Pirates Of The NC Coast
NC Places With Pirate Legacy and Legend
Teaches Hole, Teach’s Point and Bonnet’s Creek were surely named for doomed pirates. And what the stories about Jockey’s Ridge, Nags Head, Topsail and Ocracoke lack in credibility, they make up for in color.
Teaches Hole: Teaches Hole, a channel off Ocracoke Island, is where Blackbeard died at the hands of Lt. Robert Maynard on Nov. 22, 1718. It’s now a favorite fishing spot. Enjoy the view from Springer’s Point Nature Preserve, also known as Teach’s Plantation, a likely spot for Blackbeard’s famous party with his fellow pirates.
Teach’s Point: This is a common reference to Plum Point in Bath, where the pirate briefly settled down. Rumor holds that the ruins of a structure on Plum Point are the remains of Blackbeard’s house. People have reported seeing a ball of fire sail back and forth across the bay, where Gov. Charles Eden lived. The phenomenon, known as Teach’s Light, is said to be the pirate’s ghost, searching for the head he lost in battle..
Bonnet's Creek: A historical marker in Southport names the spot that Stede Bonnet used as a hideout for his sloop. Col. William Rhett, sent by South Carolina's governor, fought the pirate at the mouth of the creek and took him back to Charleston, where he was hanged six weeks later. Across East Moore Street (N.C. 211) is a development called Bonnet's Landing.
Nags Head and Jockey’s Ridge: According to legend, freebooters would tie a lantern around a mare’s neck and ride her along the crest of Jockey’s Ridge. Sailors would see the beacon atop the dune and think they’d found a safe harbor, only to wreck on the sandy shoals. Their cargo would wash ashore and into the looters’ hands.
Topsail Island: According to legend, Blackbeard was known to launch attacks from the island’s shallow inlets. Merchants learned to look for the highest masts, or tops’ls, and flee.
Ocracoke: The evening of Nov. 21, 1718, Lt. Robert Maynard spotted Blackbeard’s sloop anchored at the island but delayed his approach until morning. According to legend, the pirate knew Maynard was there. Impatient for daybreak to arrive and the fight to begin, the pirate cried out. “O Crow Cock! O Crow Cock!” Thus the island was named.
added: May 5, 2011
updated: May 12, 2011