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"Harbor Lights"

Well, can anyone think of a better way to come into KILL DEVIL HILLS, the place of the first heavier-than-air flight, than by plane. Better still, a replica of the Wright Brothers' plane. We have a fantastic view of Kill Devil Hills from here, too.

Kill Devil Hills is the largest incorporated municipality in Dare County. Kill Devil Hills is the Outer Banks' oldest township, established in 1952. But the landmark that lends the town its distinctive name has been around much longer.

At one time, the northern Outer Banks was characterized by a series of sand mountains over 100 feet high. These dunes stretched from sound to sea, from Corolla south to Nags Head. Kill Devil Hill was one of the larger of the dunes, and stories about how the monolith got its name are varied and colorful; the generally accepted one is that it is named for ''Kill Devil,'' a brand of rum found washed ashore during the colonial period.

Whatever the origins of its name, the dune was the site of the Wright Brothers first heavier-than-air flight in 1903, which placed Kill Devil Hills forever in the history books.

In the 1930s, workers planted hearty grasses on the dune to prevent it from continually shifting, then constructed the impressive Wright Brothers Memorial which is visible for miles.

Oceanside homes, such as this, may sell for as much as $600,000. Land is at a premium and Kill Devil Hills is a premium vacation spot. Increasing numbers of tourists flock there each year.

This impressive 60-foot high gray granite monument sits atop one of the four hills that surrounded Orville and Wilbur Wright's camp. Inner stairs lead to an observation platform which provides an excellent view of the area chosen by the Wright Brothers as they attempted to make their dreams come true.

Nearby Wright Brothers National Memorial and Visitor Center offers visitors an interesting insight to the historic time on December 17, 1903 when man first felt the wind beneath his "wings".

Tough dune grass was planted to keep the sand dune from shifting. It's held tight since the monument was erected.

I thought you'd like to see some authentic Wright Brothers' photographs. They're a bit faded, but I think you'll enjoy them.

The Wright Brothers with their glider - forerunner of the heavier than air plane.

"Success four flights Thursday morning..." starts that historic telegram from the Wright Brothers dated December 17, 1903.

This is Wilbur Wright aboard the glider.

  The Wrights learned to fly -and had flown the First Flight- on a stretch of beach in a then desolate section called Kill Devil Hills.  It was there that they found high dunes, strong winds, and -most needed- soft sand for hard landings.

Orville Wright on the second flight

  Kitty Hawk was the primary settlement on the northern end of the barrier island at the turn of the century.  The Wrights lived in the village with a local resident and even built their first glider there.  But it was the dateline on the telegram that forever stamped the name KITTY HAWK into the history books.

The Wright Brothers Camp

  Today the town is a famous cottage beach resort extending from the Wright Brothers bridge south to Kill Devil Hills. 

Well, it's time for us to move on. Click on the picture below which was taken at Kill Devil Hills looking south towards Oregon Inlet.