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The two RV Gypsies went to
The Wright Brothers National Memorial
1000 N. Croatan Highway
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
June 23, 2020

USA map showing location of North Carolinamap showing location of Kill Devil Hiis

Wright Brothers National Memorial, located in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, commemorates the first successful, sustained, powered flights in a heavier-than-air machine. From 1900 to 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright came here from Dayton, Ohio, based on information from the U.S. Weather Bureau about the area's steady winds. They also valued the privacy provided by this location, which in the early twentieth century was remote from major population centers.

Above and below quotes are From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and

Wright Brothers National Memorial sign Wright Brothers National Memorial entry wall

There is a charge to get in, but they accepted the Two RV Gypsies' National Pass. The park closes its gates at 5 p.m.

fee chart at the Wright Brothers National Memorial sign about Big Kill Devil Hill

history bookAuthorized as Kill Devil Hill Monument on March 2, 1927, it was transferred from the War Department to the National Park Service on August 10, 1933. Congress renamed it and designated it a National Memorial on December 4, 1953. As with all historic areas administered by the National Park Service, the National Memorial was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. The memorial's visitor center (which was closed on the date the Two RV Gypsies were here), was designed by Ehrman Mitchell and Romaldo Giurgola, and designated a National Historic Landmark on January 3, 2001. The memorial is co-managed with two other Outer Banks parks, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

panorma of the park

The above photo was taken By RGRAVIS - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, and permission to use it was on the website as long as credit was given to RGravis.

Wright Brothers National Memorial Wright Brothers National Memorial

A 60 feet tall granite monument, dedicated in 1932, is perched atop 90-foot-tall Kill Devil Hill, commemorating the achievement of the Wright brothers. They conducted many of their glider tests on the massive shifting dune that was later stabilized to form Kill Devil Hill. Inscribed in capital letters along the base of the memorial tower is the phrase "In commemoration of the conquest of the air by the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright conceived by genius achieved by dauntless resolution and unconquerable faith." Atop the tower is a marine beacon, similar to one found in a lighthouse.

Wright Brothers National Memorial the long, steep, uphill walk

Below: Just as the Two RV Gypsies started the long, uphill walk to the Wright Brothers National Memorial Monument, it started to rain hard. Everyone else scampered down the hill to their cars, so the Two RV Gypsies had the area to themselves. Lee Duquette took partial shelter under the narrow ledge over the locked doorway. Karen doesn't like umbrellas, so she got wetter than Lee.

The doors of the tower are stainless steel over nickel, with a price of $3,000 in 1928 (equivalent to $35,193 in 2018). The relief panels represent the conquest of the air.

the tower and doors Lee Duquette in the doorway

Below: When the rain stopped, Karen photographed each of the two pillars beside the monument of Wilber and Orville Wright.

bust of Wilbur Wright bust of Orville Wright

Plaque on the Pillar

Lee Duquette on the walkway
behind the monument

dedication sign Lee Duquette

Below: zoomed-in views from the Monument

view from the Wright Brothers National Memorial view from the Wright Brothers National Memorial

Below: zoomed-in photo taken from the Monument of The Centennial of Flight, which is shown in closer details further down this page.

view of The Centennial of Flight
Karen Duquette at the Wright Brothers National Memorial Karen Duquette at the Wright Brothers National Memorial

Wordage inscribed around the bottom of the tower - " In Commemoration of The Conquest of the Air The Brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright Conceived by Genius, Achieved by Dauntless resolution and unconquerable Faith ."

Karen Duquette at the Wright Brothers National Memorial Karen Duquette at the Wright Brothers National Memorial

Below: Flowers and a butterfly along the path down from the monument.

flowers a butterlfy

Below: The two RV Gypsies drove to the Centennial of Flight monument and looked back up at the tower.

grand trees a look back up at the tower

Below: Centennial of Flight

history book

On December 17, 2003, the Centennial of Flight was celebrated at the Park. The ceremony was hosted by flight enthusiast John Travolta, and included appearances by President George W. Bush, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Chuck Yeager. The Centennial Pavilion was built for the celebration and housed exhibits showing the Outer Banks at the turn-of-the-century, the development of the 1903 replica, and NASA provided displays on aviation and flight.

Big Kill Devil Hill sign
the Wright Brothers plane plaque
the Wright Brothers plane the Wright Brothers plane

Below: Orville Wright piloted the first flight on December 17, 1903 for 12 seconds, 120 feet.

The pilot - Orville Wright The pilot - Orville Wright

Sign showing the view from behind the airplane, describing the statues in the pictures that the two RV Gypsies took (shown further below).

Sign showing who and what
statues statues

Below: John T. Daniels, a member of the U.S. Life-Saving Service at Kill Devil Hill, took the famous photograph of the Wright Brothers' first flight.

John T. Daniels, photographer

Below: W.C. Brinkley, Adam Etheridge and Johnny Moore observed the flight.

3 people observing the flight

Below: The three pictures below show Wilbur Wright as he straddled the wing, then let go as the flyer lifted off.

Wilbur Wright as he stradled the wing Wilbur Wright as he stradled the wing
Wilbur Wright as he stradled the wing

Due to the weather, the Two RV Gypsies did not walk the field nor visit the replica of the hangar used by the Wright Brothers. It is possible to walk along the actual routes of the four flights, with small monuments marking their starts and finishes. Two wooden sheds, based on historic photographs, recreate the world's first airplane hangar and the brothers' living quarters.

look below

go to the next adventure of the two RV Gypsies Continue on in order to The Bodie Island Light Station at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.


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