This past weekend we were able to visit a pirate festival in a nearby town. What I didn’t know was that we were going to get such an awesome history lesson out of it!
Blackbeard the Pirate
This year is the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard the Pirate being captured and killed right here in North Carolina. There are usually pirate festivals here every summer, but this year we couldn’t miss it!
We started our history lesson by watching a short YouTube video about Blackbeard. My kids’ favorite parts were learning about how many time he was stabbed and shot, and then his head being displayed on a pole so everyone knew he was dead. Of course. Because that’s not exciting at all.
We would have totally read Who Was Blackbeard before we went to the festival if I would have planned it better. We may still read it. I can’t resist the Who Was books!
There was a whole pirate encampment when we got into town to look how it would have 300 years ago when the pirates set up camp on land. There were tents, places you could throw axes and sword fight, make your own candles (at a price, of course), and more.
What we didn’t expect to see were some really old houses! Each of the old historical houses downtown had plaques on the front with the year that the house was built. A lot of these dated back to the 1800’s and some even the 1700’s. They were gorgeous. My boys weren’t as impressed as I was.
Something else we didn’t expect to see was a jail that was nearly 200 years old. It had information inside about the whippings and hangings that took place there, it had a record book signed by the registered voters in the town, and it came complete with it’s own noose.
There was also a town hall on the grounds, but the inside wasn’t open. We were sad.
Pirates, pirates, and more pirates!
The day wasn’t complete without meeting a bunch of pirates! They gave everyone “Wanted” posters to find pirates around town. Unfortunately, the only time we spotted Blackbeard was when he was doing an interview with the news. But, we saw lots of other really cool pirates who were so nice and happy to sign and take pictures.
We were able to catch some black powder demonstrations. A few pirates fired some cannons and super old muskets. We were lucky enough to make it to one where every one of the muskets worked, which we were told is rare. The boys of course loved all of this.
Being in coastal North Carolina, there are little town like this all up and down the coast FULL of history. We can’t wait to explore more local spots. Roadschooling doesn’t have to happen only in far away places. It can happen right in your own backyard! Real life learning sticks and opens up a whole world of knowledge for your kiddos.
What fun bits of history are you able to learn in your neck of the woods? Let me know in the comments below, or join me in my online homeschool community!
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