A new, mini-documentary series sponsored by a local realty company is launching online this week, detailing the stories of the people that have made the Outer Banks what it is today.
Icons of the Outer Banks, presented by Twiddy & Company, tells the stories of the fishermen, historians, lifesavers and trailblazers who have played a significant role in shaping the area’s past, present and future.
“From Walter Raleigh to the Wright Brothers, the Outer Banks was built on the shoulders of visionary men and women who worked tirelessly and, in many cases, sacrificed much to make this area a place locals love to call home and vacationers from around the world visit year-after-year,” said Clark Twiddy, president of Twiddy & Company.
“We are proud to share this important documentary series that illuminates and celebrates these individuals who’ve had such an enormous impact on the area’s history and identity,” Twiddy said.
To commemorate Black History Month, the inaugural episode of the series will feature the story of Richard Etheridge, the first African-American man to lead a crew of surfmen in the U.S. Lifesaving Service.
Etheridge, a former slave, lived on the Outer Banks until his death at the age of 58. He and his all-black crew were responsible for some of the most harrowing rescues conducted off of the area’s coastline.
In subsequent months, Twiddy & Company plans to release episodes featuring historic icons such as:
- Aycock Brown, a colorful writer, and photographer who spent his career singing the praises of the North Carolina coast.
- Cora May Basnight, mother of former Senator Marc Basnight, who became equally famous for her role as Agona, a Native American woman, in The Lost Colony.
- John T. Daniels, a member of the U.S. Life-Saving Service in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, who took the famous photograph of the first powered flight on December 17, 1903.
- Omie Tillet, a legendary Dare County boat builder who created the blueprint for the modern Carolina sportsfishermen.
- Shirley Austin, a female Huckleberry Finn and maverick in Currituck County who loved all-things outdoors including fishing and duck hunting.
Their stories will be told by historians, friends and family members.
The story of Richard Etheridge can be viewed on Twiddy & Company’s website. Each episode will last approximately five minutes. Future episodes will be announced on the company’s Facebook page.