Firsts

Firsts

Above: Jamestown, Virginia


 

First European settlement, St. Augustine, 1565

St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement within the borders of the United States, founded in 1565. The masonry Spanish fort Castillo de San Marcos, built in 1672, is a national monument.

St. Augustine, Florida today and at 5-feet SLR.

St. Augustine, Florida today and at 5-feet SLR.

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

Castillo de San Marcos interior courtyard

Castillo de San Marcos interior courtyard

 

First English settlement, Jamestown, 1607

Jamestown is the first English settlement in North America. It is on the banks of the James River in southern Virginia.

Jamestown Settlement site, Virginia. Today and after 5 feet SLR.

Jamestown Settlement site, Virginia. Today and after 5 feet SLR.

Jamestown Settlement

Jamestown Settlement

 

First flight, Kitty Hawk, 1903

The Kitty Hawk National Memorial, honoring the spot where the Wright Brothers first powered flight happened, will not be under water when the sea rises five feet—Kill Devil Hills on North Carolina's Outer Banks is thick and deep with sand. However, this is one of those areas that will be isolated as other parts of the island go under water, along with roads and utilities that connect it to the mainland.

When the Wright Brothers Monument was built in 1927, the sand dunes that the Wrights flew on were planted with grass to stabilize the sand from moving—which is what dunes want to do. You have to travel a few miles south to Jockey Ridge State Park to get a sense of the wide vista of sand dunes.

Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, today and at 5 feet SLR.

Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, today and at 5 feet SLR.

A kite inspired by the first powered flight by the Wright Brothers on the dunes of Jockey Ridge State Park, a few miles south of the spot where the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

A kite inspired by the first powered flight by the Wright Brothers on the dunes of Jockey Ridge State Park, a few miles south of the spot where the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

 

First shot of the Civil War, Fort Sumter, 1861

In Charleston Harbor on April 12, 1861, Confederate artillery opened fire on this Federal fort in South Carolina. Today it is a National Monument only accessible by boats operated by the National Park Service. 

Charleston Harbor today, and at 5 feet of SLR.

Charleston Harbor today, and at 5 feet of SLR.

Fort Sumter used to be much taller, but the prolonged bombardment by Union forces to retake the fort left it in ruins. With a 5-foot rise in sea level, it will nearly become a reef of 1800s-era bricks.

Fort Sumter used to be much taller, but the prolonged bombardment by Union forces to retake the fort left it in ruins. With a 5-foot rise in sea level, it will nearly become a reef of 1800s-era bricks.