The first settlement was lost. But in the 400 years since a colony vanished, just about everybody who’s moved here has come to stay, giving this small community on Roanoke Island a permanence that is generations deep.
As the first vines began to grow in the Yadkin Valley, few people believed European wine grapes would make it in the clay loam of the foothills and Piedmont. A few pioneers took a chance, however, and a region’s farming heritage lives on.
Few, if any, people claim to have known Robert Harrill well. He left a troubled life and chose instead to make his way within our state’s coastal wilds. Perhaps understanding the man better known as the Fort Fisher Hermit begins with understanding the land that sustained him.