Stover, Board members of the Pea Island Preservation Society, Inc., and Dr. Michelle Lewis (currently a pastor at Roanoke Island Presbyterian church) who will be a guest presenter.

Joan, Coquetta, and Michelle are long-time residents of Roanoke Island, the three connected to the history of Roanoke Island through their descendants and family members who have lived on Roanoke Island for hundreds of years.  Their descendants also served at the historic Pea Island Lifesaving station and were part of Roanoke Island’s Freedmen’s Colony and the Roanoke-Hatteras native American Algonquian speaking tribe.   Doug, a retired cultural historian with the National Park Service and current consultant for the United Nations world heritage sites, has a wealth of knowledge about the Pea Island station and the overall history of Roanoke Island and the Outer Banks.

The mission of the Pea Island Preservation Society, Inc., is to promote the history of Keeper Richard Etheridge, the Pea Island Lifesavers, and the overall black history of the area.  The organization also manages and operates the Pea Island Cookhouse Museum located in Manteo, a small museum located in the original cookhouse of the Pea Island station, located in Manteo.  The museum honors the history of Etheridge, his crew, and the legacy of the all-black station.

For assistance, please contact the Kill Devil Hills Library, weekdays 9am to 5pm at (252) 441-4331.

SEE ALSO: Pea Island Preservation Society presents A Checkered Past exhibit at Dare Arts





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